I Don’t Walk Below 20

That’s not an unreasonable rule, right? But I’m going to be sad about it all day. I need to remember that we did not walk this morning and go out and walk at lunch.

The poor heater has just been working nonstop all night, but I will give it up for the heater, it stayed nice in here. And none of our pipes froze. We have a really “interesting” set-up and by “interesting” I mean, “plumbers hate us and we’re probably drinking from terrible pipes” but we have a very, very shallow crawlspace and almost all of our pipes (except the new ones in the kitchen) plunge immediately under ground. It’s pretty ingenious, because, though our ground freezes, it almost never freezes very deep. So, putting the pipes under ground insulates them in weather like this.

Or so that’s the theory. And so that’s what two plumbers and my brother have told me. I sure as hell have not been down there looking.

All this is to say that I grew up in the Midwest, so I feel like I know cold. But I think folks here have a lot harder time with it than we did up north. And it’s not just the lack of infrastructure to deal with it, though that’s a major thing. I’ve been thinking just about how many people I know whose heaters have gone out this week and, really, upper teens/lower 20s is cold at night, but it’s not heater busting weather.

BUT I was thinking about that meeting the bloggers had years ago with Jim Cooper and he was talking about how, when the TVA came through, they were basically like “electricity will be practically free–forever!!!” and so not only are homes the age of my home poorly insulated but people who owned homes older than mine didn’t reinsulate when better products came along if they had electric heat (or switched to electric heat) because they believed in (practically) free electricity for ever.

I guess they didn’t figure on the cost of replacing heaters that ran constantly.

All this is to say that infrastructure, even the infrastructure of our houses, will get you in the end.

I have all my Christmas gifts picked out. I’m dithering over my mom’s. She needs a good crochet guidebook, but her eyesight is really, really bad. So, is getting her a book a help or not? I don’t know. And I am eternally grateful to the Bluegrass community for putting out many fine Christmas albums for me to choose from for my dad. I picked one with a lot of Ralph Stanley and Stanley Brothers on it. The thing I like about the Stanley brothers or just Ralph by himself is that they/he conduct a song like a.) it’s going to be fun; b.) it’s going to be meaningful; or c.) someone’s getting hit upside the head with an upright bass and he might not come back from that; or some combination therein. And that, frankly, is how I like my Christmas music.

You have your coping mechanisms.

I have mine.