Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cold House, Warm Heart

As strange as this sounds coming from a cold-weather gal, I’m ready for spring. I miss my fair-weather friends stopping in to visit. And when I say fair-weather, I mean it. 
Actually, I miss anyone stopping in to visit...fair-weather friends, feeling-obligated family, neighbors yelling at me about Dixie and a cat-chase, the weird Kirby vacuum guy; I miss anyone willing stay longer than two minutes. For whatever reason, this time of year folks stop by once and don’t return until Memorial Day.

Because of freakishly-high electric bills, I keep my home a comfortable 60 degrees October through April and I don’t see anything too awfully wrong with that. 60 degrees ensures the uncomfortable “just dropping by!” guests won’t stay long and also that my coat closet is always in check. Guests visit and hold on to their coats tighter than a kindergartner who’s mother has yet to Sharpie their name on the tag.

While my place is a beautiful, old, remodeled home, I’m fairly certain they used cotton balls and tin foil to insulate it. More specifically, 17 cotton balls and one roll of tin foil through out the entire house. But because of the previous owner’s conservative ways, I’ve never had an interest in one of those fancy wine chillers. I simply place a bottle of white wine on a shelf attached to an exterior wall and Ta-Daa! It’s a perfect 52 degrees. I’m all about efficiency. 
I woke up one night in December to the most awful noise; it was this strange scraping sound coming from my kitchen. Having watched far too many CSI shows, I first thought someone was outside scraping the ice off my windows so they could get into my house. Wrong. It was pup Dixie trying to break the layer of ice off her doggy dish so she could get a midnight drink. She is so high-maintenance. 
I had a dear college friend come stay with me a few weeks ago. She strolled out of the spare bedroom wearing wool socks, two pairs of sweats, long johns and a hooded sweatshirt pulled so tight she looked like a eskimo....with a Purdue toboggan pulled down, nearly over her eyes. 
“Wow, you’re up early and already bundled up. Going on a run?” I asked. 
“Well, I couldn’t sleep anymore because the bottom half of my body is frozen. What are you trying to do? Re-create the cold-air dorm at the Alpha Chi house? The only thing missing is snow on my forehead and I’m pretty certain had I stayed in that bed 10 minutes longer that would have happened. At about 3:00 am I considered building a heat fort in the living room with blankets and the shoddy space heater out in your garage.  The only reason I didn’t build the fort of my dreams was because I didn’t know what kind of insurance policy you had on this place. I’m drawing a hot bath and going to thaw out before we go antiquing.” I felt really terrible - I didn’t have any clean towels. 
I guess I don't understand the big deal. At some point you learn to "adapt or die" - Dad's advice to us when moving away to college.  Just because I keep my house at a temperature that could have been used to train someone anticipating the arctic chill of landing on the moon, doesn't mean I don't love company; especially company that drops by with warm soup in hand. 

In late February I texted a friend letting them know I was running late; I had to scrape the ice off my vanity mirror so I could put on my make-up. 
Their response: "Jean I don’t even want to hear it. I just had to start my TV with a hair dryer to get the picture tube warmed up."
This frozen, conservative girl had to laugh: Misery does love company. 


  1. You and my husband would get along well. I can see my breath in our house most winter days. Thank goodness for my electric blanket!

  2. Wow, I keep the house about 68 and that about freezes folks out. But growing up in a house with no heat upstairs (where us kids slept) I'm used to a bit of a chill in the air! Here's wishing spring is close!

  3. I keep the house at 65 and I will admit it is cold. and i'm ready for spring too!