Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cold Exterior, Warm Heart

The deep freeze continues outside this week....and the next and the next and the next I am assuming.  I never did read any of the Groundhog Day predictions, but after living here for the past 4 winters I have decided there is no such thing as an early spring.  Thus, I am prepared for another 6 weeks of this nonsense.

However, inside I am feeling warm and cozy...inside this old rectory and inside my own heart.  The control card on our furnace is fading out again like it did about this time last winter, but so far we have only lost the humidifier.  We called the repair man and he is so busy it could be "a few days" before he arrives.  I have lived here long enough to understand that "a few days" may actually mean a few weeks, but more likely it means a few months. Sigh...my asthma is causing some grief, but with the stove boiling up pans and pans of water every day and the addition of a small room humidifier in my bedroom, I am coping not too badly.  The parish council will have a fit when they see the electric bill for all this "coping" but what else can I do, right?  While I wait for the repair man I am comfortable enough.  Our hope is that he will get here to replace the electrical card before the furnace shuts down completely and creates an actual emergency.  Although....maybe.....hmmmmm....

The first interim pastorate my husband had was in an amazing church. Their quilters group presented my husband with a queen sized bed quilt when we left for his next posting.  It is the warmest, coziest quilt ever created.  When the furnace has problems or the lack of insulation in the living room walls creates a chilly atmosphere that quilt is the greatest thing to wrap up in to sit and watch tv or read a book.

A cup of steaming vanilla milk makes for a great bedtime "snack" on my new diet.  As we are now into our second week of wind chills in the mid minus thirties, I have been availing myself of that snack on numerous evenings.

Today I am wearing a thigh length knit sweater vest.  It is double breasted, one set of buttons about tummy level and I have not been able to do it up very easily for the past 2 winters due to weight gain.  Today I discovered I can not only do it up, but it hangs just perfectly, no pulling or stretching around my middle.  It is the kind of sweater that makes a person feel cozy just looking at it. Wearing it is the height of snuggly.

In a few minutes I am going to get my hair cut.  One of our parishioners turned the front entryway of her home into a small salon.  It is also the very definition of cozy with the warm colours on the walls, the decorating in the tiny space and the cheery personality of the stylist herself.  Since it is too icy to walk the 4 blocks I will be driving....starting my car inside the garage and heating it up to a decent temperature inside before I drive over there.  

Looking at the frost and ice on the windows again today, it is so nice to be warm enough here in the house. It is also nice to be "warm enough" on the inside, where my "heart" is.  I was so sad the other day to read of the OD death of one of my favourite actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I wonder what happened to his "heart", his inner core of being, that drove him to return to acting on his addictions.  I wonder why myself and other friends have tried, at difficult times in our lives, to warm our own "hearts" with too much food or drink or inappropriate and damaging moral behaviour.

So today I am concentrating on the warmth that surrounds me.  My husband has been at home for the past couple of days.  As usual he is spending his time off work doing work related projects, but his attitude has been more laid back this week, less stressful for him and for me.  He seems to be adopting a case of the warm snugglies this week as well.  It is nice to have his presence in our house, adding to the general feeling of well being during this cold season of the year.

Our son had a marvellous time in LA over the weekend at the art book fair.  He flew home last night to ridiculously low temperatures in Vancouver, but wrote to tell me he was wrapped up in a nice warm blanket we gave him last spring, one of the many beautiful blankets made by our church pianist.  The landlord has fixed the broken furnace in his rooming house and has turned up the water heater properly, so my son's health is improving and he too is feeling warm and settled.

 Warmth, coziness, snuggliness....as the temperature outside continues to drop it is wonderful to feel safe and secure inside the rectory, thinking warm thoughts.

1 comment:

Dennis Cannon said...

I'm proud of you because you look at life with such a positive perspective. If it were me who got a furnace broken down during winter, I would've lost it. Anyway, it's true that the warmth that comes from our heart can be a huge help to an exterior that is frozen ice cold. I hope you and your family are doing well, Susan. Take care! :)

Dennis Cannon @ Laird And Son