Things You Figure Out about the Past

…if you live in a cold climate and are stingy with your heating (as we have always been, first because we were heating with a wood furnace, and willingness to put up with lower interior temperatures directly correlates with unwillingness to move large heavy logs from woodpile to furnace several times a day for an entire winter; and second because when we finally got tired of heaving logs around we dropped back to the electric baseboard heat, which is like burning dollar bills to keep warm):

  • Footstools weren’t just ornamental. They were to keep your feet off the cold floor, so that what warmth you could pull around yourself didn’t leak out through the soles of your shoes.
  • Shawls and caps and fingerless gloves weren’t just fashion statements. They kept the drafts off the back of your neck, and kept heat from leaking out through the palms of your hands and the top of your head.
  • Lapdogs weren’t just frivolous pets. They were self-propelled organic personal space heaters for people who could afford the cost of feeding an otherwise unproductive household critter. (Cats and small terriers could also fulfill the “space heater” function, but escaped the “silly rich woman’s toy” stigma by also catching household vermin.)

2 thoughts on “Things You Figure Out about the Past

  1. I will now address my cats by their proper title: organic personal space heaters! Now if I could just turn them into coolers in the summer, when they insist on almost as much lap time….

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