Thursday, April 11, 2013


I had forgotten how absolutely, absolutely, absolutely blissful air conditioning can be.

It is a marvelous invention.

For this one brief moment, I would like to pause and say, "Bravo, Technology!"


Every year we debate getting central air conditioning. But 1) the hefty price and 2) our conviction that a vacation (even of the most primitive sort) is a definite necessity for our sanity, mean that every year we (read: Ethan) lug the window units out of the shed and install them into our windows. Four upstairs, one mega-one downstairs. Truly, it makes me sweat to watch him.

And yesterday's installation was especially cumbersome. Two of the units needed a thorough cleaning, the sort that involves unscrewing everything and getting out the shop vac and the heavy-duty cleaner and the vibrating toothbrush.

At least, I think that's what was involved. It was hard to see from my position behind the screen door. I didn't want my popsicle to drip on the unit.

And my poor husband, with his burning eyes and stinging throat and tickling cough, he man-handled those units and got them in order and installed.

(Lest you think I was doing nothing, let me assure you that I was fighting my own fight. I absolutely could not get the tins of tuna fish opened, and it turned out that it was not my incompetence that was the problem. When I had Ethan pause his back-breaking labor to join in mine, he pointed out that the can opener was bent and would not be, in fact, opening any cans. So see? We all have our battlegrounds.)

When I got back from my trek to the local pizza carry-out (Never fear! When the tuna will not open, Mama has a plan!), precariously balancing three boxes of pizza over my not-boxed-shape belly, I found that the first unit was cleaned and ready to go. "Hurrah!" I cheered. (Or maybe it was more like, "Why are you starting with that unit? I thought you would start with the other unit?" because I am so quick to think and speak and be helpful like that.)

But by the end of the evening, all five units were installed. Ethan showered upstairs to get the blood, sweat, and tears (but no popsicle stains!) off of him, and I showered downstairs to get the pizza sauce off of me.

And oh, the bliss. I love me my air conditioning. As much of an eyesore as I suppose they are, to me those units are beautiful. There is something so solid and ever-present about the plastic and ???steel??? (Is that steel?) taking up the lower half of the window. "I am here! I am blowing! I am cool air!"

I like the noise that comes with it. It's a steady blowing. You hear the coolness as much as feel it.

I'd forgotten how it slightly changes the dynamics of the house. Children the next room over seem quieter, more at ease. The din seems dimmer under the hum of The Machine.

It's so delicious. I'm almost grateful we don't have central air. First of all, I notice and appreciate the air so much more when there's the whole rigamarole to getting it put in; and second of all, there's something so totally nostalgic about it. It takes me back to being seven years old and coming in from a swimming lesson with my damp suit on and plopping in front of the air conditioner until I was frozen.

BUT! On to today's {Pretty, Funny, Happy, Real} post.


Well, admittedly, this is a blurry, weird-angle picture. But these two yellow chairs, bought second-hand from a friend who is downsizing, bring me so much happiness. First, I've been discovering over the last few years that yellow is a favorite color of mine. And second, two chairs that go together? Is this MY house? That's pretty!


Ada, enjoying a popsicle yesterday. It's funny only because she is so clueless about how to eat the thing. She gums the plastic at the top to death, hollers at me to push the popsicle up, then grabs the tip that comes up and breaks it off and shoves it in her mouth.

(She does seem to have made a full recovery from earlier this week. Yeah!)


A peek into the family room, where half of the children don't notice me (this is nothing new). Ignore ugly pillow. That came with ugly (but so comfortable!) couch and loveseat, which we slipcovered. But we keep the pillows to remind us of how far they came (or because we're too lazy to do anything else with them).


Well, it's all "real," because I know nothing else, but here's a picture of "unwanted," which I suppose is the true meaning of "real."

This is what I saw and heard this morning as I was out the door to have coffee with a friend. This is our septic pump electrical box. This is our septic pump box saying, "Uh-oh. See me not work. See me not run. See you not flushing nor draining nor doing laundry nor washing dishes."

I silenced the alarm, yelled, "ETHAN!" then went to check the outside box and see what needed to be done (Keys? Check. Phone? Check. Wallet, sunglasses, lip gloss? Check.). Ethan also headed to the outside box to see what needed to be done (he had a screwdriver). I called my friend to tell her I was running late, and then asked if he needed my help. "My specialties are air conditioners and septic tanks," I offered.

"Go have your coffee," he prodded. (Or maybe "grumbled" would technically be the better word.)

"Anything to help!" I lightly sang out and made sure to carefully back the car down the driveway, so as not to hit the pump. (I'm all helpful like that, too.)

And on the way to the bakery, I pondered the pump. Was it all the laundry I did in the last two days? All the sick laundry? All the regular laundry? The winter coats? The diapers? Was it the extra showers at night? Did I do this? That would be bad.

When I got back, he had decided to try installing a new switch. He installed it only to find it still not working. Fortunately, a tiny, 1/8" piece of curved metal on the ground caught his eye. He wrapped that around one of the wires, and ... VOILA!!! ... our pump is running and happy, and we are flushing and draining and laundering and dishwashing and happy.

And it's not my fault.

And the air is cool.

And I suppose that's not my fault, either.

And I sit here, in this yellow chair, with the air blasting and the children quietly doing whatever they are doing the next room over, and it's all just very, very good.

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  1. I'm slightly behind on updates but WHEW! Glad the septic issue was incredibly minor and not, well, incredibly COSTLY!

    Also, AC is a blessing, Truly. I'm bummed most of the houses up here in Alaska don't have central air because when it does warm up and get muggy the indoor temps can be awful.

    Also: chairs and Popsicle pictures = love!

    1. Taryl, how did I miss that you're in Alaska? My husband is from Homer. He agrees on the A/C. I have a theory that one reason he handles the heat so poorly is from his years right off those frigid waters.

      I don't know what my excuse is.

      Are you inland? It does get *so hot* there!

  2. Mark says the sound of air conditioners runninng makes him all nostalgic for Florida. :)


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