Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Summer's first Camp-in

The high today was 96 degrees. I did not poke my head outside the back door all day. It was too hot to even look outside. With a bad heart and asthma, heat is the enemy. It makes my breathing shallow, my electrolytes all out of whack, and my ankles swell up to mega-cankles. I really do not do outside in vicious heat. Which left inside.

Inside was not much cooler because I could not talk certain persons in the teenage realm to get off their collective butts and go down to the basement and retrieve the air conditioners. I asked nicely. Then I asked nicely again. Then not so nicely. Then with a threat. And lastly, I kicked one person off the TV and another off the computer and lo and behold, up came the air conditioners from the dark dank resources of the house's underworld. All was right with the world until I realized that one of the two giant extension cords seemed to be missing. We searched high, we searched lo, we searched drawers and cupboards and closets, all to no avail.

This could have been a big problem, but we discovered that we could plug in one of the air conditioners into the wall if we could find an adaptor, and an adaptor we did find. Life was sweet.
The next problem was getting the machines into the windows. The living room one went in without a groan, and I patched the little leaks with foam and tape and turned the sucker one. Hummmmm, and cold air burst forth with the joy of angels.

The dining room? Not. So. Smooth. The window has an errant storm window attached to it. Why, I do not know, since our windows are all brand new and triple paned, but hey, what's a fourth pane worth anyhow? Slowly I began to remember that last summer this extra pane became a pain... in the ass. And here it was again, stuck into the down position and refusing to budge. The Boy volunteered to go outside and stand on the bulkhead and help push up the damn window. The Girl started bitching and complaining and being an all around ass. Anything to get out of work. At one point I stood behind her giving her the finger that only the Boy could see, and he's cracking up and she's bitching about how tough her life is because we don't have central air, sob sob sob. I'm telling you, the trauma of this girl's life, it is sad.

Finally the Boy and I got the window pane up and I picked up the air conditioner and placed it in the window because the Girl has such a horrible existance that she had to go upstairs and sob uncontrollably about it instead of helping. Lo, life was hard for the young teen. So I get the damn thing in, and again patch with foam and tape and turn it on and another hum of joy was heard. And G-d said, "let it be cool" and it was cool.

The Girls comes downstairs, just to make a statement about how cool is so not what she's all about, in flannel pajama pants and her North Face fleece jacket. She proceeds to lay down on the sofa with a big comforter over her and take a nap. It's about 90 degrees in the house, she's sweating profusely, but man, she's making a point. Good lord, will I survive her hormonal phase?

Because it was so hot, it took several hours to cool the house down to where I could have the oven on and still feel comfy. After dinner I had to turn down both units because it was getting cold.

So, what does this have to do with camping? We only have two working air conditioners. They cool off the entire downstairs to a very comfortable level. But upstairs it is hot. Boiling burning hellfire hot. And hot is not condusive to good sleep. I can't breathe when it is that hot, even with fans. I need it cooler. The Boy likes it cooler. The Girl, she just likes to sleep downstairs where the action is.

Right now I have two bodies sleeping on the floor. The Boy is in the front hall on a camping mat with his blue chuppa/blanket. The Girl is in the archway of the living room on a variety of sofa cushions and pillows. She likes luxury in her campouts. She also has a comforter and another one "just in case". I'll end up on the sofa, where I can read with a small light and not disrupt them. Worthless Pet wanders from person to person like he's won the lottery. Bodies to sleep on. Can you believe it?

Last summer we did this almost the entire summer. This year, we're getting a couple of air conditioners for the upstairs. I need to wait till they're marked down at Home Depot. At a point in the summer where the big crush for air conditioners is over, they tend to get really cheap. Last year we paid $125 for both! I'm hoping to get that deal again this summer. Then it will be whole house air conditioning for $250, which is one hell of a bargain.

One problem is, the downstairs is an open floorplan of sorts, while upstairs is 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large landing with a window. I only need 2 5000 BTU units to cool off the entire floor, but where to put them. One in my bedroom, one in the Boy's? One in the hallway, one in my room? I don't know, but I do know that the ones upstairs are going into the attic for storage next fall. Easier to get them down than up!

Brr, it's a tad bit nippy in here.
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Blogger Pim said...

Oh how I Envy you! I think reading your story is actually cooling me off a bit (hehe). We do not have air conditioning and the windows are those stupid crank open ones so no window cooler will fit in any of them. I hear your pain about the kankles. I knew it was summer when I looked down and noticed the giant balloons I used to call my feet. I have found that I must put on sox and shoes every morning and keep them on all day until bed(even if I dont get dressed) to evade at least 40% of the swelling. Outchy!

19/6/06 10:50 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

Nope. Can't imagine life before AC. Just one of the reasons I am grateful to have been born when I was, and not any sooner. Some others being epidurals, various narcotics, Motrin, Civil Rights (at least as long as we still have some), THE FREAKING INTERNET, etc.

20/6/06 7:55 PM  

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