Enduring Cousin Heat

If the Sun is my Brother, and my Sister the Moon, then, these past few days have been spent entertaining Cousin Heat.   My air conditioning went out Thursday evening and a part had to be ordered.  My repair is delayed until the part comes in — hopefully early in the week.

I’ve had flash backs of an early childhood of fans — eventually one window air conditioning unit.  I may have been in high school when central air was installed.  I can see the small fan I sat in the window sill of my bedroom.  Even when we had one room with a window unit, my parents conserved energy bills by waiting to use it.

I’ve had flash backs of family and youth camping / state park lodge retreats with minimal or absent opportunities for cool air.

I have chosen to stay in my home and not seek cooler quarters with family or friends.  The temperature in my home has ranged from 86F to 96F — mostly over 90F.  Friday and Saturday morning, I woke up early — around 6AM — and was too warm to fall back asleep.  Last night was the best — down to 86F with a fan in my bedroom window — yet I had to get up early to get ready for Mass.

I’ve used these days so far to allow myself to feel the heat of a person who has no access to a cool space.  I’ve thought of the helpless children and pets who cannot control their environment and depend on adults to make the right decision for them.  I think of the homeless on the street and of the elderly.  I drink a lot of water and still think it’s not been enough — non-stop perspiration and damp clothes.

I opened my windows to the outside air and was greeted with more vivid sounds of the wild life in the woods behind my home.  Most often I am closed up in my home — closed off to the heat, or to the cold, or to the pollen season.

Now I am uncomfortable and that’s okay.

Maybe a little more aware of what goes on outside of my usually closed windows.

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5 thoughts on “Enduring Cousin Heat

  1. I remember those hot nights in my youth. The fan, if it was my turn to have it (my sister and brother rotated its use) only seemed to make things warmer, like a convection oven. I remember the day when a schoolmate mentioned that most often the air outside is cooler in the evenings, and that rather than blowing the fan at me, I should put it in my sister’s window across the hall, and blow the fan out — and then cooler air would come in my window. It made perfect sense — except for two facts: 1)Sis was not quite as scientific-minded as I, and refused to believe it would work, and 2) She was 5 years older than me and very protective of her changing teen-age body: “You just want to look in my door, and that’s never going to happen.”

    And despite silly arguments I remember we had, we loved each other, and always did. Although our years at home, without an air conditioner, were very hot in the summers. It gave us time to think, as we lay there sweating. In many ways, I think those nights were a good thing.

  2. Our central air went down as summer began. So I know how you feel. The temperatures here have been triple digit. In the fall or winter, we plan to have a new unit installed. It will not be very economic to install one at this time, and it really good pennance for me.

  3. Reminiscent of camping trips and one four-day period without electricity in Florida after a hurricane. The latter made us all appreciate how great we have it most of the time. Thank your for sharing your experience.

  4. I understand your plight as I remember my childhood in Jamaica and even now experience the warm nights and days as we have no air conditioner and depend on the gift of brother breeze or the odd electric fan which is quiet expensive to run.
    Hope you get some relief soon.
    Antoinette

  5. I hope it is repaired tomorrow. I learned to day that my parent’s A/C went out last night as well. They have a regular A/C service who they called today and expect to see in the morning. I’ve heard from several people who’ve had A/C breakdowns recently.

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