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Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't Look Now, But It's Getting Cold

The temperature is dropping; and the number of articles of clothing I am now wearing on a regular basis render me invincible in a strip poker game, barring some funky, underhanded dealing.

Think of the opportunities.

People, I swear I am this close to turning on the furnace.

It’s a bit of sport we Minnesotans play, this “have you turned on your furnace yet” game. Derived from the pioneer pastime of “Hoozat wit de Hot Brick” (Scandinavian, I believe), the object is to fool yourself into believing that the cold is something you can control, maybe even avoid altogether.

Despite so many indications to the contrary, you can take my word for it: the pioneers were a silly people.

And so in an effort to regain the feeling in my fingertips, I’ve done what many cold-climate people have done before me.

I have taken a really hot bath. Ladies and gentlemen, my toes are pink, my fingers are nimble, and the end of my nose is dang-near room temperature.

I’m livin’ like rich people.

Of course, bathing, no matter how enjoyable, doesn’t replace the ever-increasing need to turn on the furnace; and once you’ve flipped that switch, well, you’ve opened a door to all manner of winter-related to-dos. The ice scraper hasn’t been seen since March; my six-year-old winter coat, a down-filled sleeping-bag of a coat with room for you and your closest friends, has mysteriously burst in a cloud of feathered exhaustion; and the words “Christmas list” have just popped, unbidden, into my mind.

Christmas list?

If you need me, I’ll be in the bathtub.

47 comments:

sage said...

Let's here it for underhanded dealing... It was below freezing here this morning and yes, the furnace is one.

SherilinR said...

i caved and turned on the heat today. and i live in the america south, so i guess that makes me a wuss.
i need a winter coat. or maybe i'll just head up there and join you in yours when you get one to replace the exploded one.

joeh said...

Not astough in NJ, the house hit 59 last night and we gave in to the furnace.

Shelly said...

You hardy folks of the north. It dropped into the high 80's last week and I turned on the seat warmer in my car AND got my boots on, too.

I'm taking a little break from blogging, but I'll be coming back to commenting before too long. Stay warm, my friend!

ellen abbott said...

I dread the end of September. it's all holidays all the time from here on til the 1st week of January.

BamaTrav said...

Shall I bring the champaign?

Leenie said...

Have you considered that heating water may be even more expensive and not as long lasting as, perhaps heating a small area in your living quarters? BUT WAIT. It's all about denial. Okay, I'm with you. I'll turn my furnace off and put my flip-flops back on.

Pearl said...

sage, it happens every year, yet it always surprises me...

sherilin, there is always room in my coat for you. :-)

joeh, I woke up several times last night because I was cold. What kinda crap is that?!!

Shelly, glad you've let me know. I'll miss your stories but trust you'll be back. Just remember: you have a friend up north who now knows the location of every single pair of socks she owns. Just a month ago, I didn't have to know this...

ellen, I hear ya. Somehow, it seems more pressure than pleasure sometimes...

Bama, champagne and a bubble bath! Now THAT's how you bring in winter!

Pearl said...

Leenie, :-) Tonight, I'm baking a squash. With only roughly 550 sq ft to heat, the oven oughta do 'er.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I know that game! I always feel like such a loser. I turned the furnace on in mid-September this year.

We will not speak of Christmas lists.

Scarlet Blue said...

I started burning logs on the log burner 3 weeks ago... but the central heating is still on stand by.
As for the winter coat... mine is ten years old and this year I might treat myself.
Sx

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Yep...we've turned off the water to the outside, the heat is on...ick!! The winter coats and boots, hats and scarves have been located, all gloves have intact fingers, the shovels are primed and ready...nuts. I'm sure there will be the odd day yet where we can turn the furnace off..I hope. Christmas list?????? Nooooooooooooooo

terlee said...

I passed a sign board yesterday while driving through town that said "11 Weeks Until Christmas!!"
I nearly wrecked the car in shock and disbelief.

Pearl said...

Wait -- 11 weeks until Christmas?!

Ach du lieber.

Joanne Noragon said...

There are three degrees of cold in my house. My granddaughters--still in T-shirts and occasional shorts. My sister--Occasionally dons a long sleeve cotton shirt to go out. Me--four layers and the goose down comforter last night. Oh, an wool socks.

vanilla said...

Such silliness. What are furnaces for? Warm up already.

bill lisleman said...

That warm relaxing bath is great until you need to step out and touch the ice cold floor.
Still holding off on the furnace here.

Douglas said...

You made me muse about those hardy emigres of 15,000 years ago as they walked (cars and freeways being unknown at the time) across the iced over "land bridge" from Asia to the place we now call "Alaska." Some of them thought the barren tundra, miserably cold weather, and abundant polar bears made it an ideal place to live. So they stayed. Right there. Without a furnace. Me? I'd have headed south... in a hurry.

esbboston said...

Instead of a bath, I shower, and to overcome the frigid air I let the shower run longer, just not on me, while I drip dry. Yes, I too play the wait til Novembrrrr to turn on the heater game. My wife does not like this game. Cooper doesn't mind, so it is a 2-1 vote. He is comfortably snuggled up at my feet. He doesn't sound like he is snoring just yet, give him time.

wellfedfred said...

You can tell we've been having a few cold nights and chilly mornings out at Flintstone Manor, sweaters and woolly socks have appeared everywhere, stashed behind sofa pillows, hanging on doorknobs, draped on dining room chairs. I hate breathing in heated air, and when I need a sweater, I need it instantly. In the city, The Building has not put the heat on, consequently the A/C is still on. Those are the choices. Thus the apartment is also seasonally decorated with sweaters and cleverly folded "wraps." Pumpkins, leaves & turkeys are for the unimaginative.

Jacquelineand.... said...

The only good things about winter are hot chocolate, hotter baths, and snuggling up for body heat.

Call me a sadist but I just LOVE to get chilled and then slip in bed beside 3M. The screams are so endearing; it's like falling asleep to a lullaby...

Ian Lidster said...

&*%$# winter. I hate it. Even if ours aren't as chilly as yours it has still come as a shock since we returned from Hawaii. But, our days are still beautiful and around 70 by your way of measuring temps. Have a nice bath and get all pink and stuff.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Imagine my day ... it is the end of winter here. I am packing up most of the heavy winter clothes and getting out summer things. This is a big job any time but now it is compounded by the need to keep winter clothes on standby for packing when we sell and move back to the US.
For someone with anal tendencies regarding neat etc... it has been one hell of a day so far.
The husband volunteered to cook dinner.. he could see a meltdown coming.
Hot Chocolate, Hot Tea, sleep with cats under the covers, putting clothes over the heat sources in order to be able to put them on ... all ahead of you and behind me.
love you. hate winter.

Ms Sparrow said...

When I lived in apartment buildings, the official turn-on date for the building's heat was October 1st. Since having my own home, I have taken great pride in stretching the date to which I succumb to the cold as late in October as possible. Of course, there is the added incentive that I now have to pay for the heat!

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Hey, I just noticed you using the C-word. Stop that. It's not after my birthday yet, and we all know you can't say Chr*stm*s 'til after my birthday. And enough of that smutty Germanic lingo, too! For shame! Roth x

Stephen Hayes said...

Your chilling post makes me want a hot bath. And it isn't really that cold here.

Elsie said...

*sigh* I'm not far behind you, Pearl. We went from sitting on the beach Saturday to hiding under the covers this morning. I tried to deny the fact fall is really here and winter will here soon after but I can deny it no longer.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I love a hot bath on a cold day, and today is a cold day after last week when it is stinking bloody hot so bloody hot we had the air con going and today it's so bloody cold we could have the heater on talk about bloody annoying weather........oh and it's raining here too........

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I turned on my fireplace yesterday and today. Thank the Lord for gas and the instant gratification you can get. Like you, I m hoping to keep my hands off the thermostat for as long as possible.

It's not really cold, it's just damp, very, very damp.

Gigi said...

I am flippin' freezing here in the south! The high today was 49! What kind of fresh hell is this?! That's November weather around here. I turned the heat on (just a bit) to take the chill out of the air - but you can bet that when Hubby figures out that I have he'll be turning it off....the jerk. He wants me to die of hypothermia in my own home, I swear.

Now that I've got that out of my system, I'm off for a long, hot bath.

Juli said...

I always try to get to my birthday (the 19) before turning it on. Especially right now since everyone is sick. And once the germs are in the furnace we're all doomed.

Eva Gallant said...

We broke down and turned the furnace on yesterday....however, I refuse to think about Christmas yet!

Lin said...

After spending the day downtown shopping, we came home with a chill. I can't get warm for the life of me. I just said minutes ago "I'm gonna take a hot bubble bath tonight"---good to know that there are those out there thinking like me. Ahhhhh.......

Kana said...

I am with you, northern sister! I've been watching the snowline sashay down the facing slopes like the icy bitch it is - yay unseasonally late rainfall for melting/putting it in its place for a day or two - and needless to say, the heat, she is on. Now that I have anthropomorphized and feminized some prosesses for you, help me look for my snow shovel - you know, before it's too cold to touch the things in the garage anymore...

Kana said...

I also cannot believe I just spelled processes with all "S"s. Blaming it on Monday, okay?

Now, would there be a possessive apostrophe on that - S's? I've taken it too far...

Bodacious Boomer said...

I haven't turned on the heat here since the hot flashes hit 10 years ago. Of course living in Houston it's not quite as big a deal as in Minnesota.

The hubs has just learned to bundle up when the temps drop.

jenny_o said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HermanTurnip said...

A funny thing happened this morning. I stepped outside and this strange liquid-y substance was falling from the sky. I ran inside, certain that the world was coming to an end, turned on the news, and heard the weatherman call this stuff "drizzle".

Earthquakes in San Diego I can understand, but water falling from the heavens? Bizarre...

jenny_o said...

I don't like winter, although it's better than summer, in my opinion. Only slightly better, though :)

And stifle that Christmas thought, eh? That just adds insult to injury!

The Elephant's Child said...

I do like winter. It leaves summer for dead in the desirable seasons stakes.
It is warming up fast here. We are playing a game - I turn the heating off, he turns it on. I turn it off again.
I get up some hours before him and just love it without the heater.

Rose L said...

NOOOOOOOOO!! Not Christmas lists!!! Thank goodness I cannot afford Christmas.

Tempo said...

Ive got an ice scraper...it's only job is to help get the ice out of my freezer.
It's getting hotter here in OZ,with temps sliding ever upward until it gets to 'unbearable'. Ive been in shorts for a month now and although I'm still regretting it from time to time it wont be long and I'd prefer to be going without them altogether. (I wont though, the judge said I wasn't to do that any more)

River said...

Down under I've put away the big old ski jacket that I wear from Easter to September 30 and now wear a lighter jacket to work or sometimes no jacket at all. The heater and electric blanket are no longer used and I've even walked around the house and yard with bare feet a couple of times. And it isn't even summer yet!

Sausage said...

Arma"Freaking"Gedon!

Linda O'Connell said...

I know from which you speak. I am always in contention with myself not to turn on the furnace until Nov 1st. Hot baths, two robes, socks. yeah i look like a freak when a politician knocks on the door, but my heat's not on yet.

Annmarie Pipa said...

still didn't cave. my kids are wearing coats inside the house.

Diane said...

Pfff. Furnace wusses. My furnace has been on since the end of August! Having said that, it is time to tell you that I just got back from 90 degree heat in Mexico. I think I left part of me there. The happy, heated part. sigh.