I do hate to turn into one of those old women (like my very own mother) who love to regale people with stories of how deprived they were as children...I do. Sometimes. There are times, however, when I revel in it.
Last night, as I shut of the central heat and crawled into my bed with its memory foam mattress pad, multiple squishy pillows, electric blanket with a "preheat" setting and down comforter, I couldn't help but think back.
We had no central heat. The house I lived in in high school had a huge and ugly oil heater that dominated the dining room. It did manage to leak some heat into the living room, but the rest of the house was on its own. The kitchen had a small two-burner wood stove, as well as a "modern" cook stove. We had a small portable oil heater that we schlepped between rooms. There was no heat left running in that house at night. None. The first thing to do in the morning was to light the portable heater and the wood stove.
If it was really frigid, I was allowed a hot water bottle at night, which warmed the area of my feet. I had several blankets, a spring mattress that had to be at least 20 years old, and a bedspread. One pillow, and a thin and sorry one it was, too.
At some point, my parents bought a couple of electric blankets for themselves. Not for me, though. The electric blankets were sort of a reward for having got old. I saw the lack as punishment for being...well...me. Not for being young, but just because I was an unworthy individual. Somehow, Mom and Dad thought that it would be decadent for me to have one. I was constantly reminded that I had my youth to keep me warm.
I have to say that, at about 4'11" and around 90 lbs, there wasn't a lot of me to generate heat.
Of course, when they were young, they had to break the ice on the water pitcher to wash their faces in the morning. I didn't know how soft my life was, without that experience!
Well, to this very day, I associate cold with poverty and misery. Reading "The Little Match Girl" will still make me cry.
So here's today's list of things for which I am truly thankful:
~warmth at the touch of a switch
~a memory-foam mattress pad
~an electric blanket
~a down comforter
...and permission to read in bed.