The turning point
It's always a tough moment, and it's getting tougher all the time as fuel prices skyrocket. But there comes a point when the bone-chilling wet cold gets to me, and shuffling around the house in multiple sweats and sweaters, or huddling in the bathroom near the space heater, just doesn't cut it any more. That's when I break down and perform the act I've been putting off for weeks: the turning on of the furnace.
I hate it. Hate it. Like most New Englanders, I delay it as long as possible. It's a point of honor, a sort of competition for who's managed to hold off the longest. Hint: it's not me. I know people who stonewall well into November.
But it can be in the thirties here at night, even in September, and during the day there's just not enough warmth to dispel the feeling of being in a meat locker when I'm in my home. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and so down I go to the basement, flip that little switch, hear the satisfying "pop" of the gas being lit, and return upstairs to that wonderful sensation of slowly spreading warmth.