Maybe Jack Frost Isn’t So Bad After All

photo credit: Ennor via photopin cc
photo credit: Ennor via photopin cc

The icy wind chills and blowing snow from four months ago don’t seem quite so terrible after a week of heat advisories. Yes, I know that is blasphemy coming from this summer-loving gal. However, after sweating through seven days in a row of 90-degree weather combined with 95% humidity and no central air, I’m ready for some cooler temperatures. And yes, I’ll deny writing those words come January when my feet are frozen and summer is a distant memory.

The home I grew up in did not have air conditioning.  When I was in high school my parents broke down and installed a window air conditioner in their bedroom. My mom was a school librarian and home with us during the summers. I think she got tired of sweating all day in addition to mediating the bickering between my sister and me.  On the really hot days we’d all pile into her bedroom and watch soaps, read or play cards.  The nights cooled down and with the windows open and the fan on, it really wasn’t that bad (although I’m sure I complained about it a lot). Interestingly my parents installed central air after my sister and I both moved out.

Thus, for twenty-two summers or so, I lived without that modern technology called air conditioning .So when my husband turned on our central air on that first hot day of the year back in May and nothing happened, I decided we could live without it this summer. How bad could it really be? I worked all day in air conditioning, so I’d really only have to live AC-free in the evenings and weekends. We could be a “green” family this summer, I reasoned. Plus, we’d save money on electricity and an AC-repair bill. I figured if it did get really hot, at the least I’d sweat off an extra pound or two. It was a winning situation all the way around! Our broken AC was actually a blessing. We sailed through May and June with a few hot days, but the nights cooled off to the high 60’s and low 70s.  With a cool breeze blowing the curtains, I feel asleep with ease. When July started out cool and rainy, I figured we could tough it out sans-AC for the entire summer.

Rewind to a week and a half ago, when the “heat wave” hit. After a weekend of not sleeping, of sweating within minutes of after taking a cold shower, I cracked. On Monday morning, my husband got home from the night shift. Casually, I mentioned maybe we should call the repairman to look at the central air after all.  He reminded me that I wanted to save money this summer. I told him I’d find some other way to save money. He then pointed out that by the time the AC guy could come out to our house the heat wave would be over. And he did have a point. Dejected, I left for work, hoping the weather would break soon and wondering if I could sleep in our mini-van with the AC on if I parked in the driveway! Thankfully, a few hours later my inbox dinged bringing an email from my husband. He’d called the repairman and they’d be by later that day or Wednesday morning at the latest. Elated, I hoped to come home to the glorious coolness only AC could bring. That was not to be, however, and the girls and I sprawled in front of the fan on the pull-out couch for two more nights.  Wednesday morning brought the genius man who fixed our central air though.

And yes, the heat wave did break and the forecast for the next week calls for highs only in  the low to mid 80’s. Will I turn the AC off? I think not. As I type this post, I’m lying in my bed in relative coolness as our AC works to keep us comfortable and I am more than thankful. Lesson learned.

What about you? Can you live without  AC in the summer?

My June Bug

a-to-z-letters-jRain, sleet and wind swirl outside my window this dark April night. The warmth of June’s just a hopeful dream. But, as my daughters and I brainstormed “J” words that I could blog upon, my oldest hit on June – her favorite month. Being one of my favorite months as well, I settled on the subject of my J blog post for the tenth day of the A to Z blog challenge.

What’s so special about June? June brings with it the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, lightning bugs, flip-flops, lemonade and long evening walks to the park. But most importantly, eleven-years ago on the 17th of this coming June, my beautiful first-born daughter made an early entrance into this world and I became a mother – the best and hardest job I’ve ever had.

I can remember the day as if it were yesterday. She wasn’t due until July 25th, yet I spent the day before her birth-cleaning the house, doing laundry and packing my hospital bag – just in case. I’m one of those people who always likes to be prepared. I’d invited my parents over supper to celebrate Father’s Day. It was a warm beautiful evening and we’d just finished eating when I felt something “weird” down “there.” I went to bathroom and my waterbroke a’la Niagra Falls.

“It’s too early,” I worried as my mom helped lie down in the back seat of the car and timed my contractions. We sped to the hospital 45 minutes away with my Dad following behind us. In the ER the nurse confirmed via the “wet towel test” that indeed my water had broken and I was in labor.

“It’s a full moon,” they concluded when they took me to the last open room on the OB floor.

The doctor explained that they weren’t going to stop my labor as most 34 weekers did quite well.. I was still terrified. Because she was a preemie, they took me to the OR and two pushes later at 5:39 AM she arrived. I didn’t get to hold her. The doctor showed her to me briefly and handed her over to the neonatologists. What seemed like an eternity passed. They wrapped her and put her in an incubator. I wouldn’t actually get to hold her until almost two hours later. Relief and happiness flooded me when they finally placed my baby girl in my arms.Jun17_02Emily

I cried hard when they released me, two days later, without my baby. Having problems with the “suck-swallow-breathe” response, she spent a long two weeks in the NICU. She came home on a heart monitor, but I was grateful for it and the peace of mind it brought with it.

And now looking at the young girl who is almost as tall as I am, it’s hard to believe she was ever that 4 lb 15 ounce little peanut. She’s beautiful on the inside and out. She’s kind and compassionate toward others. She’s smart, sassy and sensitive. She’s creative and crafty. She likes to dance, ride bikes, write stories, read books, and eat ice cream. She hates scary movies (I wonder where she got that from) and thunderstorms. She’s my daughter and I love her.