In other words, cloudy with a 100% chance of snowpocalypse. We live in the far southwest part of the "these people should hit the liquor stores" swath. I already knew before I went to bed that both school and work were cancelled for the day, and so I slept in until the kids woke me up at about 7:30, then went downstairs to check the weather (the upstairs windows always cloud up and I can't see out). There was only about an inch of snow, but I noticed it was really, really COLD. Then one of the kids yelled from the back room, where our pets and downstairs bathroom are, that the lights wouldn't go on. I checked the breaker box and the lights went on. Took another 10 minutes or so for my brain to register that the heater had not also come on. Hmm... I checked the temp on the thermostat and it read that it was 10 degrees colder than it ought to be. And still not kicking on.
I called the heating and cooling service, and they sent a tech out fairly quickly. He poked through the heater unit, made a call, then gave me both the good and bad news. Good news is that it's only the panel with all the wires that needs replacing, not the whole thing. So it will cost a few hundred, not a few thousand. Whew! Then, the wires had burned and melted, and it tripped the breaker and didn't burn the house down. Also good news. Bad news- the parts I need have to be ordered from out of area (he called all the other local heating service places just to make sure), and no freight is going through, so it'll be at least Friday before I get my heater working again. :(
So, that was not great news but... there was only about 3" of snow at the time (we have about 10" now) so I was able to run to walmart and get a couple of space heaters so I can keep my pets warm, and the area in the living room where we most often hang out. And, my house has a separate heating/cooling system for upstairs and downstairs,. so my upstairs is toasty warm. So, it may not be the way I'd have had things go if I ran the universe, but we are inconvenienced rather than devastated, and the kids will have a story to tell their grandkids about how we weathered snowpocalypse 2010 with out heater deciding this was its time to crap out.
Funny thing, though. I discovered puppies make great space heaters. My computer is not in an area that's heated, and it's about 58F in here (people who know me well know I am always cold and prefer my house about 72 in winter, 80 in summer... so I am COLD!). I am wearing a long sweater, and rather than curl up in my lap, Dove the puppy crawled under my sweater and behind me, and he's keeping my back all nice and toasty warm. My oldest daughter said it looks like I have a living bustle. Ah well, that is a WARM living bustle and a very nice thing to have.