Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Men aren’t from Mars – they are from Antarctica

original run date November 1, 2011
Chariton Valley News Press

I love fall!
I always have; the mild days and the cool nights. The vivid fall colors. It is always the perfect weather for horseback riding, hunting, and Country Gold Saturday night around the fire pit on the front porch. Fall always means I have the windows wide open even though I live on a gravel road and the dust pours in the windows. I figure the dust will easily wipe off the furniture and sweep off the floor.
The cobwebs next to the ceiling get a really good coating which means they are easier to see and get with a swipe of the broom. My sign above the TV says it all: Don’t mind the dust, it’s part of my country look!
Unfortunately, late fall means really cool evenings and the need to turn the furnace on in order to take the chill out of the air. I mean, who likes to take a shower in the morning when it is 40 degrees in the house? Nobody hates to have to close the windows and turn the furnace on any more than I do but at some point it has to be done. Frost bitten fingers would make it very difficult to type and my job sort of depends on my ability to type.
This drop in temperatures also means the war starts at our house. Mr. Han of Karate Kid fame could use videos from our house as teaching tools. Windows open, windows closed, fan on, fan off, windows open, windows closed – you get the point.
In the heat of summer, I love having a fan going to spread the cool air around. But, in late fall and the dead of winter the fans need to be hidden in the darkest corners of the basement. Ceiling fans should be cleaned since they should not be moving – yes, I leave ceiling fans on as long as possible so you can’t see all the dust on the blades. Around our house, fans cause more fights than money, kids or any other marital discord.
My dear, sweet, loving husband becomes a monster when you mess with any of the fans in the house, especially the minimum of two running in the bedroom at all times or the ceiling fan in the living room he sits almost directly under. It’s craziness.
I’ll be the first to admit that I just tell the kids to wear layers of clothes in the winter so the thermostat can stay at 68 but let’s get real. There is really no need for all those fans sucking the electricity through the meter year round. The point of a furnace is to produce warm air so I don’t have to wear two pairs of sweats, a long sleeve shirt, hoodie, and hunting socks to watch the latest episode of NCIS.
As the days get colder, the war gets worse. I turn the fans off and the thermostat to 68. Since I’m the minority in the house these days, it becomes a full time job making trips past the thermostat every time I see one of the two guys I live with walk past it. I can’t seem to convince either one of them that turning the fans off would help them stay warm and then the thermostat war could cease and our gas bill would surely lower.
As the temperature drops, my means of staying warm gets more creative.  By the middle of January, I’ve resorted to wearing Larry’s clothes over mine as an added layer. I drive home from work slower, not because of road conditions, but because I can control the thermostat in the car and soak up some extra heat for the evening at home.  
I will even resort to actually cooking full meals in the oven just for the blast of warmth the envelopes my body when I open the oven door to check dinner. Anybody that knows me well knows I really don’t like to cook so this is a major expenditure of time and energy for me – all in my ongoing effort to stay warm and avoid the continuous drone of the fans.
I will stay up well past a reasonable hour waiting on my other half to settle in and fall in a deep sleep so I can turn the fans off at night. Of course, this also means I have to find a way to muffle the snoring but some sacrifices are worth making. He always wakes up and turns the blasted things back on before morning though. Added covers, heat pads, and heavy socks are all brought to battle during the dead of winter.
When spring rolls around, the windows once again need their very own electric opener. We go back to the open/close war until temperatures moderate and we can agree to leave them open. It’s no wonder all the windows in my house are worn out!
It really should be easier to moderate the temperature in the house this time of year - if only Mother Nature were the only demon I had to deal with. As it stands, I’m fighting three forces at once: Mother Nature, husband and son. I keep thinking that as dear hubby gets older, his blood will flow slower and he will need the fans less and less. Jake will be moving off to college in a few years so I’ll be down to two forces to contend with.
Until then, the yearly battle will continue. Maybe hubby dearest’s Christmas gift should be a ticket to Antarctica for a week so we can both enjoy the optimum temperature for a few days.

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