Archive for April 7th, 2014

Every so often I have this delusion that I could have done well living in an earlier age. Medieval times, Victorian era, the early 1920s are my favorite fantasy dates. However, when I start to yearn for being somewhere other than where my feet are, the universe instantly senses it and whips up a loathsome ordeal to snap me out of it. Such was the reality this weekend.

I am certain I want to create a small line of bed jackets and bed socks that are romantic, lacy, beautiful, and would just make a woman feel good to put them on. A pick-me-upper for the blues or a bad day. Little somethings to slip into to signal the day is done, I can relax and rejuvenate. To this end, if I get a moment when I am not chasing down Yarn Rascal to remove something he shouldn’t have from his mouth–the dog has had more x-rays of his intestinal track in his first year of life than I have had in my entire 58 years of life, or saving The Skipper from throwing his computer out the window or chucking his smart phone across the room, or calming down my 82-year-old parents by reminding them that not everything that goes wrong is a red alert disaster, when there is food in the fridge and I don’t need to run to the store and worry what to cook, when the dog is not throwing up because he ate something he shouldn’t have, in those moments of quiet, I relax and imagine life in the Victorian era and 1920s and what women might have thought beautiful to wear. Yes, at some point in the imagining I may experience a slight wistful yearning for the imagined simpler, less chaotic time I am conjuring in my mind. It is at that moment the universe steps in and says, “Really? You think it was that easy? Let me show you how it was.”

And so this weekend’s lesson from the universe was on heating and what it was like in those “simpler times” not to have it. Yes, we had no heat and waited until evening for the burner guy to show. The universe was very busy showing others too what it was like without heat.

Life without central heating is uncomfortable. My first reaction to no heat was 21st century panic. I wrapped myself in the comforter, a quilt, a blanket and my crocheted afghan and went down stairs to call the burner people. Yarn Rascal immediately attached himself to me around my waist where he hung by his teeth from the afghan like a circus dog gone wild. Parting the little darling from it would have meant separating him from his teeth which would mean vet visits and doggie dentures, I sat and called the oil burner company instead. While I held the line and cradled the phone between shoulder and ear I tried to detach Yarn Rascal from the afghan but failed.

When I finally got through and the burner guy said he couldn’t possible get here before 7 pm. I knew my day was going to get more difficult.

As the outside temperatures fell into the low 40s (4.4) Celsius I realized the last thing a woman thought about was a lacy, romantic, little anything. Instead she probably thought of layering on warm clothing like knitted hats, mittens, cowls, and socks. Thus dressed in my knitted finery, I dove under the covers and the crochet afghan and waited for the burner guy in bed. Forget the computer and the smart phone, they don’t provide heat. As for Yarn Rascal, he thrived in the cold continually trying to tear the covers off of me. Somewhere an obedience course has his name on it. The Skipper also ignored the cold. Dressed in turtleneck and hoodie he sat in front of the television watching March Madness. Nothing comes between him and a good game.

At 4 pm I could no long bear the bed nor the cold anymore. My 21st century self always takes a warm shower before stepping out the door and I wanted to get out the door and ride around in my car with the heat on. I toyed with the idea of running buckets of heated water up and down the stairs to fill the tub myself and realized I’d probably have a massive coronary about the 4th time I hauled two 5 gallon buckets up and down 31 steps.

At 5 pm the burner guy arrived. By that time I was hungry, cold, beaten down, and looked and felt like something the cat hocked up. A few plinks of metal tools against metal tools, and the dinosaur roared to life. Seconds later the radiators were making the familiar and soothing clinks and clangs that signaled heat.

Once again, I came face to face with the realization that my 21st century self would not do well in those eras I romanticize. It’s all about being comfortable where my feet are. And right now they are warm.

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