The Unsolved Mystery

My husband and I had a silent contest that began late each fall and continued on through the winter months until spring of the next year. It involved the thermostat in the hallway of our home and an 8 degree difference of opinion. My reasoning was simple: it’s cold outside so it should be hot inside. His opinion, however, was slightly different: so what if it’s cold outside. Cool inside is healthy. And thus began the battle. Our conversations would go something like this: LeRoy: “Did you touch that thermostat?” Nancy: “Nope. It was probably the frigid wind blowing down the hall that moved the gauge.” or LeRoy: “Did you touch that thermostat?” Nancy: “This house is so cold that the thermostat must have kicked itself on as an act of self-preservation.” (For some reason, he didn’t buy either of those logical explanations.)

Day after day, week after week, the mystery of the moving thermostat puzzled one and all. No confessions of guilt were forthcoming as it continued its elevator motions through the winter months. However, an amazing phenomenon occurred in the spring: the moving thermostat ceased moving! As the weather warmed up, the battle cooled down. No admissions of any wrongdoing were ever given -just a temporary cease fire until the next fall. The temporary became permanent when my husband passed away.

He would be proud of me, I think. I have kept the thermostat down to 70 degrees while I wear layers and layers to offset the icicles forming on my earlobes. And I’ve learned a few things since the ceasefire became permanent. First, I’ve learned that it’s not prudent to let your propane tank run out…on the coldest night of the year…three times. But secondly, I’ve realized what I think I always knew: the battle was not about hating the cold as much as it was about loving the opponent. Think I’ll go move the thermostat up…just a degree or two.

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