Love of Good Heating

As the nights are getting colder it is beginning to feel a little like winter. Perhaps it is only feeling like late fall, as we have had such an unusually warm fall.

Today as the heat from my new HVAC was gently warming my toes in my bathroom I was reminded of what heat was like in my childhood. I grew up in Connecticut in a house that was never meant to be a house. It was two barns that had been put together and converted into our wealthy neighbor’s “party House, carriage house and servants quarters.” We were only the second family to occupy it as a home, the first being a very quirky family of Swedish decent. Being Scandinavian they didn’t mind freezing inside their house.

My southern parents bought our house in the summer of 1967 so they had no idea that the heating in our house was woefully undersized for the drafty barn siding and no insulation walls. The windows were antique, and the ceilings upstairs were twelve feet high at the ridge line so any heat we had was way above our heads.

We had a furnace which I described as “Spot” from the TV the Munsters. Spot was a fire breathing dragon like animal that lived under the stairs. In our house the furnace room had a 10 x 10 foot cast iron fire box with a window where we could watch the fire burning. It was like a bad Hansel and Gretel scene about to play out.

Despite the giant furnace burning up outrageously priced oil, our house was always cold and drafty in the winter. We had many fireplaces and a beloved Kerosun kerosene heater we huddled around while watching reruns of I Love Lucy. But if you really wanted to be warm you would go to the guest room bathroom which sat directly above the Herman Munster furnace.

The tiny bathroom had no heat register in it, but the floor was like a little volcano. You could fill the bath tub up with hot water and stay in the bathroom for hours. Since it was the guest room’s bathroom no one ever really knew you were in there. I can remember sitting on the rug with warmth radiating from the floor doing my homework.

Cold is something I never got really took to living in that house. I am so thankful to live in North Carolina where the number of really cold days is small. I am also thankful for a house and not a barn, real insulation and forced air heating. I don’t ever want to live in a place where a Kerosene heater is required again.

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