I feel called upon to come clean about something for the benefit of those of you in colder climates. Now and again—not too often—but now and again here I have raved about the weather I have been enjoying, simply to perpetuate the idea that I am lounging around south of the Tropic of Cancer in the sun dressed only in short pants deepening my tan while you freeze your tushes off up north. That amused me. But at present, my friends, nothing could be further from the truth.
I had been warned about January in San Miguel de Allende, but I did not take those warnings seriously. Once again, I failed to take into account in my own mind the phenomenon of altitude.
Let us take the early morning hours of this morning for an example. The temperature dipped down to 38° F. (4° C.). That does not seem unbearable, I know. I am watching it hit -15° F. (-26° C.) back in Iowa fairly routinely. In Kalispell, Montana, where Frank comes from, -30° F. (-34° C.) is not unusual right now. So why do I even bring this up?
There are few artificial sources of heat here, and what sources do exist are pitifully inadequate.
First, with regard to the camper, I do have a little propane heater that is capable of warming up the camper. However, it is like warming a tent. As soon as the heater shuts off, the heat dissipates quickly. In order to keep the camper comfortably warm, I would have to run the heater so much as to require me to go deal with Señora Propano in order to replace my little tank nearly every other day.
Next, with regard to the houses that I frequent, they have no furnaces. Even Lorraine's beautiful home is warmed—only a little—with a gas fireplace.
Lastly, I have no adequate cold weather clothing with me. I left home with an image of México at sea level in my mind, but here I am in México at 6,237 feet (1,901 meters) above sea level. And folks, it is colder than a well digger's ass at night.
I did purchase some knit gloves from a street vendor, a little old lady. They are knit gloves without fingers. I have layered on a couple of sweat shirts. I have available a knit shawl for my shoulders that La Mexicana lent me. I am typing right now with my fingerless knit gloves on and that shawl over my shoulders. I look like one of Ebenezer Scrooge's clerks.
So there is the truth of the matter on that score. I have come clean. Enjoy your furnaces.
As for Frank and I, we were talking about this at half time last evening. We must—we must—get back to the beach in the very near future, if only for a couple of days, in order to warm up. During the drive over there, you drop down out of the mountains so fast that your ears pop. It is going to be 86° F. (30° C.) around Zihuatanejo tomorrow. I could use some of that. The sand so hot on your bare feet that you have to prance across it to the water. . . .