Okay, cold is a relative term. (oh yes and happy new year!) It’s not “Chicago” cold, but very, very cold, which is only exaggerated by the lack of central heating. We now have two wood burning fires thanks to Brent’s well directed efforts. Mr. Green and our newest edition “Fremont” keep us nice and toasty as long as we’re in the room. Getting out of bed or cooking dinner requires suiting up for the brisk single digit atmosphere. Little Fremont earned its name from the gorgeous topographical rendition of Billy Goats Gruff and the troll that lives under the bridge. Our house in Seattle was near a similar troll that lived under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont. Mr. Green and Fremont are fueled with perfectly cut posts by the newest power tool in the family, the circular saw. Before this beauty of a machine was adopted, Brent cut posts with Alice the chainsaw. This was horrible work for poor Alice and a slow operation for Brent and Michael who executed the wood chopping. The circular saw as of yet is nameless. The speed and efficiency it gains us is priceless.
Aside from the Great Advent Debacle of 2010, the kids have been dealing with the cold quite well (let’s just say a certain three-year-old left alone with everyone’s sweet Christmas tracking tool, could take it no longer. Starting with day 12, all chocolates behind all dated doors in everyone’s calendar were eaten). Ugg boots have never been so precious. Hats, gloves, scarves and coats have never been so well accounted for. We now know that hot water bottles – those rubbery things filled with hot water that grandma used to use – are alive and well and living in France. My centrally heated American attitude had like, totally thought these things were a thing of the past. Other quaint things with an actual purpose are dressing gowns, slippers and thermal underwear. Items that are not simply Christmas presents for Dad, in these cold Gascon houses, they are a necessity.