Sunday, February 6, 2011

Twenty below freezing

 (image by  Shirley Cason)

It's ten degrees outside. Fahrenheit. Heavy icicles are hanging from the roof and window sills threatening to fall and crash the wooden veranda underneath. The pond has turned into a solid block of ice, thick enough for an adults to stand on. It's as quiet as only a land covered with snow can be. Silent, save the sound of trickling water.

If you followed the sound, so unnatural to this frozen world, you would find that it came from the roof. Tick, tick, tick, the snow on the roof is melting drop after drop, in a regular pace of an ancient clock.

It's not a special house. Just like all neighboring houses it emits heat to the outside world. Enough heat to raise the temperature by more than 20 degrees; enough to melt ice.

While heat is escaping, cold is penetrating the house. Yet, as the heaters are working non-stop, the house is warm and pleasant, and the sudden chill I feel whenever I see my heating bill is soothed by the love that the energy company bestows upon me. They love me. They love my neighbors. They love all of us who subscribe to the American dream: cheap houses that cost a lot to run.

It's only the environment that screams at me whenever I step out. But I don't have time to listen. I am too busy complaining about the trains that do not run in this weather; about the increase of oil price and about the council that does not clean the snow off the roads fast enough.

I hate being confused by hard thinking, when I can solve my problems by simple installments. Why should I build doors that seal if I can heat the house? Why should I build proper slopes if I can pumps out the access water. As long as my credit line is good why should I care if the Johns don't.

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