Obviously, I have a lot of memories of my dad, but there's one that always generates a long and funny conversation between me and my sister, and that's the temperature.

I'm not talking about outside temperature; Dad wasn't much on being outdoors, except when he played golf.

No, I'm talking about INSIDE.

"Shut the door; you're letting the cold out!"

If I heard him say that once, I heard it a million times. When I was a kid, I always wondered how long the "cold" would STAY cold when it got outside in the summertime.

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Bottom line...we were not allowed to touch the thermostat. That didn't matter to me when I was young, but I now have to wonder...how did Dad reconcile summertime thermostat settings and saving money with how hot-natured he was?

He was the biggest penny-pincher I EVER knew. And he came by it honestly; every member of his side of the family was like that. And considering that I'm mostly talking about my grandfather, great-aunts, and great-uncles--all of whom were adults during the Depression--I can understand it.

The Department of Energy suggests that we should keep our thermostats in our homes set at 78 degrees while we ARE home and 88 degrees when we're away.

I can actually go along with one of those, even IF I should go along with both.

When we're out of the house, we set it high so that the air does not kick on unnecessarily. Back when I lived in my apartment, I'd turn it off during the day, but that's wrong because you use a lot of electricity when you turn it back on when you get home.

Here's the deal...the Department of Energy knows WAY more about all of this than we do, as well they should.

But 78 degrees is not going to work when I'm trying to sleep. That may be a comfortable temperature outside (seriously...give me a hammock and a nice breeze on a day like that and I'm gone), but it just isn't inside. I've tried it.

Most people I know cannot sleep when it's even just a little warm in their bedrooms in the summer. And some feel the same way in the winter.

As for me, I'm fine with the trade-off.

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