Growing up in Scotland in the 50s and 60s, we lived in a small house and at that time there wasn’t such a thing as central heating. Basically you might have a coal stove in the kitchen and a fire burning in the living room. That was it. So I remember us all sitting close to the fire to get warm, but as soon as you left the room, you were cold.
Well, those memories came flooding back this weekend when our furnace broke down on one of the coldest winter weekends yet. We resorted back to “olden times” and lit the fire in our den, and a couple of wood stoves. I was surprised one of the wood stoves didn’t set off the smoke alarms as it belched out smoke and left the room all foggy. We had to open the back door to get rid of it all, thus letting all the cold air in. Somewhat of a self-defeating battle, so we let that one burn out.
Between the wood stove and the fire, we managed to generate some warmth, but like when I was growing up, only really in those rooms. By Sunday we were actually getting more used to the cold, and our layers of clothing had increased. To work in the kitchen, for example, I had to don a coat and was preparing meals very quickly, but as one friend kindly suggested, fortified drinks over dinner helped.
We are now into day 3, and you know what, I am beginning to get used to it. I have started to toughen up. You just dress accordingly, and frankly, I don’t care too much if I am making a strange fashion statement. Who knows, this layered mismatch of clothing could be the start of a new trend.
With warmth mainly in the den, we have practically been living in there, having our meals, working on our laptops… no wonder it’s sometimes called a family room – likely the family always gathered around in the room with the fire.
So this escapade has taught me a few lessons on yesteryear, but we’re done now. Got it. The furnace guy is most welcome to come any time now and return our home into modern day warmth. While we managed to reach a balmy 60 yesterday, I still like the house to be a tad warmer.
Makes you realize how tough and hardy they must have been in days gone by.