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Fear not! January 2, 2008

Posted by Joe in Family, Farm.

We live in an old farm house. The original structure was built in 1900. Over the years, however, a couple of additions were added; the most recent of which was in 1954. The image at the top of the blog is actually a picture of our front porch.

Of course, it’s been retrofitted for indoor plumbing, electricity, and even central heat and air conditioning, so we have modern conveniences available to us. I’d rather not make a late night run in the dead of winter to an outhouse wearing little more than a night shirt. 🙂

Speaking of which, last night it got really cold for our part of creation and, for the first time in our 3 years of living here, the hot water pipe under the house froze. Our guest 1/2 bath and the master bath didn’t have hot water this morning.

Our house has a very small crawl space underneath – ranging anywhere from 6 to 24 inches between the earthen bottom to the sub-flooring. I had been underneath the house before, adding insulation beneath the kitchen floor, so I had a pretty good idea where the pipe was frozen.

Benjamin and I donned some old work clothes and crawled under the house. The opening to the crawl space is approximately 28 inches by 18 inches so squeezing through that opening is rather tight for me; less so for Benjamin.

We looked around and found what had to be the location of the freeze blockage that was preventing the flow of the hot water to our master bath. It was behind some air conditioning ducts and against what used to be an exterior wall. There was only 8 inches of clearance between the bottom of the duct and the ground.

With Benjamin at my side, I said “I don’t know how I’m going to get the heat lamp over there, not to mention putting some pipe insulation around the exposed area.”

That’s when Benjamin replied “Well, I may be able to fit under the duct. I don’t really want to, but if you need me to, I’ll swallow my fear and do it.”

Where do they come up with things like that? “Swallow my fear and do it.” He’s a great kid!

In the end, I was able to reach under the duct, get the heat lamp over there, thaw the pipe, and apply some pipe insulation to hopefully prevent this from happening again. Benjamin didn’t have to squeeze through.

After we were finished, he wanted to go exploring further under the house. Oh to be 8 years old, full of energy, and fearless.



1. julie - January 3, 2008

It was cold here in our part of Tennessee last night and today. Thank God our pipes were fine, but the kids did bring chicken waters in the house to thaw and refill. Hope you all have a great new year. By the way, we too have store bought eggs in our frig., and our chickens aren’t laying either. The only chicken that was producing anything was eaten before our eyes by a hawk. I think we will be purchasing new chicks when it warms up a bit. It is no fun keeping little chicks warm in the bathtub!
grace and peace,

2. Becky - January 3, 2008

All I’ve got to say is “Benjamin is a lot braver than I am.” I’d be so busy looking for spiders, lizards, crickets, mice, etc. to do much of anything under the house. He really is a great kid and I love “swallow my fear”! We should all take lessons from children. Their innocense and faith are to be admired!

That is another one of those stories that makes your heart swell as a grandmother.

I just have to share what Sarah Elizabeth (Benjamin, Rachel and Lydia’s cousin) had to say Sunday morning. Her family was going to meet me at my church for worship on Sunday but Sarah Elizabeth said she wanted to go to Sunday school with me so I picked her up early. It was raining enough to have the wipers on low. She was sitting in the passenger seat and the conversation went something like this:

Sarah Elizabeth: “Beck, I think I have it figured out.”

Beck: “What have you figured out?”

SE: “What the rain is.”

Beck: “What is it?”

SE: “It’s Jesus crying”

Beck: “I don’t think that could be it because the Bible tells us there are no tears in Heaven and Jesus lives in Heaven.”

SE: “You’re right! That is in my Bible too.” With that she quickly snatched her Precious Moments Bible out of her church bag and started flipping through the pages until she came to the page where the little Precious Moments boy and girl are on the page and it says ‘No tears in Heaven’. She put her finger on that page in order to show it to me.

Beck: “You know what I think the rain could be?”

SE: “What?”

Beck: “It could be all of the people who are crying because they can’t get into Heaven.”

Let me tell you, it was just one of those conversations I am so thankful I was a part of.

3. Marci - January 5, 2008

What a brave little man!!! I think it is great that he was willing. Way to go Benjamin!!!!

4. Renae - January 9, 2008

My dream house is an old farmhouse!

Our home is from the 50s and my husband had to do some plumbing. Our 10 year old son was such a blessing! He was Daddy’s errand boy and crawled in and out multiple times. Now they are working on wiring in the attic. The adventure never ends! 🙂

5. Sheryl - January 14, 2008

Yes, very brave to go under the house. I have yet to swallow my fear and do it. So funny! He probably picked that up from Sponge Bob and it just stuck. Love it.

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