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Chilly Lynn

catOh, I’m such a spoiled citygrrl! It is 50 degrees F outdoors right now and 65F indoors… and since my favorite temperature is 84F I am feeling bummed-out and cold. I even saw my breath a minute ago.

Even if I wanted to turn on the heat, I could not. This is because we are at this very minute having a new furnace installed.

I have mixed feelings about the furnace. My favorite thing to do in this house in wintertime has been to sit like a cat on the old fashioned cast metal heat vent, with a blanket over me, baking happily. New furnaces do not kick out heat of that high temperature anymore. They tend to blow longer at a lower temp. This means we’ll save money each month on the fuel bill, but “Lynn the Cat” will be no longer.

The furnace was starting to crack and soon we would have had a carbon monoxide problem, so keeping the old one just was the wrong idea. Brian, good man that he is, planned ahead and got three estimates when it was still hot in Michigan, so we are having the furnace installed before we had even needed to turn on the old one this year.

Socks from Tracy AI recall that the one thing I really missed about my house when I was in Africa, was central heat. In Africa when we were cold (it was about the same temperature there after sundown as it is here today, maybe a little colder) we wrapped up in good handwoven Ethiopian blankets called gahbi’s and we sat around a space heater warming our hands. There was no dial on the wall to turn, to create comfort. I missed that luxury. It had not seemed a luxury to me in Michigan, but now I thank my lucky stars every time I turn up the dial.

Other people like this weather, right? I’m happy with everything else in my life right now but the cold is bumming me out. At least I got to wear my alpaca/kid mohair sweater yesterday, and that was warm and soft and it did make me feel better. Let’s hear it for animal fiber clothing!!!

Altu and Lynn in Alexandria, EgyptRight now I’m wrapped in a commercial angora beret, a thick knit synthetic wrap I bought in Egypt (it was cold there, too, at night) a huge sweater/jacket, legwarmers from Philosophers wool, and two pair of handknit socks… one I knit and one was my sock swap pair that Tracy knit for me 2 winters ago at the Mid-Michigan Knitting Guild. I think they have alpaca in them. In any case, they are super-warm, super-soft socks.

And by Friday night we’ll have a new furnace and I can warm up in part with heat that comes from a thermostat. Not a dial anymore (boo hoo, I like dial-controlled things best of all) but a digital wall thermostat with up and down arrows instead.

This house is very old, we think the front 3 rooms were built around 1910. There are drafts, especially in the area I call my office (which is where I am about half the time I’m at home). I think in the end I’ll appreciate heat that is more evenly produced.

Photos are my late cat, Muffett (the only pet I’ve ever had), who taught me about the pursuit of pleasure; the socks Tracy A knit me a year and a half ago; and a photo of Altu and me (wearing the wrap I’m wearing today) in Alexandria, Egypt, in a castle with the Mediterranean Sea behind us. Egypt is so interesting! It’s located in Africa, it calls itself Middle-Eastern as well, and it is on the Mediterranean which ties it to Europe (we saw old headstones with Greek engraving on them at the Christian burial grounds). What a fascinating place it is!

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