January 17th, 2011
05:16 PM ET

Letters to the President: #728 'Cold comfort'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The president once made the mistake of suggesting that members of the public should send him advice. I’ve been writing letters to the White House every day since.

Dear Mr. President,

I am so sorry to write to you so late today, but it turned out to be a rather eventful weekend that spilled into Monday. In a sentence: The heater in our house went out. Perhaps in the shoulder seasons of autumn or spring that would not be such an issue, but in the dead of winter with the mercury hovering around or below freezing day by day, it is nothing with which to trifle.

We noticed that the furnace was making some odd creaks and groans on Saturday night, but then some ambitious workouts had my wife and I doing the same that evening, so we hoped for the best.

But by the time we came home from church early Sunday it was clear that some part of the system had gone to meet its maker and the temperature in the house was plummeting. No, plummeting is too hard of a word. It was trending downward in an alarming way.

Fortunately we were taking my brother-in-law and his wife to the Kennedy Center to see South Pacific, so we were not stuck in the steadily cooling house all day. And I had a big training run to do in the evening, so that warmed me up a good bit. Nonetheless, we had to build up a big fire in the chimney last night to offset the Ice Station Zebra effect, and this morning we waited eagerly for the furnace repair fellow who, with a few hours effort, managed to bring things back into order. At last report, my wife says the temperature in the family room is up out of the low 50’s and climbing.

Two interesting notes in all of this:

I ran into your Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, at the show and we had a nice, short chat. It still amazes me how living here in DC I run into such folks at the grocery store, at the movies, or other such things.

And my run last night was really wonderful. I started in deep twilight and by the time I had gone six miles it was quite dark. I was running up toward Great Falls (do you know the area?), swinging down to the canal path near the river, and just at the part where I was truly running in the woods, I heard a church bell chime across the Potomac.

The moon rose and I crunched along on hard packed snow, with the cold biting at my face - nothing but the frozen canal on my left, and woods leading to the largely iced-over river on my right. I saw a fox dash across the trail in front of me. And there, only a few miles beyond the DC limit, I ran in utter isolation, not seeing another living soul, for almost all of the seven miles back to my home.

I know that you are President of the United States, but let me tell you for a couple of hours there, I had my own domain. It was beautiful. Peaceful. Lovely. And I wouldn’t have traded with you for the world.

If you want to join me for a run out there, give me a call. I’ll slow down for you. Ha!


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Karen

    Has anyone in the government considered expanding Medicare to all ages? Since it is already a government sponsored health care program wouldn't it be cost effective to just expand the eligible age?

    January 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm |