Hartford, Jan 30, 1871; Julie to Morris:

“I have had Such a time with the gas and water, no light for three evenings, and finally found that the pipe was frozen up in the front hall. The waste pipe got stopped up in Mrs. Johnson’s room, and I had just got that cleaned out when the boiler sprang a leak in the kitchen…

The plumber came up and he showed me how to take up the chamber floor and thaw out the gas with boiling water, so that if we have another freeze, I shall be mistress of the situation.”

Gas lighting was by, all accounts, temperamental and apparently prone to freezing.  The current headaches don’t involve gas, but they do still involve water and oil.  It would be an interesting exercise to see if how fast the pipes can be drained, the one great problem with this house is that if, as happened yesterday, it runs out of oil the temperature is going to drop.  While it could be made livable using the fireplaces, one couldn’t keep the plumbing from freezing.  Therefore, if the oil runs out the clock starts.  Thankfully, our oil company is a good one, even if dispatch did screw up.