February 6, 2012

Hot Air in Fitzwilliam, N.H.

By Paul Bieber

Quit the snickering. Yes, I live in Fitzwilliam, N.H., and if you ask certain people, there is enough hot air in our house to cook a roast beef. But, those people couldn’t possibly be correct. You see, our boiler rolled over and died last week and we were without heat for seven days.

We have steam radiators; the house was built in 1940. The boiler is the heart of the system. A week ago Friday afternoon, it gave up the ghost. We couldn’t order a new one until Monday, it was delivered on Wednesday, and took two and half days to install. So, we were a little short on hot air. Fortunately, we have four fireplaces, and three of them have gas burners. We kept warm throughout, holding the house around sixty degrees.

But it made me think about the people without heat, folks who can’t afford heating oil at almost $4 a gallon, or have the electricity or gas shut off. The stories on the news are not in some distant land, they are here in the United States. There are so many definitions, but the smallest number places ten million Americans living in poverty, skipping meals, living without heat, and forty million Americans without medical insurance.

Politics be damned. There is no excuse for this in our country. No plan hatched in Washington can feel the chill in the bedroom of a child in the Great Lakes area.

As we go through an election cycle, whatever your point-of-view, think of the children in our country. Think of the children in the world.