Monday, December 20, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Brrrrrr . . . .

I love this time of year . . . the feel of snow in the air, off-set by the warmth of a wood-burning fireplace; the sounds of holiday music; the sights of seasonal landscapes; tasty delicacies reserved for this time of year; the aroma of fresh pine and apple cinnamon spice; the opportunity to search for the “perfect” gift for family and friends.

My holiday spirit was boldly interrupted one morning recently. The outside temperature was 18 degrees – with a wind chill factor that blew the reading into the single digits.

The inside temperature? Sixty-seven. As visions of sugar plums danced in my head, my heat pump had settled in for a long winter’s nap . . . at least, if I didn’t do something quickly.

By the time calls for fuel delivery and service repair were acted upon, another night had passed and the inside temperature had dropped another 20 degrees.

Was my rude awakening a reminder to subscribe to routine maintenance, or was it a brief window into the world of those who may suffer in silence from a house that lacks sufficient insulation and/or struggles with rising heating costs? Most likely . . . both.

When our body is exposed to temperature extremes, especially for extended periods of time, our emotional thermometer can register: frustration, anger, impatience, rigidity . . .

Add the burden of payment-on-demand, and stress likely increases, and it is as if our emotions are hand-cuffed to the rising and falling mercury.

Holiday RX:

As much as I lament my Appalachian Power bill, I used this episode to motivate me to support APCO’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor heating program. Adding a few dollars to my payment due, will add a few paid kilowatts for someone less fortunate than I. I invite you to have your furnace checked routinely and to consider adding to someone’s holiday warmth.

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