Well, he’s done it again! My darling husband has found another way to conserve electricity now that we have invested a king’s ransom in solar panels. After the former fiascos I discussed in some earlier columns where he flipped off the breaker to the water heater, unplugged my water cooler and disconnected the TV during the day, I thought he was done playing energy Nazi.

Nope, it was wishful thinking on my part. Last week, when the temperatures dipped into the 20s, I woke up to a freezing house. Concerned that another disaster had struck and our furnace had died, I bundled up and checked the thermostat: 62 degrees. I blinked and rubbed my tired eyes, thinking the reading was 72 not 62. No, it was actually 62 degrees in my house. Better than the 30 degrees registered outside, but not by much.

We have one of those automatic thermostat thingies that can be preset for daytime/nighttime and all the presets were set to 62 degrees. My eyes couldn’t read the miniscule directions for resetting (why do they have to print them in a font the size of a no-see-um?) so I had my granddaughter help me reset to a more comfortable 72 degrees daytime and 68 nighttime.

Much better.

Fast forward to the weekend. I woke up in an igloo again. I dragged myself out of bed, bundled up and checked the thermostat: 62 degrees – again. I cranked the furnace back to 72, removed my mittens and earmuffs and confronted my husband. There he sat in his easy chair wearing his overcoat while he killed zombies in his video game.

I told him it wasn’t pleasant to wake up in a house cold enough to hang meat and I was freezing.

His answer? Put on your coat.

Really?

I love my husband, I really do. But if I was a teacher, I might have to force myself to write: I LOVE MY HUSBAND – I REALLY DO! 500 times so I’d

be convinced.

I must admit, the solar panels have been doing their job. Two months ago, our bill was about ten dollars and last month it was actually a negative amount – all without unplugging or disconnecting any major appliances. The electric company owed us seven dollars and thirteen cents.

Granted, it will take a lot of those negative bills to offset the initial cost but it was cool seeing that minus amount on paper.

And, if I don’t freeze to death, I’ll be even happier when the electric company starts sending me a check every month.

In the meantime, I’m going to go write: I LOVE MY HUSBAND – I REALLY DO! on a post-it note and tape it to the thermostat as a reminder.

Today I saw and felt God in the warmth of the sunshine.

Where did you see God today?

Pat Pratt is an Ellis County author and writing coach who facilitates the Write Way and Write On writing groups. She also serves as pastor of Community Church in Red Oak and may be reached at triciajunison@yahoo.com.

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