When I was a kid, I thought blizzards were great.
School would be cancelled and my siblings and I would take full advantage of the unexpected vacation day.
We were serious board game players, and after playing two or three, we would always want to play outside in the snow. Layers and layers of snow clothes were pulled on, and then out we’d go. If the snow was good packing snow, we’d make a snowman. Mom would always be ready to hand us a carrot, scarf and hat for the finished product. Next we’d play king of the mountain, climbing and pushing each other off of the mound of snow my father had plowed from the driveway. Somebody would always get hurt and start crying, which meant that it was time to go inside. Our house was heated by an oil-fired boiler and cast iron radiators. I can still hear the gurgling noises that came from the radiators. We would lay our wet mittens on them and sit on them to soak up the heat. As an adult, I don’t look at blizzards in quite the same way. For one thing, my house is heated by a gas-fired furnace, which blows heated air through air ducts into the rooms. I miss sitting on the radiators, but I certainly don’t have a need to warm up after playing outside in the snow as I once did. And I’ve come to realize the importance of high efficiency furnaces, both for energy cost savings and environmental concerns. When blizzards hit the area now, I am more concerned that our HVAC system is operating than I am about playing outside in the snow.