Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
The Sky's a-Falling
sky's a-falling, the sky's a-falling," said Henny Penny when she
was hit on the head by an acorn in the classic fable. I know how she
felt. I thought the sky was a-falling too this week when my central
heating unit went out. It had already been one of those weeks when
everything that could go wrong did.
This time it started Sunday when I set the thermostat down just a bit.
During the night it seemed to become colder and colder. Finally, some
time during the early morning hours, I crawled out from under the covers
and turned up the heat. Then I jumped back in bed for a final snooze.
When I eventually woke up, the house was freezing. "What's going
on," I thought. I put my hand over the vent and the air blowing out
was cold. "Maybe I was half-asleep and turned on the air," I
thought. I tried to adjust the thermostat, but nothing happened.
I shivered as I slipped into my warmest jeans and sweater and tried to
remember the name of the company that put in my furnace. I called. They
promised to send someone that afternoon at one o'clock, which worked out
well as I had to take my daughter to the doctor.
When we got back from the doctor, I decided to run errands and pick up a
few items the the discount mart. My daughter wanted to stay home in
spite of the cold and would call me when the furnace guy arrived.
It was after one o'clock when I finished and my cell phone had not rung.
When I checked it, I found that it was turned off.
"Oh no! I hope I didn't miss them."
But when I got home the service truck was in the driveway and my
daughter was on the steps. "I've been trying to call you for an
hour," she said. "They came early."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, the phone must have turned itself off."
"Wait until you hear the news," replied my daughter, as the
guy got out of his truck.
The furnace burner was rusted and disintegrating. The cost to fix
it left me flabbergasted. Furthermore, the entire unit was in terrible
shape. He recommended that I replace it. "It's 15 years
old," he said, "that's about as long as they last."
"I looked at it, Mom," said my daughter. "It's rusty
inside and falling apart." The pipe that carries the gas was split
open. If it didn't have an automatic shut off, we would have died from
I could feel the pieces of sky a-falling around me like stars.
I picked out what seemed like the best new unit for the money, while
pieces of sky continued a-bouncing on the ground around me. They would
put it in the next day -- unless it rained.
The next day turned out to be the day after the next day. We were
entirely without heat. We brought in the little electric space heater
out of the garage and turned it on. Shortly afterwards, the living room
went dark. Overloaded circuit.
We decided to build a fire in the fireplace. We were snug and warm as
long as we sat near the fireplace. By the third night, I was beginning
to sort of enjoy the cozy fire. Maybe we didn't really need a furnace?
Maybe some carbon monoxide had leaked after all and damaged my brain.
What would we do this winter when it became really cold? Maybe I had
been hit in the head by a piece of the falling sky -- or an acorn.
They finally came and installed the new furnace.
The sky's a-falling. I know it. Henny Penny knows it too. But no one
else seemed to notice. Maybe it isn't the sky a-falling. Maybe it's only
Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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