Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Thinking of Heat and Housing on a Chilly October Morning

Our weather forecast for today in Washington, DC:  "Cool with occasional rain and drizzle; feeling more like November."  Well, now I feel better!  I had been feeling wimpy for feeling like it was very chilly.  Now I am feeling a bit more invincible because I went for a walk in shorts yesterday--although in the spirit of full disclosure, that was my morning walk.  By afternoon, I had dug out a pair of leggings to go under the shorts, which I will also wear this morning when I go for a walk.

Over the past several days, I've been glad that I brought back more quilts from the cedar chest, when I was back at my small mountain house in early September.  I thought about the story of how the rock band Three Dog Night got their name--last night was a 3 quilt night.

You might wonder why I don't just turn on the heat.  At Wesley Theological Seminary, we don't have individual control of our heat--it's a central physical plant, and it's either running on AC or heat.  It was scheduled to switch over to heat at some point after October 17.  

Yesterday we got notice that the switch will happen earlier--today!  Hurrah!  It won't be blazing hot, which is fine with me.  We're told that the thermostat is set for 69-72 degrees.  I will be happy with just a little bit of heat to take the chill off the air.  I've been baking more and leaving the oven door open once the baking is done, but that doesn't really work for long.  Leaving the oven on even if I'm not baking anything feels wasteful, so I don't do that.

You might wonder why I don't get a space heater.  Those are strictly forbidden because of the fire risk, and if we're caught with one in our living space, our housing privileges will be revoked.  I've got too good a deal to risk that, and so I add one more layer, drink one more mug of something hot.

I do realize I'm lucky:  I'm lucky that I have shelter, I'm lucky that I will have heat, I'm lucky that I have warm clothes and more quilts for the bed.  I know that it's not nearly as cold as it will be, and I know that many will be unhoused during a winter that's likely to be hard in a nation teetering toward/falling into recession.

Let me not only feel gratitude for my good fortune but to support those trying to create a world where no one shivers in the cold.

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