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Open Windows Bring Delight

There are times when I feel sad for people in fancy houses who don’t have screens on their windows. Back in July I was anything but envious, but now that fall is in the air, I feel sympathy  for those who aren’t waking up in the night and reaching for the spread. It is pleasant when we retire now in mid-September,  but  pure joy when at 2 or 3 AM I’m waking up to a positively cool room. If the stars are aligned just right, the train comes by while I’m still awake, tucked under the sheet and spread now, and I can hear that whistle start low and distant, rise in volume, and then fade away as it heads towards the river.

I am not such a masochist as to say it’s preferable not to have central heat and air but there are tradeoffs. In the summer when sitting  out on the porch the cicadas serenade us and, on rainy evenings, Old Hopeful, our  tree frog chimes in. At our house, the kitty cats come and talk to you when you’re sitting outside, and we can watch them jump at moths flying under the porch light.  Even on hot nights, the noise of the ceiling fan lulls you to sleep and there were only a few nights when we had to sleep upside down with our head at the bottom of the bed to get more of that fan’s output. Some neighboring dogs that were raising a ruckus prompted me to call their owner who assured me that  the dogs weren’t the problem, it was the raccoons that were coming through the yard and agitating those hounds.  We just turned the fan to a higher/louder speed and slept like babies. If it’s cold, I still do that but put a pillow on my head so my ears won’t get turn blue.

After forty-one years of marriage and a thirty-year old double bed mattress, a frosty winter’s night makes skin-on-skin contact highly desirable. Even if you go to bed annoyed with your sweetie, climbing into bed on a night when you can see your breath does wonders to restore harmony. If your feet are cold you put them on your darling’s leg; if they get warm you just move your feet a few inches to find a cool spot on the sheet.

In reviewing what I’ve put down, I think what’s most appealing about combining the outside and the inside is experiencing the change of the seasons more totally. You appreciate the special effects – tree frogs, train whistles, or winter winds that a tightly sealed house would preclude hearing. You rejoice when the hot nights turn cool and after a long winter huddled around the space heater, delight again when you open the window and let the warmth of spring inside.

 

 

 

 

 

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