The Mystical Screen Door

I find myself thinking a lot about the fact that the Mystical Screen Door between indoors and outdoors is much thinner in the Adirondacks than it is in New York City.

float2Low temps this week are in the teens, and yet, I find I still spend about half my day outdoors. I find that I really don’t keep the indoor temp all that crazy warm either. I figure that if I am wearing three layers of long sleeves and I’m just going to go back outside anyway, it’s easier to keep all the layers on.

I find I don’t try to deny the weather quite so much here in the country. It’s easier to just work with it. And really, wearing heavy socks and a few layers is cheaper than extra propane. 

Our freezer and fridge are currently turned off. It was acting up a little. It wasn’t too too fussy, and I thought I could fix it; but then I started thinking about the fact that we heat our dwellings, and then turn around and run a refrigerator and freezer inside. At the base level, it’s a little weird. So I decided against fixing the fridge. I turned it off and put a big cooler with a latch on it outside the front door. A modern-day root cellar, of sorts. (I know it’s a little eccentric. But I like it.)

Anyhow. Back to the Mystical Screen Door. Several things require me to be outside – feeding and watering chickens, going to the Post Office (no mail delivery here), the eventual shoveling of snow, generally entertaining myself, and a new thing I’ve begun to experience … Winter Visiting. As a serious sport. Competitive Visiting. That is – Guarding against Adirondack cabin fever.

fireworkspalaceCome hell or 40 below, a neighbor walks his dog down to the old railroad tracks, through the park and back, every single day, stopping to chat along the way. (And there are people outside to visit with.) Village gents walk up to converge at the store for coffee and an-hour-or-so of decent talk each day. Another neighbor faithfully walks two miles each afternoon, waving to everyone along the way. I saw her walking in snow boots last week. Back in the 1880s, a need for Winter diversion founded the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. (Today’s photos are from this awesome site.)

paradecrowdMy Winter plans for when I’m not at Carnival? Oh, I’ve got it all figured out. Maybe I can get some of the village residents involved … I’m totally building a snow castle. We may not be able to compete with the Saranac Lake Ice Palace a few miles down the road, but I totally want to build a great big snow castle. Maybe two. Oh, hell. Maybe a Snow Village!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The Mystical Screen Door

  1. I’m still in Winter-denial, though I have begun to wear long-sleeve performance underwear under my “work” shirt.

    And, on a related note, I have also started leaving the beer in the currently unheated mud-room.

  2. Ah, you are settling in just fine. Like you, I find wearing a few layers of clothes inside and outside to work just fine. A hat and gloves added to a few layers of flanner can take the place of a coat for a long time–especially if the day is sunny. I can’t tell you how often I’ve used a cooler to take the place of fridge. I figure, what not take advantage of nature’s cooler??

    Carolyn H.

  3. I like wearing layers around the cabin too! Seems so comfy! Have you seen that PBS documentary called Alone in the Wilderness (story of Dick Proenneke?) His root cellar was dug several feet in the ground to the frost line. That movie is one of my faves!

  4. Phill, you are enjoying yourself way too much these days. 🙂 We had a hard freeze last night so winter isn’t too far away. Then I will be outside even more than I am now. Take care!

  5. I finished packing away the summer clothes yesterday,.. and also getting out all the fleece and turtlenecks. That time of year is here whether we want it or not. Not sure I could do the ice chest/cooler thing, I’m thinking about the blast of cold air that comes in when you open the door to get something from it. Hang in there over on the other side of the hill!

  6. Best snow removal tool ever! I swear by this thing and I’m not paid for recommending it either.

    http://www.wovel.com/Home/default.aspx

  7. (That thing looks awesome!)

  8. I will totally come admire your snow castle!

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