A Cold Weather Survival Strategy

This is the first week……the first week that my husband will work from home, the first week of school and the first week of marathon training.image

Since my husband worked from home through the holidays, he felt the need to check back in at the office. So, his first real week of working from home will be spent at his office in Atlanta.

Going back to school is exciting. My first class is tomorrow at noon. It has been a long time since I’ve gone to school. A couple of weeks after student orientation, I went back to the campus to find the bookstore and purchase my books. They had closed for Christmas holiday already. Today, I went back to the campus again to purchase my books. They were closed for inclement weather. Tonight, I’m signing up for Twitter alerts from campus and tomorrow I’ll be going to class with no books.

In comparison to school, the first week of marathon training should be a cake walk. Mileage is fairly low, the long run is not so long and finally the psyche gets back into warrior-in-training mode. I like marathon training, except……

imageThe temperature tomorrow morning, my first day of training, will be 0 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel like -17F. I had to double-check that I had not accidentally dialed up the weather for Chicago instead but, of course, Chicago is even worse than this.

Our house has no central air conditioning or heat. We never worried about adding heat, we were never here during the winter. On the odd occasion we drove up for Christmas, it was romantic to light the fires and layer on the blankets at night. It’s no longer romantic. This is work.

Whenever I left the house over the past few weeks the instructions were, “Do not let the fires go out.”

Every few days I have to dust a fine layer of powdery soot from everywhere. Then there’s the chore of cleaning the fireplaces before you start the fires for the day. Then it’s necessary to clean around the fireplaces after you clean inside the fireplaces. Then it’s time to dust again. It’s never-ending.

I was eating a salad today standing at the back door watching the dogs play when my eyes finally focused on the wood shed. All of the wood has been toppled over. The days I spent stacking that wood! My picture does not do it justice but there are no longer neatly stacked rows of firewood – it is one big, jumbled mess.


Our family had bets as to how long my husband would last living here full-time without thermostats. Over the summer, we added cranberry red colored storm doors all around and now the house stays toasty all night, but only if you’ve gone to bed with a couple of good fires raging.

Finally, we have ordered central air and heat. Hopefully, it will be installed before the next cold snap arrives.

imageMeanwhile, I have moved clothes, food, books, dog beds, toothbrush, pajamas and bedroom slippers to our little guest house where there are thermostats that will adjust the temperature to anything I would like it to be.

There will be no tending fires tonight when it is -1F, no building a fire before I dress for my first training run tomorrow morning (indoors on the treadmill at the Rec Center) and no raging fire as I go to bed tomorrow night to dream about the experiences I had on my first day back at school – with no books.

By the time my husband comes home from Atlanta, where there are also plenty of thermostats, the temperature will be back in the 50s and maybe we’ll build a romantic fire….just for the fun of it.

2 thoughts on “A Cold Weather Survival Strategy

  1. Marcie – you write with such a nice light touch of self-deprecating humor! Glad you have the guest cottage as an alternative!
    They cancelled my school today, so I’ve had the gift of a day to do lots of things I needed to do.
    I can understand how demoralized you felt looking at all that wood you had so carefully stacked.

    Call us if you need us!



    1. Yes, we are all settled in snug as little bugs. I have to retrieve the dogs from the big house every time they go out but they’ll figure it out eventually. Hope you guys have a warm, cozy night up there as well. Guess we’ll both be off to school tomorrow?! See you soon.


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