Day Eight – November 30, 2017
On this chilly last day of November I am thankful for a house that keeps out the cold.
Being able to choose to go out in the cold is a very different scenario than having to live in it because you have no home. I’ve never been homeless but I have lived in places that were not very well insulated.
For a few years I lived in an older mobile home that, while it was under-pinned with metal, it was never quite warm in the winter. Many winter nights I slept on the floor so I could put my quilt over the heat vents to stay warm. Those were tough days but even though I worried about how I was going to pay my car insurance (pawned my high school class ring and my flute to do so once) and lived on $10 of groceries every other week (part of which was food for the cat I had to keep the mice at bay) I was pretty content. My lot could have been a great deal worse.
I’ve lived in a four-room house heated by a small wood stove, dorm rooms heated by cranky radiators, houses with heat pumps, and houses with oil furnaces. I’ve never risked frost bite because I had nowhere to get in out of the cold. I can choose to go out on the porch on a 20 degree day barefooted because I have a warm place to return to when I get too cold. I know how fortunate I am.
So today, as the sun rises over the mountain ridge I am thankful that I can sit in warmth and watch the moisture drip from the porch’s metal roof. Those days in my trailer taught me about how little we can get by on if necessary. But having learned some valuable lessons I still hope I never have to live like that again or, even worse, have to live on the streets searching for a ‘warm’ place to sleep.
If you have a home to be in during cold days be thankful and don’t forget that there are people who are not so fortunate.