Late Night, Cold Air, Open Windows

If there’s something I love it’s cool, fresh air late at night. Sure, it’s only about midnight here in Madrid but after the recent time change it seems even later. And now that we’re well into autumn the night time low temperatures are lower and the typically nonexistent humidity is even less nonexistent. Say, is it possible to be less than non-existent? Regardless, the skies are clear and the stars are staring down at me as bright as can be.

That’s why I love autumn and even winter – particularly when the heat’s turned off. In the USA, and many other parts of the world, when the heat’s turned on for the autumn/winter it’s on until late spring and no one would think to open the windows in order to NOT let the heat out. But since I haven’t turned on the heat yet – and don’t expect to in the next month or so – I can open my windows at any time I want. Ah yes, freedom from fossil fuels.

During the colder months, most people in Spain whom have the typical radiator heat only turn it on during the day and then turn it off at night. This is in contrast to most Americans whom turn it on during the day but only turn down the thermostat during the nighttime. Here, it’s either ON or it’s OFF, no thermostat and no timers. Many of the “oldsters” still have the round radiator under the bedspread-covered table, they drape the cover over the legs and keep themselves toasty-warm as they talk, eat, or watch TV. These heaters are becoming less and less common as more and more people have radiators and, in a few cases, central heating throughout their homes.

That’s why I love living here, in part. I’m free to experience cool weather. Back when I was living in a my Ohio apartments I was ultra-conscious of retaining my heat. I’d slap those sheets of plastic over my windows, get out the hair dryer to make it taught, and waste away in my recycled air all winter long. Not here, baby. Here, I can open my windows whenever I want for a deep, clear breath.

As I write this I have the windows open in the entire house and it’s roughly 55ºC outside, fresh air gently blowing across me. Ahhhh, that’s nice. I love it.

Only for a few weeks in the “dead” of winter (late January and early February) do I really feel “cold”. These are usually the days when I have the house cleaned and all the windows are open during the morning hours. It’s great – but it’s cold. As someone once said, you can always put more clothes on to stay warm but you can only take off so much clothing to get cool.

So fresh and crisp, this air. I just love it.

 
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