So when it comes right down to it, I’m not sure that I’m actually cut out for ranching after all, because I have decided that when the thermometer screams, “MINUS TWELVE!” while the windchill cackles out, “AND NOW IT’S MINUS TWENTY-FOUR,” I really just like to be indoors, exactly as things are going down tonight at the Jedi Manor, wearing my flannel pajamas, with a big pot of chili on the stove and the fireplace running.
The fake fireplace, as Hubs calls it. The fireplace which isn’t fit for real men, on account of the simple fact that it is remote controlled. Hubs has given me no small amount of grief over my one indulgence of luxurious city living when we built this house: The faux fireplace. He will plop down on the sofa with me and ask, “Are we just huddled around the ceramic logs, watching the gas-powered flames flicker tonight?”
Yes. Yes, we are. On account of FREEZING!
Hubs thinks that the only real fireplaces are the ones that require chopping down the tree in your backyard and giving it a little squirt-down with lighter fluid to bring it to a place of sweet fancy perfection.
The thing which makes me shout at the heavens with laughter now is simply this: Sister and her husband gave us a hand-me-down fireplace a couple of months ago, the likes of which you can cart around in the back of your Suburban and plug into an outlet when you finally decide to unload it, since the groceries won’t fit while you’re hauling it from place to place. When the electricity courses through this sucker, the mirrors and crystal chips reflect the glow of the orange light bulb, so that you feel like you’re bellied up to the campfire with Louis L’Amour and a bowl of thick navy-bean-and-fatback slop. I like to call it the fire cabinet, and Hubs is rather fond of pulling the fire cabinet up to the end of his recliner these days, so that it warms his toes while he’s watching a documentary on Area 51. (Which, of course, doesn’t exist.)
I have a friend in Texas who commented today that there was a (gasp!) chance of snow flurries where she lives, and that it was actually cold enough that they’d had to wear sweatshirts this morning. Their THICK sweatshirts. As opposed to the sweatshirts of the thinner variety, which are always maroon-colored, that they wear on Game Day down there. I wanted to inhale with shock and say, “Oh, no! Not your thick sweatshirts!” as I assured her that we were dressed in fur coats the likes of which the abominable snowman has never even seen before.
On account of FRIGID TEMPERATURES and FROZEN NOSE HAIRS.
And now, I’m pretty much going to wrap things up here, because my little family is gathered around the ceramic logs and the flickering flames that are a direct result of a major gas line and not a burning cottonwood, and I think I’m going to join them.
I have no idea what Lily Casey Smith would say about the weather in Small Town tonight, but I’m sure it would go something like this: MY RANCHING DAYS ARE OVER, AND I’M MOVING TO THE CITY.
I’ve always loved that woman.