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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Traditions

Fall is a great time of year here in the Upper Midwest. Cool nights, crisp days, brilliant colors on the trees. Apples, cider and donuts. We prepare our gardens for winter, pulling up annuals, cutting back perennials, digging out pesky weeds, and planting tulips, daffodils, and other harbingers of spring.

One tradition that causes friction in some homes is turning on the furnace for the first time. My parents lived through the Depression. “Waste not, want not” was a frequent refrain. Don’t waste, save money is so deeply ingrained that I feel guilty when paying full price for anything. So when crisp days turn into dreary, rainy ones, I put on a sweatshirt and wear wool socks around the house (instead of my usual bare feet). The way I figure it is the longer we hold off turning on the furnace the lower the gas bill.

Another school of thought, to which Hubs subscribes, is why be uncomfortable. Although cold bothers him more than me, he, too, had parents who grew up in the Depression. For the most part, we agree on money issues. So, it was a surprise one day last week to return home and realize he'd turned on the furnace. According to Hubs, the inside temp had gotten down to 58. Okay, that is a little nippy. Well, at least we know our furnace works. After our new house was built but before we moved in they performed an energy diagnostic where they pressurized the house to see how much air escapes, testing for leaks, etc. Not only did our house pass with flying colors, it is so tight that there’s a pipe to bring outside air in for the furnace. Good to know. That’s supposed to mean that it will takes less energy to heat the house and keep it warm. We’ll have to see when we get our first bill.

For all my penny-pinching ways, I have to admit on rainy days like today it is nice to be comfortable.

When do you turn on the furnace? The first time the temperature drops or do you hold off?

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  1. We've been flipping between air and heat. I compromise by baking pies. The furnace man came and gave us the all clear. We both have arthritis pain so it's hot in here: 74. I'm not using humidifiers for the first winter in a long time. Last year a virus or mean damp-spirited hellun sent me to the hospital for 25 hours. Lost 15 pounds after not being able to swallow for six days. Almost lost my doctor. Did you know your doctor only reads reports on you when you are in the office unless a kindly medical care giver decides to write a letter. Keep well my friends. By the way I don't recommend hospitals for the faint-hearted, being a live pin cushion all night is not my idea of rest. Rohn Federbush

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your experience in the hospital, Rohn. The old joke about them waking you up to give you a sleeping pill has a little bit of truth to it. I've been lucky that I've had great care when I had my knees replaced. Stay warm.

  2. I hold off until the house gets to chilly to sit and watch TV comfortably.

    1. Hubs said it was 51 in the house when he turned on the furnace. That's a bit nippy. LOL

  3. I hold off as long as I possibly can, it drives my husband crazy. That's what clothes and blankets are for :)


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