I awoke this morning to the strangest sensation…

It was about 3am, which lately is about average for the time I wake up. Normally, this time of year, I slide out from the (several) blankets, hop to let Ghost out, hop to the benjo, set the heater on “meltdown,” and hop right back under the covers before the sheets lose too much of my body heat. Reason: It’s cold out, and when you live in a tin box that means it’s cold IN.

This morning I woke up to the strangest sensation … I wasn’t cold! Oh, a sweatshirt might have felt good, but it wasn’t especially cold indoors. I fully expected that it was plenty chilly outdoors. For the past three or four days there’s barely been a cloud in the sky, and in mid-November, in the desert, at high altitude, that generally means you’re looking at something pretty darned frosty.

But it was warm indoors, and the reason was that when yesterday evening rolled around and it was time to rescue the boys from Gitmo and settle into the RV for the night, I said, “Screw it! Let’s spend the night in the Secret Lair!”

The boys were dubious as to the wisdom of this. Ghost in particular, who ordinarily makes such a show of his independence and goes-to-11 cool factor, becomes a complete drama queen when it’s bedtime and things aren’t just the way he’s used to.

But since the only action required of them was to go to sleep, they didn’t take long getting with the program.

My biggest concern, in terms of dog behavior, was that they’d make a big fuss over me not sleeping right there with them. I made a way for the cat to get into the loft, but not for the dogs. They’ve rarely been called on to sleep through the night without their person right there, peeling their grapes for them and keeping them safe and warm. But old Crybaby Ghost settled for the Alpha Dog’s Portion: He got the big-boy chair, and I guess he decided that under these bizarre circumstances that would have to do.

I did get my running water back, in fact quite early yesterday. Apparently it really was icing, which raised quite a worry. If it would do that so early in the season, what would happen when it really got cold? Both M and I have tried our hands at making an insulated box for the valve manifold coming out the bottom of the cistern, but we’re just not carpenter enough. Yes, the pipes are insulation-wrapped, but that does no good outside, when there’s nothing to produce a temperature gradient for the insulation to maintain. So yesterday I took more simple but drastic action. I covered the pipes and valves with multi-layer plastic and duct tape and then buried the whole thing under two feet of dirt. I’ll dig up the valves in the spring.

Anyway, this morning I woke to indoor temps that were near-sixty even on the ground floor. It took no time at all for the still-somewhat-warm woodstove to bring us back up to shirtsleeve territory, and I have to say it felt quite sinful. I haven’t been that unseasonably comfortable first thing in the morning since spending a week at Landlady’s house, last December. In fact the single problem that arose was that I forgot to bring coffee. I’m gonna go ahead and move up this “moving” thing.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to I awoke this morning to the strangest sensation…

  1. Claire says:

    Yay!!!!! Joel!

    Brilliant progress. And OMG, what a happy first, waking up to “normal” indoor morning coolness.

    I raise my cup of coffee to you and hope you’ll have your own in the Lair tomorrow.

  2. Jim says:

    :) — A milestone, and I can’t tell you how much pleasure I’ve received from your Lair reports.

    A technical question: What sort of firewood is available in your neck of the desert?

  3. Joel says:

    You can get white pine if you pay for it – I know a number of guys who lease woodlots west and south of here from the state and make money selling cordwood.

    But if you cut it yourself, then it’s free juniper – or sand cedar, or fuzzybark, or whatever you want to call it. Pine doesn’t grow here.

  4. Good for ya dude.
    As much as you bust yer ass, I am glad to see some good news,

  5. Anonymous says:

    Woot! Congratulations on the progress! I always enjoy the pictures.

  6. MamaLiberty says:

    How wonderful, Joel. And it LOOKS cozy too. The interior walls are truly beautiful. Congratulations. :)

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To the stake with the heretic!