The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

January 26, 2014

Surviving winter at Estate includes ‘heater dance’


— Just sitting here, wishing Mother Nature would make up her mind already ...

— The Kellar Estate is surviving the winter season pretty well so far. Despite the constant shifts from warm one day to frigid the next — and despite my wife Vida and our daughter Jaylynn having a brush with the stomach bug that’s going around — we have had very few complaints to speak of.

About the only inconvenience which comes to mind, to me at least, is the annual winter heater dance.

During the cold weather months, it is yours truly’s duty — as outlined somewhere in a paragraph in our marriage vows, at least according to Vida — to make sure all downstairs heaters are turned off before I come to bed at night and then to awaken in the wee hours of the morning to go back downstairs and turn the heat on again, so that the ground floor of the Estate will warm up in time for the arrival of the children who attend Vida’s daycare business.

This means I end up losing about an hour’s sleep in total, because as I lay down at night Vida will ask me, “Did you turn off the heaters?”

I will say yes, but the question will get my mind working as I mentally go over the process again ... and again ... and then go downstairs once more to triple check.

When I come upstairs in the wee hours after turning the heat back on, Vida will ask, “Did you turn the heat on?”

This again gets my mind going back over my check list.

Still, if it means my wife, family and assorted toddlers are safe and warm, then all my efforts are worth it.

— About the only other problem worth noting this winter is how the population of the bed in the master bedroom multiplies when it gets really cold at night. Our son Jason, 7, will occasionally want to bunk at the foot of the bed, arguing it is too cold for him to sleep in his room next door (it’s not).

Topping things off is Farnsworth The Attack Cat, who has decided that during the cold weather he will grace us with his presence at night, which means another battle for covers. And Farnsworth has also yet to learn that his purr — loud enough to be used as a car alarm — really doesn’t serve to lull me to sleep, especially when he is trying to shove my head off of “his” pillow.

I can only hope for an early spring ...

— OK, I know I am running a little late this year, but next week I will have my highly anticipated “Fearless Predictions” for 2014, including who will (maybe) win the Super Bowl!

Just a thought ...

Kellar is a Herald-Banner staff writer