Friday, January 06, 2017

Why do without what everyone else has?

And so we come up against a bitter cold weekend.  Maybe the lowest of the lows will abate somewhat but we're looking at single digits, and highs in the 20s.

And when it is this cold, the house is somewhat cold, period.  But for us it isn't that our heat pump is out there running non-stop and can't keep up, it is that the bedroom stays below 60, often nearing 50, and in the mornings often below and sometimes well below.  It is 55 right now in the bedroom.  It hasn't been above 27 outside all day, but at least it is still. 

And I was thinking about why we don't have central heat.  One reason is that it is too easy to use, nearly impossible to resist.  Just a flick of that thermostat and, ease, even if you don't know where the money is going to come from to pay for it.  Worry about that when the bill comes; it'll be warmer then.  That sort of ease gets one out of touch with what it means to be warm.  Just like buying meat at the grocery store gets one out of touch with what it means to eat meat.  Just like buying veggies at the grocery store gets one out of touch with what it means to eat veggies.

Another is money, just the fact of needing less of it, and of the outgo coming before the consumption instead of after (one of the cruel tricks of credit).  Which then flows right directly into having a reduced impact on the earth.  There is essentially zero carbon footprint from us staying warm since there is no difference in the carbon emissions of our wood burned or left to rot on the forest floor.  The insouciance, the disdain, the downright disregard of fellow humans and the earth in staying warm and traveling all over creation continue to shock me.

Another is health although that can teeter, if you make a mistake.  Husband laid a tree down this afternoon, a standing dead oak.  Nothing to it.  Except it hung, just barely, there free of the stump, leaning, two scraggly limbs in the tops of two scraggly trees.  But as husband was looking for an oak 2-by to get the log off the stump (and hoping the shock and vibration from that would free the fall), when boom, it fell on its own.  We didn't make a mistake.  We all know what it is to cut a tree, we all know the power of a tree falling, we don't do enough of it that we tend to get complacent either.  So when we are cutting a tree, no one goes near it until we know it is down.  But it is health for the good too -- good hard work for the muscles and bones and mind, bucked, carried to the chopping block, split, carried in.

In the end, it is warm.  Our biggest advantage is being able to get near the stoves and get really, truly warm.  Anytime we want to.  Unless we forget to feed the stoves.

1 comment:

Jerry Critter said...

When I was a child we had a cabin in which the heat was supplied by a wood stove and a fireplace. I fondly remember getting up on winter mornings and building a fire to get warm. Standing in front of a warm stove or a roaring fire is so much more comforting than listening to a furnace "roar".