Regulating Springtime Temperatures

Does anybody else have trouble figuring out what to wear in the Springtime?

The mornings can be cold – in the mid-30s. But daytime highs reach into the 70s, might even touch 80!

“Dress in layers,” they say. And I do have a couple of lighter-weight sweaters that could go over short-sleeves. But the jacket I need in the morning is laying in the backseat by afternoon.

And do I wear socks in my shoes, since my toes are cold? They make my outfit look so “wintry.” Yesterday, I put on a black T-shirt with a lightweight red and black open cardigan, and jeans. With socks and shoes, I looked like I was dressed for November!

I took off my socks and tossed them on the floor of the car. I rolled up my sleeves and cuffed my pants and – voilà! – I was dressed for Spring. Kinda.

I don’t really have much in the way of Spring colors in my wardrobe. I wear lots of blues, with some purples and grays/blacks. Not Springy colors like pinks and greens and yellows. Definitely not yellows, which make my skin look sallow.

What about sleeping in these temperatures? We’ve been keeping one window open at night, for the fresh air. But the room really cools off by early morning.

On my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I got a weighted blanket. They’re not supposed to be hot, just heavy. But mine came with a “minky” cover, which is plush polyester – not breathable. I got a second cover – cotton and bamboo – which is definitely not as stifling as the first one.

I’ve slept with the weighted blanket many nights since I got it. But I almost always kick it off in the middle of the night because it’s too hot. I find myself dropping it to the floor and reaching for my regular sheets and blankets. And then, come early morning, like 3am, I’m cold and want another layer. But I’m hot by 7am – probably the furnace kicking on.

Speaking of heat, I’ve noticed how hard it is to regulate the temperatures of rooms in this weather. It’s too warm for heat, too cool for air conditioning. Having the windows open is a nice alternative, but that doesn’t work at our office. And if it’s windy, all the tree and flower pollen is blowing around, which makes sneezing much more likely.

This temperature difficulty is especially noticeable in big buildings, like at church. It must be difficult for staff to know if they should turn on heat or AC. And it takes so long for a large space to warm up or cool off. I’m sure that’s a challenge for the property manager to regulate.

I sound like I’m complaining. And I’m really not; just observing the difficulties of this time of year.

The positive aspects of Springtime far outweigh these trivial negatives. The beautiful dogwood and Mountain Laurel trees, the greening grass, the daffodils and tulips. The celebration of Easter and new life. I stood underneath a huge lilac bush at church last night, just soaking in the beautiful perfume. I may not have anything to wear, but Spring is a beautiful time of year!

Ice Ice Baby

We had an ice storm yesterday. It started in the middle of the night before, and was full-on by 7am. Schools and businesses were closed. I’d have stayed in my pajamas except that I had an important FaceTime appointment with my niece.

I chatted with my best friend, did the dishes, cleaned the washing machine, wrote a blog post. All day, sitting at the kitchen counter, I could hear the sleet hitting the side of the house. It was gray and rainy and 31 degrees.

In mid-afternoon, I was working on materials for my Fresh Hope group when the power began to flicker. The microwave oven clock kept beeping on and off.

The weather must have abated a little, because the cardinals braved the cold to come to the bird feeder. Icicles dripped off all the edges, but they didn’t seem deterred. The mourning doves came and marched around the crusty snow under the feeder.

Finally, at 5pm, the power went off for good. I walked around and shut all the blinds to keep the heat in. I put on socks inside my slippers. I lit all the candles throughout the house. Of course, because we just went through Daylight Savings Time, it was pitch black outside by 5:15pm!

I thought about reading my Kindle, but found myself staring into the flame of the candle and letting my mind wander. I texted my husband to warn him about the garage door not opening automatically, and asked him to pick up a bottle of wine on his way home. “Be safe!” I cautioned. I prayed for the power company employees, working out in the horrible weather, doing their best to restore power to 10,000 customers!

I unlocked the garage door, and when my husband got home, we cooked dinner on our gas stove. He lit the gas fireplace with a lighter. We drank the wine and watched the flames, then went to bed a little early.

The rain stopped in the middle of the night. The thermostat read 57 degrees in the house, so we added the comforter to the bed. When my husband’s alarm went off at 6am, he discovered that the plant and office were without power, so we went back to sleep for awhile.

We got up this morning to a cold house, but beautiful ice-encapsulated trees and bushes. After boiling some water for oatmeal, we decided to venture out for coffee (and to charge up our phones). We saw lots of trees and limbs down – some power lines, too.

The mountains in the distance glisten. The ice is beautiful in the sunshine.

Like glass and diamonds on the branches.