Wednesday 17 April 2013

Pray For Global Warming

I have been thinking about hot and cold lately. Probably because I have just recently returned from a warm climate and find myself in a cold climate. The first thing I did when I returned was to change out of my shorts, and the second thing was to shovel the snow off of the walk.
Buster and I went for a walk this morning and our route took us by the local high school. High school kids are notoriously stupid when it comes to hot and cold and the kid I saw today was no exception. He was wearing a pair of deck shoes, ankle socks, gray plaid shorts, a t-shirt and a light wind breaker. Oh yeah, he was also wearing a smile. His two buddies were under dressed, but typically underdressed for high school students. They were leaving the school and who knows where they were going. When I was doing the same kind of thing in high school in the middle of the day, I was up to no good. However, when I did wander away from school in the middle of the day I was dressed properly and I was warm.

I am too far away from being a teenager for the idea of wearing shorts and t-shirts in sub zero weather to make sense to me. I suppose that I was lucky to grow up in the era that I grew up in. The “cool” winter attire was a pair of jeans, fur covered mukluks, a green oversized army parka and a long knitted scarf. I had a burgundy scarf mom made for me that kept old man winter out and the odd time I would share it walking hand in hand down the street. A sailor’s pea coat was also acceptable, but I personally preferred the parka. That might be why I spent a lot of weekends by myself. I suppose that now it is cool to be cold. Poor misguided kids, they have bought into the idea that we all live in southern California.
It wasn’t too long ago that being cold was the human state of being. Warmth has only come to us in the last 60 or 70 years in Canada. Oh, we had wood stoves and fireplaces, and in the cities there was coal fired central heating, which changed over to oil heating and then to either gas or electric heating. I have been able to keep warm for all of my life, but my grandmother and those that came before her had to work hard to keep warm. The farther you go back in time, the more cold became a fact of life that was pretty much always on your mind. Well, at least in the winter for sure, and the summer you would have to prepare for the cold weather.
Louise’s family immigrated to Canada in the early part of the last century and the area in Saskatchewan they and the other Romanians settled was bitterly cold in the winter. There is a story of a couple that were living in a sod house, sleeping under a buffalo hide, only to wake up in the morning to find that the cat had frozen solid on top of the bed. That is cold!!! When farm houses were built, one of the first things that they would do is to plant trees on the windward side of the house. Once the trees matured, they would block the cold wind and would provide all of the firewood that was needed to keep them warm.
We knew how to stay warm in the old days, using natural materials that were good insulators and water resistant. Now we have man made fibres and fabrics that are better than the natural materials and those stupid kids won’t wear them! I’m not sure that we would be able to survive winter the way our ancestors did, we have lost the knowledge. Well, mostly.
 Front Cover
I guess that I should have a back up heat source in the house just in case there is ever a breakdown in our heating services. I do have a book called “The Secrets of Warmth” by Hal Weiss which tells tricks and methods that would keep us warm in the coldest weather. If you are at all interested in surviving a coming apocalypse in Canada, then you should read this book. Otherwise, pray for global warming. 

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