I’ve been cold at night the last few weeks, probably as a result of chemotherapy. For some reason the lines of “’Twas the Night before Christmas” also kept running through my head. Not the whole poem, and it’s really too early to start thinking of Christmas, though the stores will probably start carrying Christmas stuff before Halloween. But for some reason “Ma in her kerchief and me in my cap” kept bothering me.
I knew perfectly well that nightcaps and other head coverings were common in the days before central heating, simply because the head was not covered by blankets. Add to that that heat lost through the head is close to the greatest of any part of the body, and it made sense to keep the head warm. Add to that our cooling temperatures and the fact that chemotherapy has made me practically bald ….
At 3 o’clock Saturday morning it occurred to my sleep-fogged (and cold) mind to try wrapping a bathrobe around my head. I went back to sleep and stayed warm. Saturday I checked my head coverings, and found a fleece scarf – the kind you can cut and it doesn’t ravel. I didn’t want a bulky knot under my chin, so I cut a couple of slots where the ends crossed and had a modern version of Ma’s kerchief.
It works. Sunday night my feet stayed warm.