We finally turned the heat on tonight. Our goal was (as it is every year) to wait until November. We talk about how we come from hearty New England stock and how it's really perfectly warm if you just bundle up. We try to ignore the way THAT DOG seems to cling to us in the final days of October, always lying as close as possible to to keep her short-haired little body at a temperature that will sustain life.
But tonight, Steve walked in as I was dumping boiling water from the kettle into our bathtub. "What are you doing?" he asked, wondering (hopefully, perhaps) if I'd spent my day looking up new cleaning techniques on the internet. "I'm preheating the tub," I answered, as if this was the most normal thing in the world.
You see, when cold weather approaches, it hits our bathroom first. And whatever the material is that bathtubs are made out of (porcelain? ceramic?), it freezes like an ice-cube. So by the time the water from our not-so-large hot water heater makes it up here to the third floor (through cold copper pipes that inexplicably take it OVER our living room ceiling), it's not all that hot anymore. And once it hits the ice tub, forget about it.
I thought my answer to this problem was rather clever. I remembered how, in the Little House on the Prairie books, Ma would boil water on the stove to fill the bathtub to keep the family happy and warm. I thought I'd give it a try. And guess what? It worked! The pre-warmed tub filled with nice toasty water, and soothed my chilly bones.
(Unfortunately, the boiling water also peeled off some sort of casing on the drain, and may have compromised the long-term viability of the soap dish. I may need the number to one of those Bathfitter outfits that comes and refurbishes damaged tubs...)
But the good news is, the heat is on!