Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s Saturday, December 26, 2020, and it is early afternoon in New Hometown, FL. Currently, the temperature is 52˚F (11˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind becalmed and humidity at 28%, the feels-like temperature is 52˚F (11˚C). According to my computer’s Weather app, we have reached our forecast high of 52˚F (11˚C) and we can expect partly sunny skies for the rest of the day. Tonight, the skies will remain partly cloudy, and the low will be 34˚F (1˚C).
I woke up extremely early this morning – around 5:15 AM Eastern – because I had to “answer the call of nature.” Man, was it cold in the house! In all the years I have lived here – it will be five in April of 2021 – The Caregiver has not turned on the central heating, not even when the temperature is near the freezing point (32˚F/0˚C). Her reasoning is that using the heater function is too pricey because it uses more electricity than the air conditioner. She also hates the strange smell that permeates a house when you turn on the heater. I’m not fond of either that smell or of higher electricity bills, but seriously? She can’t put up with turning on the warm air for a few hours to at least ease the chilliness in the house?
My mom didn’t like to use the heater in our townhouse much, either, but she was sensitive to extremely cold weather, especially on the rare occasions when we got Arctic blasts in Miami, so she turned the central heating on when the mercury dropped below 40˚F (4˚C), and never mind that “something’s burning” smell or the higher Florida Power & Light bill. We could afford it because we turned off the air conditioner – sometimes for entire weeks! – during Florida’s dry season (November through early May). And in the brief period when I lived in the townhouse as its interim owner, I stuck to that modus operandi; I’d turn off the air conditioner – which was in lousy shape by then – when the temperature was tolerable and only used the heater when it was really, really cold.
But I don’t own this house, and I don’t have any say-so as far as decision-making goes, so I have to endure cold snaps as best I can. I try to dress in layers on days like today, and I’m seriously considering the purchase of a small space heater for my room. I would buy one now, but between last month’s purchase of a 4K UHD TV, Christmas shopping, and the bill for my annual subscriptions to Microsoft Office and Norton Anti-Virus, I can’t use my credit card until January.
Anyway…yeah. It was bone-chilling cold when I got up to use the bathroom. And even though I went straight back to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep again. So…I have been awake for almost 11 hours and feel as though I didn’t get any sleep at all. I am only able to write this because I had three cups of coffee with the hearty brunch The Caregiver served me around noon…otherwise I’d still be on the salutation part of this blog post.
Other than that, I don’t have much in the way of news. I spent much of my time on Facebook; I don’t feel at ease in the company of The Caregiver anymore, so I don’t have anyone to talk to here. As a result, I either “hang out” in the Facebook groups I belong to or play easy-to-play games such as CBS Sports Fantasy Football Manager or its baseball counterpart – even though I am not a devotee of either sport. I also watched a few wargaming videos on YouTube; this morning I watched The Historical Gamer playing a World War II strategy game called War in the Pacific – Admiral’s Edition. That’s an incredibly detailed (and insanely complicated) simulation of the entire Pacific war between the Japanese Empire and the Allies, starting in December of 1941 and ending in August of 1945. It Is such a complex game that I would not buy it or attempt to play it, since It involves moving vast numbers of naval, air, and land units across large expanses of land (in Asia, mostly) and – of course -ocean. It is a game in which you can issue orders to individual warships and land units as small as an infantry company. I like strategy games, but not ones that are so complicated that I feel I’d need to go to either West Point or Annapolis in order to play them. I do enjoy The Historical Gamer’s playthroughs, and I’ve even bought a few games on Steam after watching him play Strategic Command WWII: World at War and Mars Horizon. In that respect, I’d rather be an observer than an active participant.
On this note, Dear Reader, I will humbly take my leave of you. I’m still tired – despite the three cups of coffee I consumed earlier with brunch – and fuzzy-brained, and I can’t really think of anything I can add to this post. So, until tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
 Starting in the early 2000s. Florida winters gradually grew warmer and muggier. In my mother’s last winter seasons (2010-2014), we often had to turn on the air conditioner in December, January, and February to keep her comfortable during spells of unusually warm weather.