Taking The Joy Out Of New Fatherhood

Clare Briggs

Clare Briggs is a famous cartoonist who lived from 1875 to 1930. Poems by Wilbur Nesbitt.

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4 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    (The cold floors?)Report

    • North in reply to Jaybird says:

      How long has it been since you spent a winter night in an older home? Hot air rises; cold air sinks; your standard 1900-late 1900’s house was a wooden box built on a stone/concrete basement which is essentially a buried icebox in the winter once the frost set in. Floors in old houses on the ground floor are almost always cold cold cold. Rising to attend the kid and walking over those floors? Brrrr!Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to North says:

        You remind me of my Grandparents Cain’s house. If the coal-fired furnace in the basement was recently stoked, the first floor was toasty. The second floor, especially at night in the winter, was a whole ‘nother thing. Far from the furnace and drafty old single-pane windows. Sleeping under a sheet, a blanket, another blanket, and a down comforter. Often a stocking cap. Wake up in the morning and the tip of your nose was almost numb. Taught you why the original drawings of Scrooge had him in socks, slippers, and nightcap. I’m sitting here shivering just from remembering.

        Then one year they got a gas-fired forced-air furnace and all of that went away.Report

        • North in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Yeah, I am occasionally struck when reading the older books at how dressed up people were in their evening wear in their home- not out of any sense of fashion but sheer necessity for preservation against the cold. Moderns lounging about in a t-shirt and shorts in all seasons are yet another fruit of modern architecture, heating and insulation technologies.

          In fact, I almost wonder if the de-formalizing of dressing norms is partially an artifact of the thermal fact that houses and gathering places are simply warmer now and that wearing many layers of old style fashion has gone from providing a welcome layer of insulation in cool settings to imposing an onerous toll in sweat and discomfort in warmer settings.

          My mothers home in Nova Scotia is a century old farm house. The wind would blow right through it when we first moved in. They stripped it, insulated it, vapor barrier-ed it, installed a modern furnace and it still hovers around 70 degrees in most of the place in the winter. Brrr indeed!Report