When the east wind visits Oysterville…

Friday, February 16, 2014

Fireside Evenings — Perfect!

I’m not crazy about the wind.  Especially the east wind.  It’s always in a such a great hurry to rush across the bay and through the cracks and crannies of this old house.    Our “state of the art” heat pump doesn’t have a chance.

The outside thermometer says it’s 46°  and the online wind chill report says it’s 42°.  Which only goes to show, you can’t trust technology.

The best quote about the East Wind:  “There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat!” (James Russell Lowell.)

Actually, it’s my warm, plushy bathrobe I have on over all my clothes!  On days like this, I often think of my grandparents living here in the years before electricity.  There were fireplaces in the living room and library, a wood cook stove in the kitchen, and a pot-bellied wood stove in the most easterly room in the house — the room they called “the nursery” for it could be kept the warmest (probably with the exception of the kitchen) and was where the youngest children slept until they were old enough to go to school.  “Even so,” my mother said, “Papa kept the fire going all night and we rushed downstairs to dress by that old woodstove on winter mornings.”

On Friday, January 15, 1916, my grandmother wrote to her oldest daughter who was away at boarding school in Portland:

Medora, 1915

My Dear Medora,
     We had not had any weather before you left, compared with this week – It has been fierce!
Papa and I have been worried about your health and comfort. We were quite relieved to hear that Ruth had let you have scarf and sweater. Papa was disgusted to find your rubbers. We certainly hope you are keeping dry feet and taking care of yourself. The “town” has been coasting every night and of course Sue has gone. We will be glad when this unusual spell has passed, tho it shows no signs of leaving yet. In fact, snow is falling at intervals today and the wind howls.
 I have a pair of papa’s underdrawers over mine today. Papa insisted and I am glad he did, for I feel warmer.
We certainly miss you. It was such a comfort having you home. Don’t do any risky things dear. Remember what you mean to us and take no chances with your precious self.
                                                                  Always with love, Mama

As it turned out, this would be Mama’s last letter to Medora who died two days later of a cerebral hemorrhage,  It had nothing to do with the weather, but may have a lot to do with my dislike of that cold east wind,

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