Adventures of a Californian in Freezing Temperatures

In both the Central Valley and the Napa Valley, temperatures don’t often fall below 20 degrees. Most of the time, they don’t even get below 30. There’s sometimes a week or so during the winter where it falls that low at night, but even up on the mountain where I live, it hardly snows, and ice is usually not too much of an issue to worry about.

The past week and a half, the temperatures have been 20-25 or below at night, the lowest being around 17. I wasn’t too worried about it – I keep my apartment at a toasty 70 degrees, and I was blissfully hoping for snow, because the weather had said there was a possibility over the weekend. It’s been a few years since snow has stuck here, and I waited impatiently to see if it would materialize.

Boyfriend and I decided that we would probably spend most of the weekend hanging out at my house, because it’s warmer and I can play WoW from the comfort of my bed and IKEA comforter. I was ecstatic – I’d been traveling the past few weekends and hadn’t had a laze-around, do whatever I want kind of weekend in at least a month.

Don’t tell me that comforter doesn’t look heavenly. I wish that was my headboard, and bedside “table”.

Friday night, we raided while the sky dropped buckets of much-needed rain. I kept searching the sky for signs of snowflakes, but the only flurry that occurred was before I’d even arrived home from work.

The next morning, after looking out the window and being disappointed to find my driveway and front yard looked exactly the same, I realized it did not feel like 70 degrees in my apartment. Josh arrived, and we tried figuring out what the problem was. We struggled to keep just one room in the house warm (which included bringing over a space heater), and closed doors and bundled up in scarves and jackets just to go to the kitchen or the bathroom. After trying a few tricks, I called my property manager. After reassurances that no, my apartment was not controlled by a thermostat out of my reach, and that the sky wasΒ not falling :p, she promised she’d have someone out as soon as she could – namely, Tuesday.

We hunkered down for a day of freezing our butts off every time we left the safety of the one room with the space heater. We watched a movie with freezing hands and feet, socks and gloves and scarves and hats abound, and warming our hands over the toaster while we made wafflesΒ to eat and watched the temperature gauge on the thermostat drop lower and lower. I was happy to have the space heater overnight, snuggled into my comforter, only worried about having to leap across the hall to use the restroom and make a beeline for the bathroom heater.

Early afternoon on Sunday, I heard a knock at my door. At first, I wasn’t going to answer it. I have a possibly unfounded paranoia about people knocking on my door. I’m not answering it unless I know who it is. The only people who come over I’m usually expecting, so I’ll leave the door open for them, or I go down to get them and lead them through the maze of doors to my apartment. A friend who came to visit good-naturedly joked that the FBI would not be able to find me if they tried.

You can’t find me!

I found a jacket, went out into the kitchen and looked out the window. I recognized the car parked in the driveway as my property manager’s, so hurriedly rushed to look presentable (even while still in my pajama pants) and went to open the door for her. She brought good news. News that I probably had heat again. After finding out the boiler had a fault light, I wondered why I didn’t think of it. But, I didn’t care. I thanked her, rushed back into my apartment and bent my face down to the baseboard heater to feel the glorious warmth trickling out of it.

Tuesday was the only day I woke up shivering, and a repairman came to fix the heat. I even got a new thermostat to boot. (My old one was ancient, and the new one is simple, but electronic, and that’s good enough for me.)

It looked basically like this, except it didn’t have the top switches. There was no way to turn it off.

Of course, once the heater ordeal ended, the temperatures started to swing up again. I found myself struggling out of my jacket while waiting at a stoplight because the sun felt like it was frying my face. You can be sure, though, that I am not taking my heat for granted anymore. If you could hug baseboard heaters, I’d be hugging them.


12 thoughts on “Adventures of a Californian in Freezing Temperatures

      • Brittany says:

        Those are fun, except that everyone in Virginia except for me knows how to drive in snow so sometimes I’m the only one taking a snow day!
        Now the snow turns me into a curmudgeonly old person. I stand on my front porch grumbling about it and yelling at it to ‘Get off of my lawn!’
        I do love that its snowing on your blog though. That’s adorbs.

        Also! You should check your mail!


      • Samantha says:

        I totally should check my mail. I suspect there’s something exciting waiting for me. πŸ™‚

        Thanks! I finally found the button to turn the snow on πŸ™‚


  1. New York Cliche says:

    Aw I remember California winters- but San Francisco (my hometown) really never sees snow. We might get a flake or two and that’s headline news. A very fortunate thing as the hills would sure debilitate everyone and my parents also don’t have central heating!


    • Samantha says:

      Thanks, Heather πŸ˜›

      It’s kind of funny, some of the parents in junior high would drive down snow from the mountains for us to play with. It’s not quite the same, though. πŸ˜›


    • Samantha says:

      It’s been up and down. We went hiking and found snow on Mount St. Helena, but then the other day it was warm enough to not wear a jacket outside. (Actually, it was pretty much like that yesterday, too.) You can never predict what you should wear. I know you already know this though πŸ˜›


  2. Courtney Wright says:

    Hey Samantha….first let me tellya I found you thru bottleworder! πŸ™‚
    Love your post about the snow. I now live in Texas but I grew up in Western KY. I loved snow as a kid, it meant no school, bon fires, sleds and hot chocolate! YAH! But, as an adult, I have come to hate the stuff. Mostly because we lived in Michigan for 4 winters (because of hubby’s job) and that broke me. It snows about Halloween and you may not see grass again until March 😦 Life does NOT stop when it snows. Kids go to school, people go to work and all the bread, milk and eggs stays on the shelves when 6 inches is predicted! LOL! But here…we get ice. I don’t care if you grew up in Alaska, you cannot drive on that stuff and people are stupid enough to go ahead and get out. Brrr…
    Since this massive Nor’easter is bearing down on most of the country right now, I am truly feeling sorry for our daughter in Eastern KY. I think the high was 2 degrees yesterday! Yikes!
    I am glad I found your little blog and I am looking forward to reading more! Happy New Year! πŸ™‚


    • Samantha says:

      Snow is such a commodity here. They salted the roads at the first sign of possible snow or ice (and since I live at the top of a bunch of curvy roads, probably a good idea) and the last time it snowed a lot, they completely closed the roads so no one could get down anyway. My biggest thing is I just don’t know how to drive in it, I’ve read about it but have never actually done it, since it’s so rare that it actually does snow. It’s a fun thought though πŸ™‚

      Thank you for coming to visit! Glad to have you here πŸ™‚


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