Burned Out My Summer Friend!

So, as the temperatures climbed to 100, our air conditioner gave up the ghost, and we spent the evening enjoying all our fans — ceiling, and floor fans. Yesiree – it was just like old times in Baltimore – or in Annapolis, for central air-conditioning was not the rule even the early ‘70’s.

Back then, in Baltimore, a whole house window fan brought in cooler air through windows cracked 4 inches as I lay on sheets that felt crisper than sheets today – old time sheets were dried on a line outside, on Mondays. (Now I pay a catalogue vendor of all things country and old-timey to supply me with sheets that feel like the ones my mother struggled to hang out – and keep the blue jays from fouling.)

That night of no AC we slept with floor fans but without any windows cracked – and I kept waking up, worrying that our house would get too hot, and we would be found, expired from dehydration. I never have these thoughts in daylight.

Our well insulated house kept an even 84 degrees until the sun got serious about shining – which was around 10AM, shortly before the superhero Captain REPAIRMAN arrived and diagnosed our problem – a blown capacitor.

It seems we had been running our system a little cooler than it could handle, and, I hadn’t had the spring check-up for the system. Well, it hasn’t been all that HOT, given our unseasonable rainy and cooler weather for most of the spring and summer. You had better believe I scheduled one ASAP! And we adjusted the thermostat up at least five degrees . . . including the nighttime settings. Hey, if I can sleep without the AC, I can sleep with it on a higher setting.

Forgetting simple maintenance means I contributed to my own discomfort.   Over-using a good thing for personal comfort – well that was dumb, and very easy to do. Omission and commission are big words that are woven with tiny threads throughout my day.

I forget to do stuff – or I take stuff for granted. Losing air-conditioning for almost a day may have been providential – a reminder: don’t forget my responsibilities today, and don’t abuse my privileges. My responsibilities would be called privileges for millions and millions of women; my privileges I should never consider as rights. Neglecting or confusing them isn’t smart.

 A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower, first inaugural address, 20 January 1953

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