Thursday, February 20, 2014

Southern Cold

Our friends in Sweden will find the concept of "cold" in the southern USA to be a humorous topic.  What do we know about cold?  Good question.  We lived in Sweden when we started this blog.  The day after we arrived there it was -22 C (-8 F) and we wanted to get out and see the country so we went to Are (more like Ore in English), which is a famous ski mountain in that part of Sverige.

But it has been particularly cold here in Alabama this winter.   I have written about the snow, and even the Swedish snow we had fall here a couple of weeks back.  I mentioned then that it was Swedish snow because it was so cold the snow was very dry.  It has been remarkably cold since that time too.  when I say that we have cold here, I am talking about temps in the high 20's F (-2 to -3 C).  Doesn't sound that cold, eh?

I mentioned earlier the Swedish saying, "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing".  Well, there is bad weather when your houses are largely built for warm weather.  Our 1920's bungalow-style heart pine home was built originally with a big central hallway from the front door to the back.  Each end of the hall opened into a large porch.  When the weather was hot, opening the doors at the ends of the hallway provided a large cross-breeze cooling the home in the pre-airconditioning era.  The house has an abundance of double-hung windows, great for fighting the heat.  We also have high ceilings, which allows the hot air to rise up and keeps the lower part of the room cooler.  But, of course, those don't turn off all that well in winter.  The things that help keep us cool in summer also keep us cool in winter.

Last winter in Botswana, we lived on the thrid floor and had no central heat in our apartment.  It got a bit chilly at night, and some days were pretty cool too.  We enjoyed the respite from the usual high heat, but, we had to buy a few space heaters to stay comfortable.  I recall heating up a plastic bottle filled with water to make a "hot water bottle" that warmed out feet.

We asked our local friends how they stayed warm, and they told us they just wore their down vest inside.  We did the same and stayed reasonably warm.  We also have adopted that in Alabama.  Our big, high-ceilinged clap-board house with 30-something windows is drafty and a bit cold.  In Sweden the windows were very tight and double- or triple-paned.  The houses, like the clothing, were great for the cold weather.

But the good news in Alabama is that soon enough the hot weather will be back and we will enjoy the delicious spring, and we'll use our whole-house attic fan until the end of June.  We look to the spring.

We also look to the "spring" of the return of the Christ.  We put no stock in investments, in retirement, in government, in the future.  We put our hope instead in G^d alone.  The winter may linger a bit longer, but spring is on its way.  Come quickly L^rd!

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