Cold noses and roses

It is May 14 and I am shivering.

Outside it is 45 degrees. Inside it is 59 degrees.

My nose is cold, I’m wrapped in a blanket, and I will not turn on the furnace.

I kept the furnace on for an unusually long time this spring, not turning it off until May 1. But then I had to turn it off because my rule is that I must have an entire month in both spring and fall where I turn on neither heat nor air conditioning.

I blame it on my dad, who was fighting the energy crisis long before the government got on board.

And I figure if my dad was still alive, his heat would not be on, but his roses would be covered in a warm blanket of mulch and insulation.

He worried more about the roses freezing than he did about the people inside the house.

I know, because I slept in the room over the garage.

I don’t know how many of you have ever slept in a bedroom that is above an unheated garage. If you have, then you grew up hardy pioneer stock. Even with the register vent wide open, that room was never fully warm in winter. I can remember fighting for space near the vent as my sisters and I dressed for school in the morning.

So when I moved away from home and it came time to practice my own energy conservation techniques, I continued my dad’s tough stance on energy consumption — don’t pay for what you can do without.

Now I’m just struggling to stay warm like all the perennials I transplanted yesterday. The truth is, I think they’re doing better than I am.

So it’s off to bed with a book for me. I’ll pile on the blankets and warm myself with a thriller. As for the roses, mine died long ago, except for a few struggling bushes my dad planted 20 years ago. And they’re on their own.



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