2014-02-05 / Loose Ends

Sleeveless nights (and days)

Susan Nienow

I knew there was a reason I don’t especially care for February. This year it started in January. It’s filled with cold, dark short days when I would rather be eating chocolates than feeling guilty about not painting the bedroom.

February is the longest month of the year because it is cold, and the days are still short. I never wanted to take a cruise or spend five days in the Bahamas, though. I would want to be gone until the end of March – not just for a week. A few days in the tropics and coming back would be too traumatic.

The coldest week this winter was commandeered by Murphy who arranged for our new heating system to decide it didn’t like us. It worked – just intermittently. One morning the bathroom was 51 degrees when I first went in there. My other half likes gadgets so we can tell the indoor and outdoor temperature in most rooms.

Fifty-one is really on the chilly side of cold when the task after brushing my teeth is taking a shower. The good news is that we had hot water – and some heat or it would have been much colder than 51. And because of the inadequate heating system we had before, we had two space heaters and another larger heater.

So we spent the week moving them from rooms we were leaving to the rooms we were going to. We even laughed as we met in the hallway carrying our heaters. Apparently Tab A wasn’t put in Slot A and that meant new or different parts which had to be retrieved from Outer Mongolia where it’s even colder than here.

I did feel sorrier for the guys who were crawling under the house in the cold than I did for us because we had our heaters. I didn’t see any of them carrying one.

In the heat of the summer I always think I will feel more like painting, cleaning, sorting in the cold months. I’m not sure why. In February the only thing I know I will feel more like doing in the summer is gardening. And now I definitely don’t feel like doing the things I put off last summer.

The problem with the cold weather is that I want to get out of here, but I don’t want to go out. I didn’t even want to go shopping, especially since they moved all the sales to the month before Christmas. Now is the clearance of the clearance items – the things I didn’t buy when they were on clearance.

That means I did too much shopping before. The only thing I did go looking for was long-sleeve sweaters. It was futile. One clerk I asked just said, “No” and laughed. Everything is three-quarter-sleeve or sleeveless. I think it’s so the manufacturers can save money on materials.

So I layered. A long-sleeve T-shirt, a vest that I zipped up, a lightweight quilted jacket and my coat. I felt like a toddler dressed to play in the snow.

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