Saturday, February 6, 2021

A Winter's Breeze

I guess I picked a good time to finish caulking the Door to Nowhere at the top of the stairs.

We have a door at the end of the upstairs hallway, right where the stairs coming up meet the bathroom. It opens directly onto, well, nothing. The first step’s a doozy.

I’m not entirely sure why it’s there. The house was built somewhere else not long after WWII and moved here in the early 90s, so it is entirely possible that there was a balcony or an outside staircase on the other side of that door at one point, but I have no idea where it would go. Any structure that this door would open onto would give you an unobstructed view into the windows of both bathrooms in the house and likely block the actual back door as well. Neither of these strikes me as appealing.

We treat it as a combination of picture window (the door is mostly glass) and portal for large objects – there is no way, for example, to get a box spring up the inside stairs, so the last time we bought one we moosed it up a ladder and into the hallway through the Door to Nowhere, a process that would have won every award ever offered on America’s Funniest Home Videos had it been filmed. But mostly the door stays shut and sealed

I’m not sure why we took out the caulk this summer – I think there was a project that got abandoned prior to any other step being taken – but there must have been a reason. It never got put back. When the weather is temperate this isn’t a problem, but the back end of the thermometer is about to fall off this week so having a stiff breeze through the hallway seemed counterproductive.

There was caulking. And a fair amount of washing up afterward. But the door is snug now.

And indeed we have reached “ditch-digger weather” now, a phrase that makes sense only to me as an inside joke based on something my dad used to say forty years ago but I like it so I’m keeping it alive, much to the mystification of pretty much everyone else. Let’s just say that it’s cold. We’ve had a snowy but not terribly frigid winter up until now, but eventually in Wisconsin you’re going to get a stretch where the lows go below zero Fahrenheit (-17C) and the highs don’t get much above that, if at all. And now we’re in that stretch. We’re expecting lows this week around -15F (-27C) with wind chills considerably colder than that, and all in all it is a good thing to have a newly sealed Door to Nowhere.

I find myself talking about the weather more than I used to these days. I attribute this to the fact that I am getting old and weather is just one of the things you’re supposed to discuss as you get older.

That and ailments. When my great-aunts got to that part of every conversation my grandfather would refer to it as “the organ recital,” a phrase which appeals to me still. I haven’t reached the ailment stage yet – I think you have to be officially retired for that – but I’m well into the weather portion of my conversational life cycle.

I like winters. I like cold days and grey skies and snow on the ground. I like the feeling you get when the elements are stacked against leaving the house and you don’t have to make excuses for staying home the way you do when it’s 75F and sunny and people expect you to be out frolicking or whatever it is the extroverts do in the warm sunshine. I have my books and my tea and there is no breeze in my upstairs hallway, and that’s good enough.


LucyInDisguise said...

We've only had 3 days this winter on which no members of the Norse family Fahrenheit could be located.

Would be willing to lend you my sub-zero Fahrenheit blanket, but, Murphy being a blood relative and all, the moment I handed it off to UPS the bottom would fall out and we would be in negative Fahrenheit family members. Sooo, suks2BU...


David said...

It has been an unusually warm winter so far, hasn't it?

I'm good on blankets so thanks for the offer ... wait, that wasn't an offer ... FINE. BE THAT WAY. I'll just sit here in the dark, in the cold, freezing. No, no, wait ... I'm good on blankets.

I'm glad we straightened that out. :)

If there is any single purchase we have made in the last ten years that I would unhesitatingly recommend to every human on earth it is microfleece sheets. You get into bed on a sub-zero night and ... INSTANT WARM! No cold sheets! No shivering in one place while it warms up and you can't extend a finger to another place because it's still cold there! Truly we live in an age of miracles.

LucyInDisguise said...

Would that be microfleece from microgoats, or microsheep? Perhaps microgoldenfleece? (sounds expensive ...)


David said...

Nah - those tiny little shepherds work for practically nothing.