The older I get, the less I enjoy cold weather. When the temperature drops, so does my desire to be outside. My husband, Bill, is originally from Michigan, and once upon a time he loved to snow ski. Then he met me.
From time to time he has tried unsuccessfully to convince me that I should learn how to ski. Paying money to slide down the side of a mountain in snow just isn’t my idea of a good time. I would much rather be at the beach where it’s warm and where the only thing that looks like snow is white sand.
I wasn’t always so adverse to the cold. In the neighborhood where I grew up, there was always a mad dash to the top of the biggest hill for sledding after a snow. All the kids on the block would meet there, and we would play until we got so tired and wet we couldn’t stand it, or our mothers called us in, whichever came first.
We had electric heat at our house, but my grandmother’s house was heated by a fireplace and wood stoves. Every time I smell wood burning, I remember how it felt to back up in front of the fire to warm myself. Grandma had a chair right across from the fireplace, and I would wrap up in a blanket and sit there for hours, staring at the flames. When the room was silent you could hear the fire crackling, and if it was snowing outside, I would pull back the sheer white curtain panels on Grandma’s living room windows and watch the flakes float like feathers to the ground.
Heating with wood involves a lot of work: I also remember the effort that went into cutting the wood, hauling it, stacking it, and then carrying it into the house. Someone had to carry the ashes out and the chimneys had to be cleaned.
So while I might reminisce about heating with wood, I think I’ll stick to just turning up the thermostat when I am cold. Thank you to our rural electric cooperative for keeping the Kindreds warm and toasty!