"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Electric Blankets, Furnaces and Other Warm Thoughts

Our furnace has made me so glad that we live in California. The wires got chewed by rodents and suddenly everything flickered and then cooled down to a rather brisk temperature. At first we thought maybe the kids were messing with the thermostat but we quickly realized that it was something bigger than that and our heat was caput. Its usually pretty warm here and the cool temp in the winter is usually kind of 60ish but its been in the 30's at night and the 50's during the day this week. This morning when I got up to make breakfast I could see my breath in the kitchen. I was laughing over the fact that I live in California and I was turning on the oven and standing there rubbing my hands over the opened door before I started breakfast. It feels so cold when your body has become used to 60-70 degrees all of the time.
 It does feel rather seasonal though! I have to say that I grew up pretty prepared for this. It makes me think of wood fires and power outages, stacking logs by the cookstove and getting into bed with our coats on when we came home from a trip away during the winter. There's something good about learning to be a little bit tough. Coffee and tea are amazing when its a frosty 40 something in your kitchen. Also, snuggling with your man never felt more alluring.
 A bought me a heating pad for Christmas, though I am embarrassed to admit that this California girl wanted one in the very worst way. It has been the most delicious treat to slip it into my spot under the quilt and turn it on as I do that last pick-ups around the house and brush my teeth. By the time I get into bed, its made my side of the bed into a glowing little oasis. I am now contemplating an electric blanket.
 My grandma had electric blankets, I think she really was the only person I knew who had them. I sometimes could use one when I slept overnight at her house. She would let me have one but I couldn't sleep with it on all night. We would go to sleep in side by side twin beds, the wind off of Lake Michigan making the gentle whoosing sound that it always does. I would lie under that electric blanket and we would make gentle conversation together before sleep: "What do you think we should do tomorrow?" or "What shall we have for breakfast?" It was always a little bit of a guessing game with Grandma, trying to think of something that would be special and make her feel inspired but nothing too demanding or rich feeling which she would never have been okay with. My grandma was a slightly imposing woman who wanted to be seen and elegant and illustrious but practical and frugal at the same time. I would float my ideas her way in the quiet room, both of us tucked in up to our chins, while the waves outside shushed rhythmically. She would mostly listen to me and then say. "Aha!" in response like she often did when I told her my plans or my thoughts. And then pretty soon she'd tell me that it was time to turn out the light and she'd remind me to turn off my electric blanket with a click, we'd goodnight each other and then I was lying there in the dark, wiggling my toes under the fading warmth and listening to the waves rock me to sleep.


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