Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Clear The Air

I'm not mad, I just need to know when I can open the windows again. 

I learned to fall asleep with the crickets' music and rain falling on the roof of our front porch. Fresh air would move across our shared room and carry out anything that didn't belong there. Like too much of this stuff:

When I moved to Purdue I slept in the cold air room of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Wind, leaves and snow would each blow in August through May, but the fresh air cleaned out the room that held 80 sleeping gals and kept us healthy. Mostly. 

I pulled this from the AXO Alpha Beta Facebook page 

After going to college I had actually forgotten what it was like to have a super angry Mom. It had, after all, been years (weeks) since Luke left the hydrant running and she'd lost her head. But then I came home on Christmas break - and before bed - opened all four large windows of my bedroom to recreate the fresh air paradise of my youth. And college. 

Boy was Momma mad to learn turning up the thermostat throughout the night did nothing to alleviate the draft that was traveling under my bedroom door.

Now as a wife, I'm a huge promoter of wool socks and electric blankets if that means we can open the windows to air out the house while there is still frost on the ground. Dead flies, damp basement, Muck Boots, wet gloves, dirty dishrags, all things man...each proponents of cooped-up-house-smell, and in turn creating cramped-up-Lindsay-paranoia. 

I'm not concerned with the fact that fully opening the windows in this old house may cause reason for alarm once we return home after being gone. Cody got home on day earlier this month and initially thought our house had been broken into. The flowers once on the kitchen counter were scattered across the linoleum. The screen of the window over the kitchen sink was thrown across the floor. Our mail pile stretched from the kitchen to the dining area. Did someone enter through the window? No. I had opened the window too far, didn't secure the screen and left the house open to a storm. Floor was wet, bills were wet, but the house smelled great. You just can't buy that thunderstorm in my kitchen smell!

We've had three birds in our house because of my need to clear the air. I get so excited about a fresh breeze that I fail to remember that some windows simply don't have screens. I've had to run through the house under an umbrella, resuscitate an old fern and leave the house for hours at a time hoping the problem would just take care of itself, i.e. avian heart attack. 

So you can imagine my distress when temperatures dropped over the last week and I'm left with nothing to do but close the windows. 

False. Nobody puts baby in the corner. And shuts the windows. 

I opened the windows before bed Monday night hoping that if we just fell asleep, the house could breathe a bit and we'd not notice that temperatures were dipping into the 40s. Wrong. I woke to Cody stammering around trying to find the windows without his glasses and saying something about frostbite on his arm. I fell back asleep to a dream that I was an eskimo. Weird. 

The thermostat read 53º went I got in the shower the next morning. But that didn't bother me nearly as much as learning that it was so chilly in the house that I'd bottomed out on the recommended temperature at which you're supposed to keep aerosol hairspray. The liquid gold was stagnant. I can work around frostbite, but no Frizz Ease? Count me out. 

I've used the oven for the first time in weeks just to have the ability to leave the oven door open (once shut off) to heat the kitchen while I do the dishes. Extra warmth. I've also inconveniently forgot to shut it off (twice) to warm the kitchen a little bit longer. It's much easier than turning on the furnace. Yes, Cody pays the electric bill and I buy the fuel oil. Why do you ask? 

We've been living in operation Clear The Air for two months now and I can finally walk into the mudroom and not smell iodine from February. It just lingered. 

My goal is to walk into our house with my eyes shut and not know if I'm home or in a rainforest. I think that if a few more thunderstorms roll through the kitchen and Cody tracks in another 10 pounds of grass clippings from mowing pastures we'll be well on our way. 

Toucans aren't native of Indiana, right?

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