This is my favorite time of year. Crisp days. Beautiful colors on the trees, and the smell of pumpkin spice everywhere I go. I love just about everything about it, except I’m conflicted about how to heat my house.
I blame my parents. You see, I grew up in a house with a thermostat lockdown. Us kids could get away with a lot of things, but if we dared to adjust the thermostat past 69 degrees all hell would break loose.
The only thing worse than an unauthorized thermostat adjustment was to leave an outside door open for more than 1.4 seconds. My father had some kind of cold-seeking radar that would go off. I often heard, “Are we heating the whole neighborhood?”
I’ve been able to abandon most of the overly frugal things from my childhood. I eat a full stick of gum. I don’t use margarine containers to store leftovers. There are no collectible cups from ball games or convenience stores in my cabinets. That’s right, I use actual glasses to drink water. But for some reason, it’s still difficult for me to set the temperature in my house over 70 degrees.
So what your family’s heating strategy? Seems like there are four main categories.
The one grew up with was the thermo-lockdown family.
Second is the mummy family. These folks keep the heat even lower than we did, but compensate by wrapping themselves in many layers.
Sweaters, gloves, and blankets are strewn around every room. You’d think that King Tut is going to be sitting in the barcalounger.
Third is the pyro family. I’ve met a lot of these families in the Pacific Northwest. Large areas of your brain are consumed with obsessing about burning wood. You are either finding wood, chopping wood, drying wood, stacking wood, or carrying wood into your house. Then it becomes the entire family’s job to make sure that fire never goes out! It’s like having your own private Eternal Flame JFK Memorial in your living room.
And finally, there’s the family that’s made of money. At least, that’s what my folks would say any time we entered a properly heated home. “These people must be made of money.” It was equal parts amazement and judgement.
Did I miss anyone? Like space heater guy or electric blanket lady?
Let me know in the comments below.
You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.
Find more “What are we talking about here?“