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The Eclectic Pen - I've Been Warmer in an Outdoor Stadium

By: Shirley C.   + 4 more  
Date Submitted: 4/18/2007
Last Updated: 4/18/2007
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » Family & Childhood
Words: 474

  At a recent gathering of senior neighbors a consensus showed that adults under fifty five and children do not require heating temperatures in their homes above 65 degrees in the winter. According to those contributing to the discussion, cost is the factor. I think it’s a plan to make sure you limit your visit.

You’ve been invited to spend a few days at one of your offspring’s and the wind chill factor is ten below. Having made winter trips there before, you know there is no way you are going to get naked in their 65 degree house. You’ve learned to close the bathroom door and run the shower for ten minutes just to get the chill off your bones. You pack. Essentials are: Three layers of long sleeves, wool socks and fleece lined pants for eating, chatting, watching TV (requires a thermal blanket), playing games and sleeping (requires two thermal blankets as the heat goes down to 60 for the night). You consider the probability of not showering or changing your underwear for at least two days. You arrive, the inside wind chill factor is eleven, and the host and hostess are hanging around in shorts and tee shirts not to mention the grandkids who are also not wearing anything on their feet. You go to your assigned room and put on everything that you brought.

“Cold Mom?” after a visible shiver by you.
“Are you in financial trouble? Did you pay your heating bill?”
“We’re very comfortable” said with a look of what is she talking about?

Next afternoon, blue lips, teeth chattering, you offer to go pick up whatever might be needed at the store so you can sit in the car on the heated seats with the blower going for thirty minutes. You think about the possibility of renting a room in a local motel for a half hour to clean up as now you are into day two with the no shower, same underwear. Hell! What could a half hour cost? The household is so busy with comings and goings, they wouldn’t miss you for that short time. Glitch. Number two grandchild wants to go to the store with you. Thanks to the car heat, the feeling is starting to come back in your fingers and toes. You buy a chicken to roast so you can stand by the stove.

Well, maybe you can make it through one more night. But you’ll have to go home tomorrow. Even though there’s no chance you’ll break into a sweat, a greasy body feeling pervades and has you wondering if your layers of clothes will mask odor for more than another twenty-four hours.

You hope you don’t run into anyone in the elevator when you get here.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Shirley C.

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Comments 1 to 3 of 3
Brenda W. - 4/19/2007 12:28 AM ET
enjoyed,been there almost
IONE L. (zaneygraylady) - 4/20/2007 3:54 PM ET
funny and true
katzpawz - 4/20/2007 7:51 PM ET
In the dead of winter, my room mate turns the thermostat down to 55! Can't make her understand about "chilling the bones of the house."
Comments 1 to 3 of 3