Future Aspiration: Snow Birding

The other day, I turned the heat on…for about an hour.  Once my downstairs temperature got above 70, I turned it off.  Yesterday, it was quite warm, and the house was a sweltering 79 without any help from the furnace.  It was a rainy day which is why the windows stayed closed.

Autumn begins today, though.  The 10 day forecast is only showing temps below 70.  It is extremely easy to forebear Christmas decorating when you’ve been keeping the kids’ shorts and t-shirts handy and walking around barefoot most of the time.  The kids have been watching too much TV, apparently, since they have been lamenting a winter with no snow.  All the commercials show white Christmas scenes.  I, for one, will not miss snow this year.  Perhaps this mild weather will get old in 4 or 5 or 6 years.  For now, I will enjoy it, since I doubt I will be here in even 2 years.

I was thinking about a blog post written at the beginning of summer about air conditioning.  At the time, I was wilting in my home.  We have upstairs and downstairs heating and cooling systems.  The upstairs one was set to 85 to keep it from running all the time.  At night, I would turn it down to 80 and it would sometimes kick off before we got up in the morning.  The downstairs system was set to 78-80 and it ran most of the time.  We had a party in July and I set both systems to 70 the day before the party.  By the afternoon of the party, with the A/C running constantly, the downstairs was over 75 and the upstairs was over 80.  They just couldn’t handle the heat.  Nighttime temperatures rarely got below 75 so offered no help if we opened windows.

Not running the A/C was not an option.  Not if I wanted to remain sane.  Many of the commenters on that blog post expressed deep dislike over artificial cooling and waxed sentimental over the slamming of the screen door and the sounds of children playing in the yard filtering through the open windows.

I have a feeling these same people have been running their heaters for a month – maybe more.

A few weeks ago, Bill asked if I’d like to live in Savannah, some day – not suburbia where we are – but in the city itself with the old homes and the dripping Spanish moss in quaint and quiet squares.  That gorgeous November day, with the sun hot but not unbearable, and the shade lovely and the walk downtown quite enjoyable, I said yes.  And then I laughed and thought about June and July and August and even September and said that we’d have to have another home – perhaps in Maine.

Some place with screen doors and no air conditioning.

8 thoughts on “Future Aspiration: Snow Birding

  1. I'm fairly certain there is not one really great place, climate-wise, unless maybe San Diego and I say “no thanks” to CA! My oldest son hates the cold. This morning we are having our first snow and after listening to him belly-ache about it, I told him he might need to move to Georgia after college. He didn't disagree. I would rather have snow than heat any day.

    We turned our air off, for the most part, in September. We have been running the heat, but we always keep the thermostat around 64, so it doesn't really run until it gets pretty cold outside. Unfortunately we still have $100 electric bills with no air at all (gas heat), and me turning lights off in the entire house — what's wrong with candle light? 😉

  2. Anybody who waxes eloquent about an AC-free life has never lived in the South! I'm not a fan myself, but it was mandatory down there. The heat and humidity were just too oppressive. It IS nice there in the city, though. I imagined living in one of those big old homes a time or two myself. 😉

  3. Even my in-laws who live in Maine have air conditioners. Of course, they're window units, but still it gets hot sometimes. I would not want to live in the south w/o an air conditioner.

    I desperately want to be a snowbird. I love Maine during the summer and Florida during the fall, winter, and spring. I really hate the cold!

  4. A summer place in Maine – something I've always wanted. I even have a house picked out – beach, rocks, in a cove. Private time-share opportunity some day? Hm….

  5. We've been keeping the heat at 60 or 65 to cut electricity costs. The result is lots of hobo-esque attire – hats, sweatshirts under baggy wool shirts, thick wool socks. Whenever someone rings the doorbell I have to shed layers so I don't scare them when I open the door.

  6. The past ten days I've swtiched from heat to AC from one day to the next. I just programmed it for the “winter”. I think it will stay cooler now. I think I'll do what some of the other readers said…keep it at 64 or so. I even will put it down low to 60 while everything is sleeping in their beds. We get a nice refund check from military housing if we save electricity.

  7. San Diego is usually quite perfect. If you want for snow, you just drive up to Julian when they get a dusting only 30 minutes away…or a couples hours north to big bear for skiing. You can wear shorts year round. You can forgo owning a heavy jacket. But…then you lead a very sheltered existence and forget or never learn how to survive in the rest of the world.

    This is our first year with oil heating…and a boiler. I'm trying to be very conservative with it. The zone for the kid's rooms is set a bit higher, but upstairs it's set at about 60 (I like wool socks and warm clothes too much). The boiler kicks on intermittently, because it's also our on-demand water heater. But I don't feel any heat directed to the radiators until night temps set in. It's only kicked in upstairs a few times. Thus far we're doing pretty good and using less than the oil company is predicting we would. So I'm pleased for the momment.

    Now if I could just get the kids to stop leaving all the lights on downstairs.

  8. I'm heatless in New Jersey right now; we've got 2 space heaters going and that's IT until sometime next week when the elusive part gets here.
    I don't mind the snow (much) but the chill–brr….
    Off to add another layer.

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