Visitors, and weird, wintry mental leaps

We absolutely love having visitors.  Well:  we love having good visitors …!  We’ve just said goodbye to Agneta and her daughter Lisa, who’ve been with us for a week.  They definitely fall into the ‘good visitor’ category:  relaxed, good fun, interesting, interested, independent …

It helps, of course, to live in a house that’s got a comfortable number of rooms (and bathrooms …) so that nobody needs to get in anybody’s way at critical moments.  Talking to Agneta last night, I was reflecting that, when I was young, and we didn’t have much money, what we mostly did for holidays was go to visit family in other parts of the country.  None was rich;  and all had houses that were (just about) big enough for the family they had … so it all got very .. um .. cozy.  Not that it matters when you’re a kid, and you’re only 3 or 4 feet tall, and you’re outside most of the time anyway … but I wonder now how much of a trial it was for the adults? … these days, we’re much more spoiled.

‘Spoiled’ and ‘houses’ took my mind on one of those inexplicable leaps (or series of leaps) through houses past.  The first three houses I lived in as a child in Scotland had no central heating;  and, consequently, bathrooms where – in the winter – you could see your breath. But then … that was perfectly normal.  And we had good food and warm clothes so …

But … ah!  The luxury of the first centrally-heated house …  <happy sigh> … it was in East Kilbride, since you ask;  and I was 6.  And the boiler (‘furnace’ for the benefit of our North American readers), with its amazing, hi-tech ‘pilot light’, was still a sufficiently exotic object that friends and family visiting the house for the first time would be as keen to see it, tucked away in its cupboard, as they would be to see the living room or kitchen.  Or maybe it was just us who were keen to show it off … hmmm.

Anyway:  back to Chicago, and its winter.  How the hell did anyone cope here before central heating …?  They were clearly made of doughtier stuff in those days.  Below a photo (of which I’m rather proud) from Navy Pier which hints at the heat-challenged environment …

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2 thoughts on “Visitors, and weird, wintry mental leaps

  1. Pingback: Niagara Daredevils « SoftEdges

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