Saturday, October 13, 2001

Well the weather is starting to change and it looks like winter is coming. Everyone tells me that we will have a mini-summer, which I guess comes in November and then winter will sets in. Regardless, it made me think of how I'm going to stay warm this winter and heat my house. I mean coming from Southern California it's not something that I've ever really had to think about too much before moving here. My house there had a central heating system and all I had to do if and when it got cold was turn it on. But here it's a bit different. Right now you can hear the sound of saws and axes cutting and splitting wood, as people get ready for winter. Last year I hired a crew to go and chop down a forest of trees for hardwood flooring and to burn. Part of the burning wood I donated to the two preschools we have here in Martuni and also gave some to my close friends (I still have enough to last me a couple of winters). In my house I had a wood stove and an electric heater going and that seamed to do the job. I only had the problem of remembering to dress warm (something I'm not use to doing) and got sick twice. Well this summer I decided to complicate things and had the ceilings in my house painted and the walls whitened. So if I put the wood stove in this year, everything will blacken for sure. I have radiators in my house, but since we don't have natural gas yet, it's a real chore feeding the boiler with wood all night and day (I tried it for about a week the year I had the system installed, but it was too much work). I'm told that I can add a 250 gallon tank and some drip system so it will work on diesel, but considering that diesel is now $1.45 per gallon (last year I think it was less than half that) and its average use is 2 gallons a day, were talking something like $85 a month, which is way more than what I spend on electricity during the winter months. I saw in Yerevan electric blankets, but being that they were Turkish, it was not an option. So after thinking about it long and hard, I decided that I'm going to spend the winter in Costa Rica!!! Just kidding. I guess I'll move into one of my smaller rooms and just crank up the electric heater and hope that we don't have many power outages. The locals tell me that I can solve all my problem by getting married. I don't know how they figure that's the solution. Maybe they figure my wife will make her way through the snow to keep feeding wood into the boiler? I would never allow that!!! Just kidding, I would. I mean NO, it's wrong for them to think that way!!! How dare they!!! Let's just hope we have a short and mild winter.

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