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Sleeping with Open Windows

For the past week, I’ve had the windows open in the bedroom.  It’s been warm so even with the fresh air coming in and the ceiling fan on low, I’m still adjusting the covers during the night. Sometimes I put my arm that’s under my head inside the pillowcase to keep it warm, other times I have it exposed to the air. If it’s a little bit cool, I sleep right on my side with my legs one on top of the other. If, during the night I get warm, I might shift a bit to expose more skin surface. I’ve learned a lot about sleeping in cool rooms over the years.

Usually, in winter we do have the bedroom windows closed since one of the current members of the cat family sits outside them and complains about having to sleep on the porch. When the children were little we still had winter, and once or twice I remember nailing spare blankets and quilts over the windows when an especially frigid night was forecast. At the old old house, Eliza Frezil’s diapers would freeze in the diaper pail (in the bedroom). You might be mad as the dickens at your husband at supper time, but by the time you had to get between those cold sheets, all was forgiven.

When we moved to the new old house Conrad was a baby. When he was one and half, we had upstairs and downstairs cribs. At that time, the first floor had central heat, and, during one week of bitter cold, I left him downstairs to sleep.

I awoke in the night to smoke and an alarm. Smoke was boiling up from the downstairs.  I flew down the stairs hollering to Edward to get Eliza Frezil as I went after Conrad. There was no fire, only smoke coming from the vents.

 We stood outside, Edward and I barefooted and in what passed for pajamas in those days. I kept trying to see if Conrad made sense in his speech but he was too young to say much beyond “Kitty” or “Tissie.”

Edward dismantled the furnace at the fuse box, the heat exchange had broken, and went through the house opening every single window. I put the children’s car coats on them, the ones with hoods and zippers, and we got back in bed. They seemed very puzzled about the situation – hoods, zipped coats, extra covers on the bed, sleeping with Momma and Papa. I wondered what the neighbors driving by in the morning thought when they saw our house with every single window wide open.   

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