Sleeping in Spare Oom last night, to be nearer the fire's warmth, I woke about 3am to a strange light. Through my open door (to let the warmth wander in more easily) I could see the basement light shining. The girls were sleeping down there, because that's the warmest place in the house right now, right in front of the woodstove. Knowing they were fine, I rolled over to resume sleep. But what to my wondering ears should appear but the strangest middle of the night noise...sleepy brain took a minute to recognize it... it was the sound of paper ripping.
Long strips of paper.
I waited. Silence would come soon and I would sleep.
Then Ka-THUNK!! Long pause.....Ka-THUNK!!...
WHAT?? Sleepy brain is waking up fast now!
Now I have to go check it out. I have no idea what could be making such a racket. Creeping out of bed to head down the stairs, I find the girls up in the middle of the night. One has the ax held high and then down it comes...THUNK!!... They are splitting wood to stoke the fire!! Splitting wood at 3 am! Do you HEAR this??
I am sure Pa Ingalls never did it this way.
He slept at night and stoked the fire in the morning.
Our furnace quit, and we've been keeping the woodstove going during the days to take the chill off. The basement stays about 80 degrees, the main level about 63 and the upstairs, where the bedrooms are, is about 52. This is something of an accomplishment when the outdoor temp is only in the twenties.
We adapt. We wear layers. We let the sun shine in when we can. We bake more. But no matter what we do, it gets cold at night. It's 14 degrees outside right now, and it gets below 60 in the living room as the fire dies. We don't sleep in those 52 degree bedrooms; we find warmer places in the house to hunker down with our heated rice packs. If Laura Ingalls can do this, so can we!
The girls who were sleeping in front of the fire last night woke up when the fire got cold. So they got up, split a few logs, ripped up some kindling, stoked the fire, then went back to sleep. I just pull the blankets up and snuggle in deeper. They impress me with their strength and determination.
I think we might be sleeping light, all of us, in the cold, because we all feel tired during the day. We aren't getting a lot done these days, either. Keeping the fire going and finding ways to stay warm takes enough time and attention that other things, I'm afraid, get left for later. Apparently, a modicum of comfort does increase efficiency.
The new furnace is scheduled to be installed Thursday and Friday of this week. We should be warm by the weekend, and I think we will all be more appreciative of warmth when we get it back.