Photo courtesy Flickr
By this time of year, my metabolism has adapted to living without central heat. Any relatively dry and windless day over forty-five feels balmy. I swear, much of feeling cold is simply apprehension about getting colder. Monitor the tip of the nose: if it’s cold, add warmth. With longer days, hope has returned, and I can relax. This year’s wardrobe and strategies have proved adequate, and I’m fairly sure of being able to ride out any storm that comes along.
There are a couple of thermometers in the kitchen, one of them a greenhouse model with maximum and minimum indicators. Associating a certain level of chill with a given number brings comforting reality to the loaded domestic topic of heat. Using interior thermometers was standard practice back in the day: the nursery, in particular, was carefully monitored, as was bath water.
The first researchers settled in Antarctica just when America was learning about saunas, and they put theirs to good use. One day a supply flight landed at McMurdo Sound in a hundred and thirty below sunshine, to be greeted by a reception line of personnel standing at attention wearing only flip-flops. The guys had learned that time in the sauna protected them briefly from hypothermia. No doubt there was no shortage of the traditional snowbank in which to roll.
More after the jump.
I enjoy knowing I’ll be able to put breakfast together in a fifty degree kitchen and get back upstairs to the heated study before my feet get cold. There’s nothing to it, although each November I have to learn again how refreshing it is to use down and cashmere instead of heating oil.