Grateful for A/C

I live in Michigan, which is currently in the middle of a heat wave. Today the high temperature was 95 degrees, but the heat index got as high as 104. The last few days were in the 90’s, and the next few are expected to be almost as bad as today. Aside from a couple of errands, I stayed inside all day, nice and cool, thanks to my air conditioner.

I practically grew up with A/C. My sister has allergies when she was small, so my dad had it installed before we were in elementary school. I’ve had it ever since, and I wouldn’t want to be without it. At least not at home. I don’t do well in heat. But sometimes, being without A/C is unavoidable.

When I was growing up, my family spent almost every summer weekend in Standish, Michigan, visiting my mom’s siblings and my dad’s brother. Five of my mom’s six brothers and sisters and my dad’s brother owned houses on the same street. Between the two families, we owned nearly half the street.

My sister and I always had a good time “up north,” as we called it. There were usually some cousins around, so we always had someone to play with. Until we got our travel trailer when I was 12, every one of my dad’s two-week work vacations was spent in Standish. The main drawback, aside from being away from our friends during the peak of the summer? Not a single house owned by any family member had A/C. And it could get hot, especially in my Aunt Bertha’s house (the one that my parents eventually owned) – hers was the largest, and it was two stories. Everyone had several box fans, but all they really did was move around the hot air. There were times when it was so downright miserable, my mom would take us kids into town, just so we could ride in the air conditioned car.

But we found ways to at least somewhat deal with the heat. We sat outside under the shade trees by the water, we barbecued instead of cooking in the houses, we swam in the lake, we drank pitchers of lemonade and kool aid. The nights were the worst, though – any daytime breeze would be long gone, but even with the windows wide open and fans whirring away, the air still hung like a hot, damp blanket.

My sister and I couldn’t wait to get home and out of that misery, and I think sometimes my parents were glad to go home to our air conditioned house too.

It’s on days like today that I think of those summer days spent in Standish without A/C, and I realize I’m very fortunate and grateful to have it. It is one appliance I wouldn’t want to be without.

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Apologies…

It has been FAR FAR too long since I last posted (I mean, like, months…), but I do have a good excuse.  Grad school is eating up every minute of my spare time these days, and a minor house issue is forcing me to do something I should have done years ago.  Between the two, there’s little time left.  But I promise I will be back very soon.  I have lots of ideas for posts and I think you’ll like them all.

Hang in there…(I know I’m trying).

In Cars…

As I was driving home from work on Wednesday, my car was making an odd sort of clunking, scraping sound, so I mentioned it to my dad and he took it to our mechanic yesterday morning.  Turns out I had a broken motor mount, which, I understand, is a part that supports the engine.  Two days and $180 less in my bank account, Ol’ Betsy is back in my garage, where she belongs.

Hearing strange noises coming from my car always makes me nervous.  My car is nearly 12 years old and has almost 140,000 miles on it.  She’s getting old, and I know that sooner or later I am going to have to get a new one.  I’m hoping it’s later because at this point I really can’t afford a new car.  Or even a used car.  Sucks.

My car history is brief – we tend to drive our cars until they die.  Because of that, I’m in my 40’s and am only on my third car:

Not the actual LeSabre, although this is pretty much what it looked like, but with a red roof.

Buick Le Sabre – My first car, a hand-me-down from my mom.  I got it in 1987, and it had about 36,000 miles on it.  It was a 1977 Custom model that we bought brand new, tomato red inside and out, with a tomato red vinyl roof (hey, it was the 1970’s!) and tomato red crushed velvet seats.  It was a boat.  So huge.  So much so, in fact, my dad thought it could pull our 23-foot travel trailer, which we got in 1977.  On straight roads it was okay, but going to northern Michigan and trying to get up the hilly areas near Boyne Mountain? Not so much.  So my dad bought a Suburban. Continue reading