My mother died in 1994. A year after my father. One thing I recall all too clearly about her advanced age was the breathing problems she had when the weather was too hot and the constant problems with trying to stay halfway comfortable during extremely cold weather.
At sixty-eight, I don’t yet struggle with problems like those, and I hope I don’t.
Looking back to when I was younger, I used to prefer cold weather to hot. After all, when I’m hot, I can only take off so many clothes without being arrested for indecent exposure. But when I’m cold, there’s no limit to the number of additional clothes I can put on–if I don’t mind looking super-pudgy. Like the way I look when I wear what my wife describes as my Nanook coat. (See the right-hand picture above.)
Now I’m not so sure I was right. Yes, when I’m too hot I feel drained. Although I try to avoid mowing the lawn when the temp is too high–I’ve already had to mow it twice this spring–I invariably feel drained by the effort. In fact, I feel drained doing that even when the weather’s not too hot.
But when I’m sitting around in winter time and have to get up to put on one more sweater–I refuse to turn the thermostat above seventy–I feel very vulnerable to the cold and feel extra sorry for the homeless.
But the toughest times to deal with are those when the temperature is in-between and a light jacket is too hot, but even a long-sleeved shirt isn’t quite warm enough.
Today is a beautiful spring day. It’s seventy-two degrees outside, the heat is off, and the front door is open. With the storm door set to screen mode, a mild breeze is helping to bring some of outside inside. (Hopefully not the pollen, however.) A while ago I took my guitar outside and sat on our little wooden bench to take advantage of the sunshine.
Nights are still in the thirties and forties. We usually remember to turn the heat on–in the mid-sixties takes the worst of the chill off–but we occasionally forget. Even though it may be a bit nippy when we get up, the extreme cold of winter seems to be past.
So which do I prefer now–hot or cold? Hard to say. Better just to accept whatever is, don’t you think? But to really enjoy and take advantage of days like today.
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“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
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