Thursday, December 15, 2022

Heater Wars


                        “Some like it hot, some like it cold…”


Had Mark Twain been a guest in our home, he surely would have quipped, “The coldest winter I ever spent was in the Goodkin’s house in San Francisco!”


We’re in a cold snap in our beloved city by the Bay, by which I mean temperatures in the 40’s. People in most winter climes would laugh at me or viciously insult me on Facebook— “What a wimp! You have no idea, buddy!! That’s a winter heat wave for us!!” But they would most likely write that in the comfort of their central heated home or in front of a roaring fireplace. True that you can barely see your breath outdoors in 40 degree weather, but it’s another matter altogether when those  temperatures are inside the house!


To heat our 1908 Edwardian house, we have a single heater (see above) that we turn on by hand as needed. On these cold days, it chugs and chugs like the Little Engine That Could to reach all the corners of our five-room flat and get them reasonably comfortable. If we left it on at night, it would help, but we never do, so even as the house eventually gets warm, by evening, by morning, your bare feet on the floor get a shock and you’re piling on sweaters while it begins chugging uphill again.


To make things yet more interesting, my wife Karen and I have different standards as to what’s warm enough and often, when I feel that chill again, I walk down the hall and see that she has turned the heater off. I put it back on and the heater wars begin. It’s a bit random, because sometimes she’s sitting on the couch knitting with a winter hat on and a bulky sweater. I’ve given up trying to figure out the rhyme or reason, but I’m not withdrawing from the battle ground. Flip on, flip off— so it goes throughout the day.


Karen just left to go jogging, so I walked to the heater to turn it full blast when she’s gone, knowing she’ll turn it off as soon as she comes back. Lo and behold, she turned it off before  she left. The war is on!!!

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