At about three in the morning last night, I was awakened by a hideous howling noise. I jumped out of bed, thinking that some wounded animal must have found its way out of the cold and into my house.
Then the noise came again, and I realized what it was--my furnace.
As it turned out, the noises--which continued at random intervals for the remainder of an understandably restless night and then with increasing frequency through the morning--were the death throes of my furnace's hot air blower motor. At noonish, the man from the HVAC maintenance company arrived to put the poor thing out of its misery. The guts of my furnace are now neatly laid out on the floor beside its shell, awaiting the arrival of the new motor.
It's on order. Rush order, but the company's a little vague on when they can expect it.
My plight could be worse. There are plenty of people--more than 20,000 in the D.C. area alone--without power. I have light, working appliances, TV, Internet. So far, the inside temperature has only dropped a couple of degrees. And I just unearthed and set up one of two small ceramic heaters that should keep me from completely freezing.
Still an improvement over having to go out and cope with a commute.