American System-Built Home, dream house, making do, Pic a Day

Golden Hour on a Cold Wintry Day


Don’t let the golden glow of the evening sun illuminating the sun porch fool you. This is one of those cold winter days that makes Iowa feel like Siberia. Thank God for central heating! We’ve had the thermostat cranked up to 71 degrees today trying to battle the arctic air that makes its way through the drafty old doors and windows. But somehow the cold air always seems to win.

The high temperature never crawled above zero today. The wind is fierce and bitter, making it feel like 20 below zero outside. When it’s this cold you can feel icy air seeping through the windows. The basement is an icebox, making the hardwood floors on the first floor feel like you’re walking on, well, ice.

I suppose no matter how old or new a house is, it’s going to be difficult to keep it warm in these conditions. Indeed, even in our modern high rise apartment back in the city, the floors are cold and the windows are drafty. We still have to crank the heat when the temps drop into the single digits and below.

The Meier House has gotten some assistance in heat retention over the years. In listening back to an audio recording that we made with previous owners who were in the house for 30 years, we were reminded that they added insulation to the exterior walls. The attic was also re-insulated and most windows have been sealed with weatherstripping. As far as old houses go, this one is well insulated from the elements. But, again, when it’s this cold…

This actually reminds me of the first winter that we were in this house. It was around this time in 2014 and we were experiencing a similar snowy winter with stretches of subzero temperatures. The Mister was working in the city a lot at the time so I was out here at the house working on projects alone. Maybe it’s because I was alone or that we didn’t have much furniture in the house at the time, but it felt especially cold that winter. As I tacked some insulated curtains over the front door to block the draft I had started wondering whether I might have a Shining moment complete with imaginary bartender in the basement.

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