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Not Blue January 25, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I am, alas, not so much a person with a wine cellar as a person with wine in the cellar.

And so yesterday, upon awaking to –30°F temperatures, and blessedly not having to deal with frozen pipes, our first postbreakfast chore was to at last move the white wine (the red having migrated a couple of months ago) out of the only-about-60°-warmer cellar up to the first floor, which might, if we were lucky, manage a true 60° by nightfall. (This wine-moving is not a huge chore. Remember, we aren’t wine-cellar people, we’re wine-in-the-cellar people.)

Yesterday was January 24, Blue Monday 2011 according to some (see my last post). Others had declared January 17 Blue Monday—most others, in fact, and January 17 was the date that the media had pretty much glommed on to. Having personally had a very blue Monday on January 17, I was curious as to what might happen on the competing camp’s Blue Monday and whether I would be even more miserable. Helen asked me to report back, so here I am.

Unless you count icy fingers and toes, I did not find it a blue Monday at all. Oddly, I found it a pretty good Monday, which is curious, because I hate deep cold.

I hate deep cold because my house can barely handle it. Despite replacing all the windows and blowing in insulation, it doesn’t change the fact that I live in an 1890ish Victorian with a shallow, coal-burning, now-simply-ornamental-will-never-work fireplace and no logical place to put a woodstove. The kitchen is over a section of the basement that cannot be fully insulated, and when the temperatures drop this low, I can’t get the temperature of that room to 50° some days. I was lucky yesterday—it hit 51° at about 2:00 p.m.

Parts West is full of houses about the same age as mine, although many people have better backup heating systems than I. Still, we hold our collective breath in these conditions and are thankful when the next day dawns 30° warmer. One day we can get through. Five, six, seven days—and I have been through that more than once—is not good.

So what made such a deep cold Monday a good Monday and not a blue Monday was my neighbors. I don’t think I’ve ever had a morning when I chatted with so many of them, both via Facebook and by old-fashioned phone. Up in the heights, Ron had frozen pipes, and so did Laura and Chris, although I heard about the latter’s situation when Laura called from Arkansas, where she and Eugenia are taking care of Laura’s mother, who just broke her leg and had surgery. Chris, who will join Laura later this week, had told her about the pipes and worked it out, and Laura was calling to check on the rest of us. I heard about Ron when he was chatting with Lorrie on Facebook, where I could spy on their conversation and comment. I commiserated with the boys down at the general store, who apparently couldn’t get their downstairs temps past the 40s either. Lynda’s car wouldn’t start, and Thom came over to help her, and it took an hour and a half til the engine finally turned over. Sarah called to offer me office space at her house if mine was too cold to work in (she is such a sweetheart), but luckily my office is on the second floor, where I can get normal temperatures. Rhonda sent some of us coldies a warming video à la Internet, and we didn’t find out til the next day that her pipes had frozen up too.

At 2:30 I started my car and ran the engine for 5 minutes. Then I bravely walked to the post office and back.

Just after 5:00, Deb picked me for yoga, and I heard about the temperatures down Route 153 a ways and how Dan had checked in on Dayna’s cabin, which was holding up fine. Everybody lookin’ out for everybody. At the library we rolled yoga mats onto the radiant-heated floor, and I spread out all over it, like Christine’s cats over the heating vents. Did I mention that her cats’ water bowl in the kitchen had iced over? When I mentioned it to Lynda on the phone, she glanced at her own cats’ kitchen bowl and exclaimed, “Oh my god! Me too!”



1. Damyanti - January 25, 2011

Having never seen snow can’t imagine what Blue cold must be like. You gave me a fair idea, but it is not the same thing as experiencing it.

All I can offer by way of help is that the next time you may fly across the world to Singapore, and stay with us. The temperature here has never gone below 25 degree centigrades, and climate change notwithstanding, never will!

2. Lali - January 26, 2011

V, who takes care of your house and mine, told me yesterday that they had lost POWER on the coldest morning!

3. Mali - January 26, 2011

Like Damyanti, I really struggle to imagine how cold this cold is. I know the huge difference between 34 deg C and 0 deg C. I can’t imagine how it feels to be 34 deg C below freezing. I just cannot get my head around that.

Glad that you and your friends and neighbours all survived, and looked after each other. All that community spirit warms my heart.

4. LisaS - January 27, 2011

all i have to say is brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. our house barely got that cold with *no* heat last winter at all. of course, we baked 4 hours a day, too …

5. helen - January 28, 2011

Thanks for reporting back; I’m glad to hear you’re not blue Indigo, even though it’s a lovely colour. Yay for wine cellars and wine in the cellar and community and yoga and radiant floor heating!

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