The First Winter Heat
When I was a little boy (some say I still am) few sounds comforted me as much as the whisper-whistle of steam slipping through the radiator’s air valve when cold weather made its first appearance of the year. Accompanied by the soft-percussion clanks and groans of the heating pipes, a jazz style all its own, I figured the cast-iron radiators and the family of pipes (I could hear but not see) had to be stiff and out of shape from months of doing nothing. Made sense to me. They needed to stretch, loosen up a bit.
Few moments (if any) in my year – then or now – hugs me and comforts me as much as warmth ridding my experience of cold.
There are no radiators where I live now. There is a big heating/cooling apparatus built into the wall and controlled by a thermostat on the wall. I don’t have a clue what it’s called. I figure that’s why we have the word, apparatus. And, while I very much I miss radiator-and-pipe jazz, the first time the heat came on and banished the cold this year, I was a comforted, happy man.