It’s July…With No Air Conditioning


You may remember my post a couple of months ago about our decision to forego a/c for the summer when faced with an estimate of $5,000 – $8,000 to put in air conditioning in our new enormous house.

Well, we are now halfway through the month of July, and we continue to only use the window a/c units at night in one (or two) rooms. We have had family visit from San Francisco, and even held a party, all without air conditioning.

Now it is true that the weather has not been TOO bad. No 100 degree days. Although there have been plenty of 90 degree days. Even at the mid-80s I find the sweat trickling down my face.

I just checked The Weather Channel and it looks as if our temps will be rising over the next few days…high 90s are predicted. I’ve gotten several heat-related headaches, but I’ve stayed hydrated and that has certainly helped. I’ve also noticed something quite interesting – in high temps, my appetite decreases dramatically. I figure this is one of two reactions from my body. It’s either…

  1. You are too fat, I must make you thin, so there is less to carry around, OR
  2. It’s too doggone hot to process food right now, STOP eating, I’m slowing down all internal processes!

Who knows, perhaps it is both.

Our family, used to 50-70 degree weather, fared rather well considering the unusually warm temps. (Well, at least they didn’t complain. That’s pretty much the same thing, right?) We installed a window unit in the front guest bedroom to make the nights easier to deal with and I made gallons of tea each day to keep everyone hydrated.

I think that the biggest lesson I have gotten from our experiment so far is that, once again, my assumptions have been turned on their ear.

I’ll explain.

I think that, in most of our minds, is a script that runs through saying, “this is this way, that is that way, end of story.” We become so used to doing things a certain way, living life a certain way, that we cannot see beyond it, cannot even recognize another way to live until we find ourselves forced into it.

I would have NEVER thought of forgoing air conditioning if I hadn’t been faced with an amount I simply could not pay at the moment. And as I thought about it, gave it some time and space, experienced life without air conditioning (for the first time in nearly two decades), I realized that having a/c during the day was so completely OFF the radar of important things, that it was almost laughable.

Why did I think I needed air conditioning?

Because I have always had it before (with the exception of a short few years in San Jose, California).

Realizing too, after seeing our first electric bill WITH the window a/c units running at night, that my electric bill might go up by $15-$45 max during the summer – instead of doubling or tripling, or even quadrupling – gave me hope and resolve.

You see, there is a place that I have wanted to go for a very, very long time. If I’m not spending all our extra money on utility bills for a/c, or spending our savings on a/c installation, in a few years we can go to Pompeii. I’ve dreamed of Pompeii ever since I read about it and saw pictures of the murals and friezes. I’m determined to get there before Mt. Vesuvius erupts again (something it is rather overdue for). And that’s my dream.

I’ll happily give up a/c for a few years so that I can go there and experience a piece of ancient history, walk roads that other humans walked nearly two thousand years ago. What is a little bit of heat during the summer in exchange for that?!

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