Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Tale of Woe

Ma Nature and I are having a bit of a rumble. She's pulling one way, and I'm pulling the other, and my comforter is the helpless and unwilling rope between us.

Every spring as temperatures go up, and the hours of sunlight also increase, my bank of western-facing windows get all giddy with delight and have a bit of a tendency to think it's warmer than it really is. As in, it gets hot in my house, all out of proportion to what is really going on outside. And being it really isn't THAT hot out, common sense and careful living (and Mom's voice in the back of the head that orders me to shut the refrigerator door, am I trying to cool the whole world?) dictate that cool outside air must be brought in to displace said hot air (please, do not comment. I can hear what you're thinking, but please, just resist the temptation, I implore you), and that under NO circumstances would a reasonable and prudent and well-raised individual even THINK of ::gasp:: TURNING ON THE AIR CONDITIONING.

There are a few inherent difficulties, however, in accomplishing the seemingly simple task of trading cold for hot. The first is my location. I don't live by the ocean with gentle trade winds wafting freshness from the water, or on a mountain top with crisp breezes. I live in central Colorado, just past the foothills and onto the prairie where there are two speeds for the outdoor fan - off, and violent. So simply opening the windows to allow the hot air to leave and the cold air to enter can either mean blowing every picture and magnet off of my refrigerator in a flurry of gusty dusty air and flapping draperies, or... nothing at all. There are a few tweaks I try now and then - strategically opening doors and coaxing a hint of a cross-draft (and remembering NEVER to open the window by the fireplace whose communication with the house security system is nebulous at best, resulting in a panicked search for the source of the damning red light before retiring for the night when all orifices are obviously shut up tightly) and turning on the ceiling fans to at least give the illusion that air is being moved, though this option seems to have little effect on the silent and neutral arbiter of success - the thermostat. I've even gone so far as to turn on the furnace fan (sans heat, of course) to "redistribute" the air in the house, because let's face it, it's always borderline frigid in the basement so, maybe we should all share and share alike? The truth is, though, that while this sounds as though it would be a logical answer, it really doesn't accomplish anything other than sounding as though the air conditioning is on, simultaneously making one feel guilty and disappointed all at the same time.

But I digress.

We did have some unseasonably early warm temps late in April, and due to the aforementioned oft-unsuccessful battle to cool the house down in the evening preparatory to going to bed, sleeping with my lovely and scrumptiously fluffy comforter was less fun than it should be, due to the simple fact that I am at a rather uncomfortably warm phase of my life to begin with and therefore do not need the additional zealotry of my bedclothes to keep my temperature on the high end of the scale. So I did what anyone would do under the circumstances, I switched to my summer coverlet and put the comforter in the laundry to await a visit to the cleaners. Which was kind of sad, because I'm a fall kinda gal and heading into summer is always a bit mournful to me with its warm extremes. Nonetheless, I was doing my best to embrace the change gracefully (which included about ten minutes spent trying to remember which way the coverlet actually fit on the bed - king sized linens can be confusing because they are almost as wide as they are long or long as they are wide and I can never quite remember the first time which way stuff goes. I've even tried "faking" the bedding out and deliberately putting it on the way I think it really shouldn't be, but apparently I am less clever than high thread count linen and should just resign myself to doing the job twice.) and with a minimum of whining (and if you know me at all you really should appreciate the effort this was for me).

When one is a procrastinator (and I am) one learns early in life to pick up on little details that actually reinforce one's natural inclination to defer the timing on almost everything. So it will come as no surprise that the one time I am Julie on the Spot against my natural inclination, all of nature conspires to demonstrate that I have completely done the wrong thing. The first night with the lightweight coverlet Ma Nature lets loose with a relatively frosty blast, and the night is decidedly chilly sans fluffy cozy comforter, even with the midnight addition of coverlet number two (in a suitably contrasting color to coverlet number one, and yet not as warm as it is heavy on my overly sensitive toes). After briefly reviewing the situation in my mind, I decide to just admit defeat (a galling thing indeed so hard upon the heels of my non-procrastinatory self-congratulation) and put the comforter back on the bed.

Ma Nature is mollified. Life is good. For a week.

Again, the west windows do their work. It's hot in my house. I grimly glare at the thermostat. I hold firm. I do not sleep well. Rinse and repeat, for about 3 days.

Finally break down and remove comforter, restore coverlet. For those who wonder, it does indeed take two tries to get it on properly, despite having only removed it a scant ten days previously. A wiser woman would probably not admit that in a public forum, but whatever, I'm choosing to be amused by my incapability at this point (you have to admit, the whole story is approaching "ridiculous" anyway). A pleasant night is had by all, sleep achieved.

And then, of course, cloudy cool days ensue. As I have determined at this point that there's no point in having the heat on at all, the house is cool. The coverlet is insufficient once again, but unfortunately my patience level is equally inadequate. I unfurl the secondary coverlet (of complimentary color) and simply make the bed with both. The fluffy cozy comforter is strewn willy nilly on the guestroom floor in a state of embarrassed disarray until such point that I can overcome my chagrin and package it up for the cleaners. My winter nightie comes out of its drawer, I even wear socks to bed one night in my stubbornness (I should reassure my readers that by this time my husband is off on a series of business trips, and therefore I am only harming myself with my ...er, determination.)

And that's the current state of the standoff. One night will be a little too cool, the next will be a llittle too warm, and it's probably the way things will remain until my procrastinating self decides to just give in and TURN ON THE AIRCONDITIONING.

Be sure to watch your newspapers - you'll be able to tell the exact moment that I do break down and summon the Freon Fairies to my aid. Check on the weather page. Under Denver. You know, where the headline declares:

Freak Summer Blizzard Sweeps Parker Colorado!

4 comments:

Snap said...

Julie,
You are too funny! Loved the visit to your blog. We have the AC going ... I'll trade you *blooming hot* for whatever cool you have. :D

MamaB said...

I'm rolling in the aisle!!! Thanks for bring amusement into my day! (((hugs)))

Melissa said...

Sounds like something I would do. We have no AC here because we only have one window in the bedroom and putting an AC unit in there would mean running it every night, even when it wasn't truly needed. Hubbie said no to my idea of taking it out and putting it back in.

I have two possible partial solutions: window treatments that block the light might help with the hot windows.

And, my king comforter has 2 round corners (they go at the foot of the bed) and 2 square corners for the head of the bed. if your coverlets are not like that you could find some way to cheat by sewing some little thing in one or two corners, once you figure out which is the right way, and then you'll always know.

Shanners said...

I love the mental images that accompany your stories in my mind. :) And I have been in Denver when it snowed in June - so I'm well aware that it happens, and I sympathize. I actually always leave a few winter clothes out in case we travel to CO in the summer. :)