The interplay of opposites.  Something and nothing.  Observing the dance of black and white without foolishly becoming involved with the game of “White must win”.  

I wore a wool hat to bed last night.  I wore two long sleeve shirts, a wool sweater and a fleece jacket, two pair of pajama pants and a pair of sweat pants over them.  I also had on two pair of socks.  I slept like a baby except, I had my hands in my pockets and I don’t think babies have many pockets in their clothes.  What would be the point?

It was about 10 degrees last night here on the East shoulder of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It almost never gets that cold here.  Once again I am at war and last night was like the Battle of the Bulge.  AEP (Appalachian Electric Power), the coal burning bastards that sell me my electricity are still the largest air polluters America has to offer the world and I’m still hell bent of fucking with them.  I’m still determined to pay them as little as I can get away with.  Not because I don’t have the money, but, because I have the choice and having a choice is such a precious thing to me.

This is the second winter my bride and I have spent, well, cold.  We live in a lovely 85 year old brick Georgian house surrounded with mature english boxwoods with plaster and lath walls and no insulation.  It isn’t that we have no options, or, can’t turn up the thermostat.  With a flick of the finger we could be toasty and warm and sit around in our undies if we choose to.  We could gut the place and rebuild with state of the art insulation, or, blow insulation in the walls and it’s not that we couldn’t easily afford to do any of those options.  We simply choose to not to and as strange as it may sound… we enjoy it.

We set the thermostat on 59 or 60 degrees downstairs and don’t turn the heat on upstairs at all.  It was about 50 in our bedroom last night, perhaps cooler.  We both slept magnificently!  It’s absolutely amazing how well we sleep in the winter and how much more energy we seem to feel during the day as a result.  Instead of escaping the seasonal changes our home planet has to offer we embrace them, feel better for it, expend less energy, pollute less, save a pile of money and enjoy a few months of quiet and freedom from entertaining.   Absolutely nobody is fucking crazy enough to “drop in for a visit” at our house in the winter.   Not twice anyway.  As an extra added benefit, all the weight we gained stuffing ourselves with Christmas cookies, nuts, filet mignon (with Sauce Béarnaise), pie, shrimp cocktail, cake, puddings and all the other delicious things we consumed over the holidays simply melts away on its own.  No trips to the gym.  No diets or cutting back on eating.  The simple act of breathing in and out and having our metabolism warm the air is enough to burn those excess pounds away effortlessly, as we sleep.

We are saving a shitload of money on pet food because they all ran away.

When Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door and see us wearing coats and hats we tell them… “Oh, sorry, we were just going out.”  and they believe us!

We laugh like hell.

We have stopped worrying about guns and politics and what other people think of this or that.  We just cuddle a lot, under piles and piles of afghans, read books in the sunlight and think about spring.   A lot of tickling goes on.

My bride informs me that it has rocketed all the way up to 24.5 degrees outside, so, perhaps I should go outside and see if last nights winds did any damage.  They were pretty strong.







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2 responses to “Contrast

  1. “We are saving a shitload of money on pet food because they all ran away.”
    I laughed pretty hard reading this. Sorry to hear about your house… though any kid (or creative adult that still has a sense of adventure) would be proud to call it their own.

  2. Thanks Brad. We LOVE our house. This will probably be the last arctic winter. We have a fireplace that we are getting “relined” and plan on getting a small wood stove. Spent Christmas in Ithaca NY with our son (teaches at Cornell) and I fed his for the week. The new high-tech wood stoves are a marvel of efficiency. We are getting old and I don’t want the newspaper to read… “They found the cheap bastard frozen solid, in his bed, and next to his wife of 40 some odd years.”…

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