NOT BIDEN’S DAUGHTER’S DIARY
The temp is five degrees below zero. The expected low was ten below. The high is expected to be 7. Evidently what happens is the arctic air breaks off in blobs and spins down past us. Tomorrow’s high is supposed to be thirty.
This is climate change.
It’s also a test of my change in heating the house. In summer we took out my floor furnace, which was central enough to imitate a forced air whole-house furnace, and switched to a gas wall heater that vented directly outside. The town, including neighbors, has had gas leaks — the system is old, pressures have changed. In the kitchen the wall heater has things toasty. Two rooms away, the bedroom, is chilly so I’m dependent on an electric mattress pad and ten cats who appreciate it.
Always my head is wrestling with the latest forecast versus whether things in here are warm enough to prevent freezing the water pipes, or whether a space heater somewhere is getting too hot. The old man who turned out to be part of a LIEAP scam kept insisting I needed a second heater. I finally withdrew my application for help with heat. That office had already been charged with monkey business some time earlier, which I didn’t know.
At my elbow is a box in which printing paper came . Now it holds a cat — sometimes two — so I’m shining my desk light into it for warmth. Now — in the 6AM dark — I get a robocall. It’s the same guy as usual. He’s full of scams. No success at this hour! I wouldn’t even be awake except we were all beginning to be a little chilly and this much cold means very dry, so we’re a little thirsty. Some households on the street on waking up. The same guy calls again at 8 AM with a new scam.
The cold was supposed to end at 3AM. Modern forecasting. Now they’ve extended that to 7AM which is approximately dawn. I won’t be able to start the old pickup when it’s this cold. The bills are ready to mail when I can get to the PO. There are trash bags piled everywhere. Normally they would go to the garage for few days — then the pickup and then the trash roll-off. The cats like to jump on the bags.
These vignettes are hardly bragging, but meant to alert people in old houses who don’t have much money that they would be better off in a warmer climate unless it is hurricane prone. Climate matters, esp. if you’re old.
Am I a lib? Darned if I know. I read books — Worse, I WRITE. People here won’ t read a blog because the word is so ugly. They won’t have anything to do with politics because it is so dirty. All men have testosterone poisoning. These attitudes are considered markers of good taste and respectability. Are they lib? They didn’t vote. They LOVED “Downton Abbey”. They married men (most of them are women) who are prosperous.
I couldn’t be more different. When I tried Google to find a definition of the “libs” I didn’t find anything about liberals but rather the phrase “owning the libs” which was about mocking and humiliating them. No one owns me. That’s the whole point.
In fact, it’s worth being chilly and shabby even if no one comes to see whether I was all right. I had a friend I’d known since he was in elementary school. He was a handyman and we did tend to get into trouble with our schemes for this house, but he was a big help. Then suddenly he disappeared, moved away. I think it was his wife, meaning to “own” me because we were getting too close to each other. I was once his English teacher but now she owned him.
Early in life I escaped what was expected of me and possibly escaped reality. These arctic waves might well kill me if the gas shuts off in the night. Or it might be Covid despite 3 shots. I haven’t evaded life and there is only one end point
It’s noon. Still sub-zero. What can I find to eat? I have a cache of beans and whole wheat macaroni in case the supply chain for the little store breaks down. It’s had some empty shelves at times. Not at the moment. They brought me a big sack of cat kibble yesterday. A relief. Community counts. I forget that.