“Winter bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

We have rain and 44˚. The low for the day will be 43˚. This is not winter in New England, but winter is impatiently waiting in the wings. Daytime tomorrow will be 50˚ but tomorrow night will be in the 20’s. The rest of the week will be 30’s during the day and 20’s at night. That’s a warm winter in New England!

The winter weather never mattered when I was a kid. I still had to walk to and from school every day. It wasn’t miles or feet of snow, but it was cold, freezing cold. The blasts of wind from across the field at the foot of my street whipped through my jacket. I remember using my mittened hands to protect my ears, red and numb from the cold. The hat my mother insisted I wear never kept my ears warm, just the top of my head. I’d hurry to get to the street below the field, the one with houses on both sides, buffers from the wind. It was a straightaway from there to school.

The middle of my classroom was always warm. Near the windows was chilly so most of us wore sweaters over our uniforms. The girls wore blue skirts and white blouses. The boys wore white shirts and blue pants. We could wear any shoes and socks. I don’t remember what shoes I wore, but I remember knee socks and pink long underwear which warmed my legs almost to the hem of my skirt.

In winter the classroom was never quiet. Even if we were silently reading, we could hear the hissing and wheezing of steam escaping from the radiators. I think that’s the sound I most miss from long ago winters.

My house has forced hot air from my gas furnace. I keep the daytime temperature at 68˚. That used to be warm enough. It isn’t anymore so I wear a sweatshirt around the house. The air blows and the house gets warm. I know this system is far more efficient than the radiators were, but the radiators did far more than spew heat. Coming in from the freezing cold, I could sit with my back to the pipes and quickly get warm. My mittens on the top of the radiator sizzled as they dried. My shoes with their curled toes looked like something Aladdin would wear after they’d dried under the radiator. When I was falling asleep, the radiators would hiss, crackle and even groan when they were warming the house. It was a comforting sound. I knew heat was coming.

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9 Comments on ““Winter bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    I generally remember being cold. Our house was heated by coal and coke with large containers in the back garden, but heat did not extend to the upstairs where we relied on electric heating bars on the wall. When we moved on, we relied on water driven radiators and spent endless hours bleeding them to remove the cold spots.

    I try to keep our home at 71 ish and manage with sweaters and slippers – thank you Uggs.

    We are snow free, and the longer we go it’s all on the bonus. I a, really confused as it what day it is…guess when there is no KTCC tomorrow I will know

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      When I was in Morocco, it was winter, and my room was cold. The heater was the electric heating bars on the wall. If I hadn’t seen them then, I probably wouldn’t know what you meant.

      My house is rather snug at 68˚ as I have all new windows, well fairly new, so the heat stays in rather than escaping through the windows. I also wear slippers as I love comfy.

      I have been having trouble with the days of late. Christmas and New Year’s threw me off a bit. I do know what tomorrow is as I have some errands I’ve been putting off.

      To the Gods of weather: no snow please!!!

  2. Coleen Says:

    Hi Kat!

    Your weather is the same as mine these days.

    At first when I bought my house I kept the thermostat at 55 and wore sweatshirts and long underwear. That was a bit too cool…slowly it rose to 60, then 62. I still wore the sweats and long underwear…

    It seemed to feel best at 65 with the heat in the winter and 75 with the central air in the summer.

    These days I rent a room from a homeowner, so I do not control the thermostat – nor do I especially want to. I live on the third floor, so in the winter the heat rises nicely. It’s a tad hotter in the room during the summer, but that’s why God invented the overhead fan. 🙂

    Rained like crazy today – I am waving to dry off!!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      We must consider ourselves lucky with the warm weather. It continues tomorrow but the cold will be back on Thursday.

      I also had the heat down low when I first bought my house. I put it down to 58˚at night nd kept it 62 while I was working. I figured the animals had warm beds and fur coats to stay warm. 68˚ is comfortable. The air conditioning depends on how hot it is. I won’t live uncomfortably.

      My house on the third floor is quite the opposite. It is cold in winter and hot in summer.

      It is still raining, but it is Gracie who is trying to dry off.


  3. Bob Says:

    Yesterday the high temperature was 73 degrees under a cloudless sky. A cold front dropped the temperature this morning into the upper 40s with gray skies all afternoon. The really cold temperatures are coming on Thursday night with lows on Friday in the low 20s. Of course next week we warm up again to 70 degrees on Tuesday. The weird weather we are having is a result of global warming which our President-elect thinks is a hoax perpetrated by China. After four years of Trump and the Republicans summer Cruses through the Arctic Ocean from Montreal to Anchorage will be common.

    When I was teenager in NYC I walked everywhere in the winter and didn’t mind the cold but hated the snow.. A warm coat, gloves and a scarf was all I really needed. My aunt’s house was heated with oil which powered a boiler that made the steam that ran through the radiators which provided the warmth. Here in Dallas our condo is hested by airflow through ducts. We can’t have steam heat here because we have no basements.

    • katry Says:

      That’s early July for us, and upper 40’s in the winter is a heat wave. I’m with you in the 20’s being cold especially if there is any sort of a wind. We’ll have a few warm days during the winter, and we’ll be thrilled and surprised.

      Those tricky Chinese!

      My house when I was growing up was heated with oil. There was a big black tank beside one wall in the cellar. What makes the airflow going through your pipes? My house is heated by hot air but it is a gas furnace which provides the energy.

      I am not outside too long so I seldom have a hat or gloves. I run to the car then run to the store; however, snow means mittens and boots.

  4. Rowen Says:

    There’s something soothing about radiators. I don’t even mind a little knocking in the pipes if it’s not too loud.

    • katry Says:

      Soothing is a great description. I loved the radiator at the foot of my bed when I was a kid. I’d sit by it and read, warm and cozy. I think I stopped noticing the knocking.

  5. olof1 Says:

    We got snow here today, only an inch of it but still too much. We’äll get really cold nights and tomnorrow will be cold during the day too and after that it’ll be warmer again.

    We never had much snow when I grew up by the ocean but when we did get it we got a lot but it was the cold nasty winds from the ocean one feared. It ate its way through the clothes and froze the bones in the body. I guess that was the start for me not liking winter 🙂

    I usually had my place by the window but all windows had radiators so it was quite nice to sit there even during windy winter days. It was however very important not to lean towards the radiator, it was so hot it burned and the pain stayed for days 🙂

    Have a great day!


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