February 27, 2013
Alice is cold all day long. She refuses to turn on the heater next to her La-Z-Boy because the heat blows directly on her. Its blast, she says, makes her uncomfortable and dries out her hair.
Sometimes we talk fruitlessly about moving the chair a bit away from the heater or to some other location in the small room.
Please note position of chair.
The objectionable wall heater is to her right.
The desk, which Alice is in and out of all day long for manicure equipment, puzzle books, paper, pens, comb, etc., is next to the chair. You can see a corner of it in the photograph. A special reading light sits between the chair and the desk. Here it is in an advertisement for full spectrum lighting.
A large, built-in air conditioner (also visible in the photograph of Alice above) sits between the chair and the TV set, which is positioned for easy viewing from said chair. (It’s behind the walker with the tennis ball feet).
She never uses the air conditioner (the temperature stays at around 80 degrees year round), but the damn thing cannot be moved.
There’s not much more to the room, just a few feet of space containing an end table, another lamp and a filing cabinet.
We both lie awake nights trying to solve this dilemma. I’ve tried pulling the chair away from the wall until it butts up against the air conditioner. However, this maneuver adds only a couple of inches and puts the chair out of reach of the desk and too close to the television set.
The sofa takes up the wall opposite the desk. It’s next to the TV set and is never used except by this personage:
I sit in the desk chair when visiting. Even k.d. lang sat in the desk chair and not on the sofa when she came to see Alice because if she had gotten comfy on the sofa, Alice would not have been able to hear her or read her lips.
There’s space in the middle of the room for the La-Z-Boy, but she needs that space for her walker and for walking. Also, she wants her living room to look like a living room, not a little room with a La-Z-Boy chair smack dab in the middle of it.
Furthermore, need I say that electrical outlets are not, by any means, abundant? I think there are two. This means lamps can’t be moved around, the television set can’t move, the Web TV can’t move, etc.
No space heaters allowed.
So she is cold. She does not like sitting under blankets, although she does use a blanket to stay warm when she tilts the chair back for a nap. “I’d freeze to death if I didn’t,” she insists.
I am not the only one to hear about how cold she is all the time. Last night she called to say that she had complained “about this heater situation” to her favorite aide, Karen. “What am I going to do,” Alice asked her, “when I get old and have to sit here?”
Naturally, Karen laughed and this is why they are friends.
Let’s thank our lucky daffodils that more are just around the corner.
(Thank you, Barbara Scot, for this first luscious bunch.)