In the winter, we’d wake up and huddle under the covers if none of the adults had got up in the night to stoke the furnace. The floors were like walking on ice; the toilet seat was like sitting on a glacier.
That connection with the larger world was maintained even into adulthood. I don’t remember living in a totally air-conditioned house until I was in my middle 20s. As when I was a child, open doors and windows were the norm. Now, of course, even animals are affected by our penchant to live insulated lives. We keep our dogs and cats indoors or tied up and even the livestock - chickens, hogs and dairy cattle - increasingly live in enclosed corporate boxes.
And these years, most of our work spaces include windows designed for decoration rather than ventilation.
People are strange. On Facebook, they constantly complain about their supposed loss of freedom but much of the freedom to experience our world, we have willingly handed over in the name of comfort, convenience and security.
Vicki Williams is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached through the newspaper at email@example.com.