Not the sexy heat or the persuasive heat, Susan turned the dial on the thermostat and made her house warm.
At this time last year Susan was unemployed and wouldn't turn on the heat unless someone in the house reported seeing their breath. It takes 8 weeks to run through a tank of heating oil, every day she didn't use the heat would mean an extra day of being warm when it was really cold. But, it already was really cold and getting through the unemployed days became a feat of endurance.
Some days it was warmer outside.
Susan rarely left the house, she'd throw her big gray hooded sweater over whatever she was wearing then go into the kitchen to cook curry. If she spent the day on the computer, another favorite activity during that period, she'd wear two sweaters and a blanket on her lap. Everybody bundled up to go to bed.
Ultimately, the husband was responsible for pulling the plug on the freezing house. He turned on the heat November 15th, Susan remembers the date.
This year Susan briefly considered running the endurance contest again, then a cold gray windy rain rattled her windows and snapped the patio umbrella in half.
She turned on the heat and braced herself for warmth.