Tuesday, July 1, 2014

No Air Conditioning

Growing up, every now and then my parents would take us three kids to the Atlanta History Center on Sundays after church. We'd see exhibits featuring Native Americans or peanuts or, the most memorable, the history of air conditioning.

That was the day I came to appreciate the men and women we call "inventors." I hadn't realize a life without air conditioning was possible. Especially, in the SOUTH.

I looked at pictures of women in their petit coats and boots sitting on front porches overlooking plantations and was grateful to have not been born back then and to be sporting shorts and jellies at the present time.

One summer when we were a little older, the AC unit for the upstairs level of our house went out. Dad went to the store and bought us all air mattresses, so we could sleep downstairs where there was air conditioning. Aside from the sleeping arrangements, I don't really remember the AC not working for that short period of time affecting my day-to-day life too greatly.

Jump ahead to two days ago in Central Arkansas to when the AC went out in our little one story ranch house.

At times during the past 36 hours, I've felt like Joe and Matt from Dual Survivor...


"Conserve energy... Drink water... The hottest period of the day... Cloud cover..."

Just kidding. I really haven't been that dramatic.

We did opt to sleep in the living room, however, because that's the room with the best air flow.

Disclaimer: We had plenty of offers from people to come and sleep at their house, but really, we knew we could handle sleeping in a hot house for another night. 

This 2nd experience without AC has taught me more than my 1st so many years ago. So, here's what I've learned, all condensed into my short list of "Things To Know When It's Summer and You Have No AC and Live Someplace Hot and Humid"...

1. Open the windows. There is no AC to let out of the house, so you might as well let what ever small breeze does blow by have a shot at making it's way inside!

2. Fans are your friend. (So are dehumidifiers!) Place them strategically around your house in spaces you're actually in. You don't need a fan in the guest room unless it's stocked with MK product. (In that case, place at least two fans in there and open the windows!!!)

3. Drink water! It's not like the power is out and you have to conserve your water supply. Drink it up! Add ice. ; )

4. Ice packs. These saved me last night. I was covered in them. Nursing trick: If you need to heat up or cool down a body, your armpits are a good spot to start. Place hot blankets or ice packs there for whichever direction you need to take your body temperature. So, yes, I laid on the couch with ice packs under my arms! (Laugh at that mental picture!)

5. Keep an eye on your pets. Even though Sperry always knows the coolest spot in the house, he still went through water faster yesterday than usual. Keep your fur babies' water dishes full.

6. If you do have to do house work, wake up early and do it while it's coolish.

7. Don't feel bad about not wanting to cook dinner. It's too hot to slave over a stove top or to fill your house with hot air from your oven. Grab Zaxby's like we did, and eat it in your car (with your dog in the back seat because he needs an AC break too).

8. When you feel hot and miserable just praise Jesus that you don't live in the Congo, and this isn't your daily routine!

9. Walk outside every now and then. It's probably cooler out there than it is in your house.

10. When the AC man comes to fix/replace your unit, chill some Gatorade for him and his co-workers.

So, now you know, should you ever find yourself at home with no AC like us. ; )

Thankfully, Dave the AC man is up in the attic replacing the whole unit as I write this. Thank you Lord for the people who invented air conditioners and the men who know how to fix them!

Stay cool y'all!