I was horrified

I tend to be a little anxious and overthink things sometimes–okay, often–and my friends and family always get a good laugh out of it. They wait with baited breath whenever I go to the grocery store, taking bets on whether or not I’ll stress myself out enough to call home in a puddle of tears, and taunt me when it takes me ten minutes to decide between tacos or pizza for dinner. Even my grumpy grandpa thinks it’s kind of adorable that I always stuff the family van full of anything that might possibly come in handy if things went wrong–even on short weekend trips… Well, after this past weekend they started giving me a little more credit, given that my overthinking saved us from disaster. All of us were driving through the mountains to a nature preserve for my dad’s birthday, but we left later than planned, and had to pull over when it got too dark to navigate safely. We pulled over at the first hotel we found–a run down place that we only recognized as a hotel because of the letters on the building. We’d slept in worse, but we did have one problem: when we entered our musty little room, the air was frigid cold, and when I say cold, I mean that the indoor air temperature was literally below 30 degrees. The front desk clerk yawned and told us that the heating units all worked similarly in the hotel, plus all of the other rooms were booked, and we couldn’t replace the heater. The one response our clattering teeth got out of him was another yawn. He didn’t even offer to call an HVAC worker or the repair department, and everyone was getting a little hysterical, talking about the likelihood of freezing to death overnight and arguing about whether we should all just all cram into the van with the heat on all night. That’s when I calmly walked out to the van, rummaged around, and emerged brandishing a small electric furnace like a legendary sword. With the space heater, we raised the temperature in our room to nearly 55 degrees, and all of us lived another day quite comfortably. Now whenever we travel, my family likes to talk about the time I was prepared for a total HVAC failure.

HVAC tune-up