On ongoing debate at our house during the winter . .
Vince: Can we sleep with the heater on tonight?
Me: NO! You know I can’t sleep with the heater on!
Vince: Normal people sleep with the heat on when it’s 12 degrees outside.
Me: We’re not normal!
Last night at dinner, we were talking and I was telling him about life at my grandma’s house. It was a very old farm house. Rattly windows, up off the ground with an old wood floor that had some pine knots that had fallen out so there were a few holes in the floor; no central heat or air and for a very long time, no indoor plumbing. When you walked through the front door, you were in the living room, to each side was a small bedroom. Walk straight through the living room into a dining room. To the left of the dining room was a tiny kitchen, where my grandma cooked the most amazing meals. To the right of the dining room was a third very small bedroom which was made into a bathroom when they added plumbing.
The stove was old, though it was electric, and it heated the kitchen/dining room when my grandma used it. There was a little gas space heater in the living room and a fireplace in the bedroom to the right of the living room.
The bedroom to the left of the living room and the bedroom to the right of the dining room — no heat! It didn’t really matter because they didn’t use the gas heater at night. They would build a nice fire in the fireplace and keep that bedroom door closed. There was a sofa in there and a couple of chairs so during winter, that became the family room/bedroom.
My sister and I would sleep in one of the bedrooms without heat; there were a ton of quilts on the bed. We’d crawl under the quilts, get our spot warm and not move the entire night! My parents would sleep in the other unheated bedroom and my grandparents slept in the “fireplace room”. The fire would pretty much go out by the time we all went to bed but there were still coals left but they’d open their bedroom door so I’m sure it got cold in there quickly. Of course, this was all before the days of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
My grandparents got up very early, would build a nice fire, then come get my sister and me, carry us into their room, put us in their bed and let us finish sleeping in the room warmed by the fireplace.
My parents lived in southwest Louisiana where it rarely got terribly cold but they didn’t use the heat at night either. The dryer . . I can’t remember if it didn’t vent outside but we could stand in front of the dryer and feel warm air so my sister and I would run to the dryer, turn it one (whether there were clothes in it or not), stand there in front of it and get dressed.
As I was telling Vince that story yesterday, I said “Hey! Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep with the heat on! I grew up sleeping in a freezing cold room during the winter.” Vince said “Maybe . . but can we sleep with the heat on tonight because it’s going to be 12 degrees?”
Seriously, he knows he can turn the heat on any time he wants. I’m not that mean . . but he also knows that every time the heater kicks on, it wakes me up and when I wake up, I usually remember something I forgot to tell him during the day . . which means: If I’m awake, he’s awake.
When the outside temps drop down to the 12 degree range, we do sleep with the heat on but as low as it will go – I think 55 is about as low as we can set the thermostat. That’s enough to keep the pips from freezing if we leave the cabinet doors open in the one bathroom that has pipes on an outside wall. We also left a light on in the well house. That will put out some heat and keep the pump from freezing . . we hope! 🙂
I guess the takeaway from this story is this: You may have to go way back into someone’s history before marrying them because you never know what may have caused some really weird actions.