We moved to New England when I was 5 and to Vermont when I was 9. Because of this, I am disqualified from claiming status as a true Vermonter. I can’t even claim to be a Yankee seeing as how my “stock” descends from Altaic language-speaking people from south-central Siberia (thank you Wikipedia) and not from Puritan English settlers. Be that as it may, there are certain values that I have adopted from my years living in the Northeast. One of them being: If you’re cold, put on a sweater.

Growing up, the thermostat in our drafty farmhouse was set at a balmy 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Since there was only one thermostat for the entire house – and it was downstairs next to the kitchen – it was inevitable that my uninsulated upstairs bedroom would almost always be cold. I’m talking sleep with a toque on, frost on the sheetrock cold.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I am somewhat inured to my immediate family’s complaints about “living in an icebox” nor that I have resolutely ignored entreaties to turn on the heat.

But I am becoming soft as I age. Even though it’s just the first week in October, there have already been multiple occasions when I’ve been tempted to fire up the furnace. Even now, as I sit here typing this post, the tips of my fingers are numb and my nose is dripping and I’m longing for a little warmth.

I give you my short list of signs that it’s time to start burning natural resources at home:

  • The butter in your cupboard is as hard as the butter in your refrigerator.
  • Your neck has a semi-permanent crick in it from keeping your shoulders up around your ears.
  • You, your husband and children are more likely to remove layers outside than inside.
  • The dog has started to climb up onto the couch while you’re sitting on it in an attempt to share body heat with the pack.
  • The kids volunteer to help you cook dinner just so they can huddle next to the warm stovetop.
  • The blankets on the beds weigh more than their occupants.

We’re almost there. What about you? Write and let me know. Until then, I’m going to go find another sweater to wear.

P.S. I grabbed this photo from a blog called Old Picture of the Day. Fun stuff!