For 15 years I lived in a drafty, old farmhouse on an island. To say it was cold inside doesn’t paint the same picture as me standing in front of the wood stove to read, eat my meals, and spend the majority of my day in order to stay warm. My cat, Hannah being the only creature with whom I inevitably had to share the space around the wood stove. The house was so full of gaps in windows and doors that it often felt as though I was living outside while indoors. My bedroom, of course, was easily the coldest room in the house. Getting dressed in the morning was something of a comedic affair. Putting on an ice cold bra felt like some kind of torture, never mind that I rarely saw my own bare skin from November- April. Layers and layers of clothing was my normal attire at all times for those months of the year. I recall asking the women in my community at potluck dinners what they wore to bed, b/c I knew their answers would not be far from my own. I nodded knowingly as I heard answers of, “oh I wear socks, a sweater, scarf and a toque.” If anyone had any revelations to share as to how they stayed warm, we were all sure to follow suit. It’s embarrassing to admit that it took me years to buy flannel sheets. I can’t tell you how many nights I lost my breath from the cold of my sheets as I carefully negotiated getting under them. I thought I found the answer in flannel until this winter when everything changed. I have gone from wearing many layers to bed, to now wearing regular pj’s. It’s the only time during the day now that I am lightest in my wardrobe, (b/c my apartment is cold and I’m often in layers) and it’s all because of Fleece Sheets.
There I was sitting down to dinner with new friends when the matriarch of the family, who self-proclaimed to living in a drafty old house, extolled to me the virtues of fleece sheets. “Flannel are nice, yes, but they are cold when you get in and you have to wait to warm up,” said she. “With fleece they are always warm so once you crawl into bed, you are greeted by warmth.” I had up until this point thought flannel sheets were the cats ass and never once thought there was something better. I listened and was intrigued. Shortly thereafter I found myself shopping with my sister and lo and behold was walking down a random isle when I saw fleece sheets and oh my were they soft! My mom is forever at a loss for what to “get me” for the holidays even though for years my family has a “no gift” policy. I suppose it’s a policy made for everyone but her. I’m not a “wanter” of consumer goods typically, so when I found myself wanting, I made sure to tell her right away. A couple of days later I received a breathless phone call from my mom saying she and my dad bought themselves a set of fleece sheets and “oh my, they are so soft and warm, I can’t wait for bed tonight!” I told her I was excited to receive my own set and she feigned confusion. I promptly ignored her poor attempt at convincing me she did not purchase a set for me too and got down to business. I currently don’t have a washer/dryer and decided to take my gift a step further and asked her if she would kindly wash them for me so that I can put them on my bed right away when I receive them. One Sunday soon after I popped in on my parents with apple cider donuts in hand, (if you don’t know the joy of tasting an apple cider doughnut, you must find your way to changing that b/c they are a revelation too and difficult to find!). I could tell right away my mom was trying to hide something as she giggled away at my sudden presence. The jig was up. She was pulling my fleece sheets from the dryer while my dad was in the basement ironing the pillow cases. Ironing the pillow cases people!! These are the kind, thoughtful, generous individuals who are my parents. I managed to keep my sticky doughnut fingers away from my sheets until I got them home and onto my bed. And that night I’m not ashamed to admit, I “made out” with my fleece sheets, rolling my toes and hands over their incredible softness and warmth. They have not let me down but have given me license to shrug at any -20 degree celsius night. Cold does not grasp and hold me rigid in bed any longer and that is a revelation.
What’s the best thing/revelation to happen to you this winter? I’d love to hear about it.