Warmth

January 02, 2021

We had our furnace serviced last week.  I was a little surprised when we signed up for the service that they could not schedule us until the first week of December, but I agreed because I knew the advantage of getting it checked.  We were not feeling well when the date approached, and I called the service and had them reschedule (we both tested negative).   The next earliest date was the 28th.   When I questioned whether a service was needed this late in the season, they assured me (surprise!) that getting the tune up would be good regardless of when it happened.  Reluctantly I agreed.

The control of fire by early humans was a turning point in our technological evolution.  Fire provides a source of warmth and lighting, protection from predators (especially at night), a way to create more advanced hunting tools, and a method for cooking food.  These cultural advances allowed human geographic dispersal, cultural innovations, and changes to diet and behavior.  Additionally, creating fire allowed human activity to continue into the dark and colder hours of the evening.  Anyone who has sat around a campfire can attest to the feeling of warmth generated by the flames and companionship.

When the technician arrived, he walked in and immediately asked Melissa if the heater was working.  She said it was working fine.  As he walked by the thermostat, he noticed it read 63F.  Again, he asked if the heater really was working.  Melissa again assured him it was, and that because of the succulents in the house we have committed to keeping the thermostat around 65F.  His immediate response was, “What is a succulent?”  Ironically, Melissa was sitting in front of an open window.

Thoughts:  One of the hardest parts of being mindful of the pandemic is missing the warmth of family and friends.  We have not seen any of my family (in person) for close to a year.  Even as the numbers spike across the country there are still many who have not been vaccinated or have been exposed and recovered.  That means the warmth we have had is missed.  Some have ignored the call to stay at home and the result for the family has been frightening.  The absence of warmth now is a small cost to pay to ensure warmth in the future.  Perhaps I should put a campfire scene as background on our next family zoom call. Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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