Friday, December 6, 2013

The art of sleeping in sub-zero temperatures

Among the many unique features -- both charming and idiosyncratic -- of the Nine-One-Four is the fact that our master bedroom is not, nor ever has been, connected to the oil furnace that cozily heats at a small fortune the rest of the house.

We think this is because the room was added over the garage after the house was built. Sadly, we can't pin this one on the previous owners. Remember them? The oh-so-clever DIYers who removed two perfectly serviceable closets to create one gaping maw of closet with solid wood sliding doors that required the strength of Hercules to open -- and sounded like the gates of Hell welcoming a particularly heinous batch of new residents each time we pushed them open or closed.

That is not say we don't have heat in the room. There is a wall heater -- a "confection heater" was how the seller's realtor referred to it back in 1992 when we signed on the dotted line and the Nine-One-Four was ours.

We think he meant "convection." But no matter. Confection or convection, we've never ever detected a lick of heat from the dang thing so the point's kind of moot, isn't it?

So it is, for the last 21 years, we've weathered through winter in an unheated room. And, you know, it's really not bad.

Electric blankets and flannel sheets help. So does a bed hog dog.

And then there's The Seal -- a little trick of the trade we perfected during Ice Storm 1996 when we were without power for six days with temperatures dismally stuck in the 20s. The Seal involves two people getting into bed at the same time who then carefully tuck five layers of blankets in and around themselves, ie, The Seal. It is critical to enter bed at the same time -- and midnight trips to bathroom are not allowed (we WERE a bit younger back then) -- otherwise The Seal is broken and cold air pours into a previously toasty palace of slumber.

"Long live The Seal! Don't break The Seal!" became the rallying cry that week. As it has for subsequent years.

And so we head into this weekend. A seasonally uncharacteristic arctic freeze has settled over Bermtopia rewarding us with highs in the teens and lows in single digits since Tuesday. Morning walks with Ben have been, to say the least, bracing. Yesterday, he grew icicles on his chin.

But the days have been sharp, sunny and snow-free. And the sunsets (at about 3:30 p.m. or so it seems) come close to breaking your heart.

That's all this girl needs.

Tonight, however, Jack Frost ups the ante and brings in wind. 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30. This translates into a wind chill of  12 to 23 degrees below zero.


Wind chill? We don't need no stinkin' wind chill.

We've got a couple more blankets. A dog.

And The Seal.


  1. That's the ticket! We manage with only 3 quilts, but some heat seeps into the room

  2. The Seal - now that's funny! May I suggest a simple though possibly a $2K soution to your cold room? A mini-split heat pump system, it's ductless, quiet and it brings you heat as well as AC in the summer. Just goes on your wall, some are 120 others, 220. Size depends on the square footage of the room.