Just as I was about to leave for work K noted that the heater had NOT come on lately and went to turn the thermostat up a notch to jog it... whereupon it did the same thing as it was before... Back to square one? However the service dude had said if we had any further problems to call, so I said "do it" and went to work.
K called me at the store a few hrs. later to report that apparently the jelling of the fuel had exasperated some additional issues -- parts that, on this 1980s vintage furnace -- were ready to fail. When the guy arrived and did a pressure test, it seems that the thing was sucking air big time.
Parts were replaced and it is working now. I came home a bit ago to the wonderful sound of a running furnace! LOL
K also discovered, in conversation with the "service dude" that he was not a random on-call employee, but the owner of the company! Arctic Energy is a small, locally owned oil supply outfit here in Corinth, which was recommended to us and I would recommend them to anyone in their service area.
We are supposed to get a bit of a warming trend (not that anyone else but a denizen of the Northlands would recognize it as such!) as it warms up to snow tomorrow, with a predicted high of 22 degrees F!
I have to comment on comments to posts on my LiveJournal entry on this subject as well... I dunno how living in the rural north and enjoying the challenges of life "as it should be" in my book at least, makes me anything different or more "brave". Seems to me, living in the city, with folks jammed wall to wall and the potential for random crime constantly at hand is far more "brave" and more challenging. The elements are reasonably predictable. You can learn about diesel, and keeping things running and what to expect from chewing critters (and which cats are likely to help and which are as likely to invite the neighbors -- regardless of species -- in for catnip tea.) But you can't predict when the house down the road will become a meth lab or when the wacked out druggie from the "hood" is going to take a field trip and go off the deep end.
Like that "old time religion", the old time challenges are good enough for me!