I took a “Snow Day” earlier this week. School was delayed, due to the snow. I attempted to go to my shop, but less than half way there, I turned around and went home. Instead of dealing with the winter weather outright, I made curtains.
There are a few different styles of winter weather. There is your Buffalo, NY/Minnesota style of winter and your warm, Southern/Florida style of winter weather. And then there is winter as most everyone else knows it – the one you might be familiar with, and the one most often romanticized in the movies and on T.V. sitcoms as a “Winter Wonderland”. Protagonists are seen wearing winter coats with coordinating hats and scarves and the occasional pair of gloves or mittens. The streets are clear and dry, and so are the cars because they are all kept in garages. The snow is white, fluffy, and only on the grass. Everyone cheerfully brushes the snow off their shoulders when they enter a house.
Like I said, that’s the romanticized version. I’ve accepted that we probably won’t see the grass until sometime in March. Snow doesn’t stay off the streets or sidewalks, unless you’re out there a few times a day shoveling and sweeping. Car windshields need scraped and cleared. Black ice is everywhere, pavement, steps, cement, bricks and slate. Snow isn’t always light and fluffy, and it doesn’t just disappear either, there’s that black sooty, mushy and icy in-between stage as it melts. Once inside, all the snow you shake off your coat, hat, and boots melts and becomes a puddle you don’t see until you step in it and get your socks wet. But that’s ok, you can dry your soggy socks with your mittens, hats, and scarves, which are also wet and soggy from the melting snow. And don’t get me started on the salt, sand, and cinders that get tracked everywhere.
I have accepted that during January and February the warm days will be somewhere around the freezing mark. While I’m not happy about that, I have also accepted that we won’t be moving to a warmer climate anytime soon. So I continue to try to do things that will help me deal with the cold and Old Man Winter in an manner consistent with my philosophy of living lightly.
What does that mean? We all know we need to improve our homes energy efficiency, especially when the heating bills arrive in our mailboxes. For The Goat and me, it’s the little things we do around the house to “winterize”. We’ve got draft dodgers; our thermostat is programmable; we cover the exhaust vent when not in use; screen door screens are replaced with glass; doors to unheated rooms remain closed; I dress in layers… you get the idea. And most recently, I made curtains.
Over the years, I have made most of our curtains. Having an old house where each window in a room can be a different size, I am able to customize the length or width so that the curtains all look proportional, and I can line them as needed – some more than others depending on their final window placement.
Whether you make your own or purchase them pre-made, I highly recommend insulated curtains, as they really do keep the cold out and the heat in. Which in the end, is really what we want at this time of the year, right? Making those curtains earlier this week was a small step towards keeping our home warm and more efficient. Are we going to see drastic changes in our heating bill because of one pair of curtains? Probably not. But for me, it was a great way to spend a snow day. I got to be creative, use up some of the fabric in my stash, and blew a raspberry in Old Man Winter’s general direction.