It was one of those good news, bad news things. The water heater itself is fine. It's just the thermostat that's shot. That was the good news. The bad news. The water heater is seventeen years old and there are no thermostats to be had. The temporary solution for now is to crank it up manually to "scald" and sometimes, on a very random, intermittent basis, sort of whenever the water heater feels like it, I'll have hot showers. And other times, well, I won't. A new one? Of course that is the real solution. When I asked the technician, "How much?" he said, "Well, as long as you're sitting down.....and he told me. Oh. My. Kind of the same reaction I had when I went looking at washing machines last summer. Clearly I have not replaced appliances in a very long time. In this century perhaps. There is good news there, too. My utility company will finance the new one. Just pop it on my bill, interest free for ten months. I think I will try to tough it out until after the heating season when the bill drops back out of a range that makes me gasp every time I see it anyway.
The way I see this, it adds an element of interest to my life....what will today's shower hold? Or perhaps I can use it as a way to remind me to be grateful. I have a shower, and sometimes it will be a hot one. And at some point there will be the means to make it consistent again. Good news on many fronts. Choosing my attitude, changing my focus. It's easier to change that than the water temperature, it seems.