On Thanksgiving morning, as I started the ritualistic baking, I noticed the lights all through the house flickering off and on. A little freaked out, I went to see if John was awake yet and to get his take on the happenings. About 30 minutes later, our neighbor (an electrician), was at the house and saying that our breaker was failing. Just like everything else in the house, the replacement part wasn't made any more and we would have to do some searching for a "vintage" fuse. Until it was replaced, we had a choice to make: heat or electricity. I chose electricity and we turned the furnace off.
On Friday, a week later, John was able to find and buy the right part. Today, it was installed and within minutes of installation, the heat was back on! We were very fortunate that three of those days were spent in heavy cooking mode, so the house was able to warm up from the kitchen. The temperatures were also mild, in the 50s, so it wasn't too cold inside. But in the least 2-3 days, the temps have dropped substantially, both inside and outside the house. Since we're fortunate to have two furnaces and the house wired in such a way that the two sides are completely separate, we were able to keep the kids down at the other end so they didn't freeze. John and I just bundled up with lots of blankets and hoodies. Mornings were the worst because it's just really hard to get up and moving when it's cold outside the blankets!
Thanks for all the offers of heaters, housing, and sympathy. It's so good to have friends!