Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I’m at Eldest Daughter’s for a couple of weeks minding the house and the dogs. I don’t have to get up until seven but here I am at five in the morning, wide awake and sweltering from the heat, while I think about my last post and the preservation of complexion and body that can only happen in the cold.

You see, ED, has a pre-programmed thermostat. To me, it’s just another gadget and did I tell you how I hate gadgets? This one I really hate. It is ruling my life since I’ve been here and daily I have been rooting around for the manual to reset it, but I still haven’t found it.

Meanwhile, it is set a 62 at night, which is good, but at the crack of dawn it zips up to 75. I guess the idea is one can leap out of bed, jump into a cool shower, and get dressed with nary a shiver. But part of the problem is since I have been here, there has been a time change due to Daylight Savings Time. So at five in the morning, rather than six, the furnace kicks in and roars away until the house is a balmy 75 degrees.

So with the house being too warm to sleep, I get up and roam around in my thinnest nightgown fanning my arms up and down to create a cooling breeze. Hot coffee doesn’t appeal to me in the least in this clime. I wake up looking for a tall frosted glass of Kool-Aid with plenty of ice.
And as I sit here at the kitchen table flopping my arms like a foolish bird, with pursed lips blowing cool air into my cleavage, and with nightgown hitched up to my thighs to catch a bit of air, a bothersome fly (who was bedded down for the winter, minding his own business, hidden in some window crevice, peacefully comatose) is now warm enough to multi-task all those things that flies do in the heat of the summer. Swim in my coffee, stomp on my face, buzz annoyingly in my ear, while swooping and diving and doing a simulated strife-bombing exercise over my toast and jam.

And so while I sit here, in the heat, I can’t help but think about nature’s intent for mankind’s climatic settings prior to furnaces, insulated homes, and thermostat-controlling gadgets. And instinctively I know this just isn’t right. Even if I lived in the Sahara or Gobi Desert, I know the temp would not be up to 75 at five o’clock in the morning.

Right now, how I long for that morning chill that I have complained about since I was little. That blast of cold air that regularly greets me when I throw back the blankets. That snaps mind and body out of the fog as quick as one reacts to a well-placed snap of a sturdy elastic band on the derriere. The cold-shock compels me to start each day with a brave constitution and a blistering speed of movement that causes blood to circulate at a maddening pace so that I can get washed and dressed before I succumb to the cold. A chill that invigorates the mind and body.

In this blistering heat, I’m not sure my mind will ever clear. I move with the sluggishness of a sloth. I never thought I’d ever say it – not after waking so many mornings in my childhood with my blankets frozen solidly to the wall – but I miss the shock of waking up cold. Anyone have any suggestions where ED might have stashed the manual for the thermostat gadget?

Yes, life is a bitch beach. At least that what it feels like here at five in the morning. But relief is coming. At nine o’clock that gadget will think this house is empty and the temp will plunge and bottom out at 60 for the rest of the day – but I’m still here – drinking hot coffee, searching for the manual, and cursing the cold.


Anonymous Clarence said...

There's no sense in you putting up with that situation. I also have one of those thermostats and I programmed it when it was new and haven't used it since. Mine is a Honeywell brand but I'm pretty sure most of them are generic when it comes to getting around the program. Mine has a flip-down cover. Open it and look on the left side for a button that says HOLD TEMP. Push that! It cancels out the pre-set stuff and you can use the WARMER COOLER buttons to adjust the temp to the one that you are most comfortable in all day and night too if you choose. Try it! It could work.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Hope you got the thermostat sorted out, Roberta. This reminds me of when I moved into a very overheated university residence, after spending my life up to that point in a very chilly house. I went around feeling ill and in a brain fog for ages until I acclimatized somewhat. I still can't stand being hot, which is anything above a room temperature of about 68. I live with two cold-blooded creatures, so it's a constant thermostat war in the winter months. Now I just have to figure out what to do about the nighttime overheating. It's getting close to separate bedrooms stage as I can't sleep if I'm hot and he claims that he can't sleep if he's cool. Rubbish, I say! ;)

11:52 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Clarence, I found the button to adjust the temp -- kind of defeats the purpose but at least I'm now more comfortable.

Eleanor, I am enduring the same thing. When I was young and "cool", I married a man who was "hot" and that was good. But with the passage of time I am no longer "cool" and Hub's no longer "hot" but instead of his body cooling down, his body temp has risen to a boiling inferno at night. Yet he complains non-stop the bedroom is too cold. As for me, I pack the blankets in between us, don't need them anyway, to insolate myself from his body heat.

8:36 PM  

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