Sunday, November 30, 2008
Confessions of a Southern California Wuss
Okay, I'm a wuss. It's just too cold here today. As often as I try to convince myself I lived the majority of my life in Oregon and so should be used to cold weather, I'm still a Southern California wuss. I like that word for some reason, and I like the dictionary.com definition, especially the possible origin of the word--a combination of wimp and puss.
–noun Slang. a weakling; wimp. Origin: 1980–85; perh. b.
wimp and puss 1 Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
Maybe temperatures in the low 30's wouldn't feel so darned cold if it wasn't for the wind, which blew about 30-40 mph most of the day. The little snow flurries convinced me that winter is definitely here in SE Kansas.
I spent a lot of time in some pretty cold weather in Oregon, including a January snowstorm that was followed by freezing rain that made a thick, hard, slippery coating of ice on top of the snow. In order to get the mail, I had to bundle up in warm clothes and boots, then take a walking stick to stab down into the snow in order to make it out to the mailbox without sliding all the way. My son and I had great fun on a couple of plastic sleds, starting at the back door and sliding around all over the yard, including over the top of the 24-inch high raised garden beds. The power went out for several days, so we cooked dinners in the Weber kettle out on the covered patio. But, those freezing times didn't last very long, and mostly winters in Portland were just very wet.
This is quite a new experience--living in a small, rather poorly insulated motor home in SE Kansas the end of November. But, I've discovered a few tricks to keep it fairly warm in here and save money on propane at the same time. Since we have FHU sites (full hookups), electricity is included. So, why spend a lot of money on propane when I can use that electricity to heat the place? A little electric heater works just fine. I bought a couple of those foil-backed windshield covers people normally use to keep their cars cooler in the summer. Cut to size, they make great covers for my windows, keeping the cold air out a little better during the night. My two roof vents are closed and covered with foam pillows made especially for that use. And, I put foam weatherstripping around the door. In a pinch I can always turn on the propane furnace for a few minutes to take off the chill. However, this isn't anything like living in a house and being able to just turn on the furnace. Of course, it doesn't cost as much, either. Pros and cons of anything, I guess.
A couple more weeks and I'm off for warmer weather, most likely Blythe, California in the Mojave Desert. This time of year it's beautiful there, right on the Colorado River across from Quartzsite, Arizona. Maybe I should take advantage of this cold weather now so I'll appreciate the desert more. Then again, I've camped in a tent in the desert in January and woke to heavy snow on the roof. So, you never can tell. I guess the best thing is to just take whatever comes, appreciate it for what it is, but find somewhere warmer as soon as possible.