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Carol Perkins: I like cold weather

Writer confesses she enjoys cozy luxury in her recliner, with her heater dog fluffy, a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, and a hot cup of coffee, but admits she feels guilty being happy, knowing the hardships cold weather places on others
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Five things on To-Do list for 2014 Posted January 07, 2014.

By Carol Perkins

When people have nothing else to say, they can always talk about the weather. "How you liking this cold weather?" We have certainly been talking lately about the single digit temperatures.

Unlike many of my peers, I like cold weather.

I wouldn't be saying that if I had to work for the city or state highway departments or carry in wood, but I relish the coziness it brings as I wrap up in my blanket with a rip that invariably hangs on the end of the chair. I relax in my recliner with Fluffy sitting above me with his paw on my head, and open another book to add to my list of "shut in" reading. Next to the recliner is a table on which the remote (when Guy doesn't have it) is easily accessible, a fresh cup of coffee is at hand, and a box of my favorite snack, Honey Nut Cheerios, is within reach. To add to the warmth of the room, I turn on the fireplace and listen to the crackle of the "wood" without having to lift a stick.

But guilt accompanies the happiness

After saying this, I do feel guilty for being happy because I know the hardship this weather places on others. For instance, some children are sleeping in poorly insulated rooms where the cold air whistles around cracked windowsills. If they are lucky, they can sleep under mounds of blankets with nothing out from under the covers but their nose. (Haven't we all done this?) Some families run out of wood so they burn sticks from their yard or search through wooded areas for limbs they can break and burn. I worry about those who are cold.

Pets are also of great concern

When temperatures drop as low as they did the first of the week, pets are also of prime concern. I can remember at my grandmother's "old" two-story farmhouse, the dogs went under the house to keep warm by the heat of the wood stove above them. At home we made sure our dog had plenty of water, a shelter, and old blankets in his doghouse only to look out the bathroom window and see his eyes looking at me through the fence.

Grandfather would be up in night, poking wood, adding stick to flames

Speaking of the warmth of a wood stove, my grandfather rose periodically during the night to throw another stick or two in the stove and poke the wood around to keep it going. When I spent the night at their home and slept on the little bed next to the stove, the ambers and sparks from the glow of that fire made me feel snug and secure in the worst weather.

My grandfather kept enough wood stacked behind the stove for the night, and during the day someone always seemed to be splitting wood to keep the stoves in the house or my grandmother's cook stove roaring. Even when they moved to their new home with electric heat, they kept a wood stove burning in the kitchen/dining area.

Elderly often suffer in cold weather

The elderly often suffer greatly from the cold because they usually don't have enough "meat" on the bones to keep warm. They also are prone (some of them) to do things they know is not necessary and potentially dangerous such as trekking to the mailbox at the end of the driveway. "But I can't let the mail pile up." Nothing is worth the risk of falling and lying in the cold without an alert necklace-not even the mail, but confiding the elderly is not easy. Thank goodness my mother does not venture outside in this kind of weather.

When there's nothing else to say, we can always talk about the weather

My warm, fuzzy, cozy fireplace existence will end soon, just as quickly as the cold will end. We will look back on January of 2014 and tell our children and grandchildren just how cold it was. After all, when we run out of anything else to say, we can talk about the weather. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2014-01-12 05:34:27
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