Remember how I mentioned that our air conditioner hadn’t quite risen to the challenge of the local climate lately? Well, it would appear there was a reason. Yesterday morning, the heat pump started making weird, squealing noises. We shut things down and discovered that one of the fan blades had converted itself into a bizarre work of origami, apparently from a crack near a rivet joining it to the hub. We rang the local HVAC people, who confirmed that this was not the normal state of affairs, but also explained that the new replacement set of blades would have to be ordered from the manufacturer.
“How long will that take?” I asked.
“I’ll have to check, but they usually show up the next morning.” Fair enough, and how bad could one day or so be?
Foolish question. Yesterday’s high was 93, and the average humidity was 73%. The house retained every bit of both. By last night, the combination of heat and chicken-soup-level humidity had driven the girls downstairs, where things may have been slightly cooler. I stayed upstairs, under a ceiling fan and with a taller fan aimed directly at my head and shoulders. Still, I spent the night sweating like an extra in Cool Hand Luke. I don’t know what rule we had broken, but Clan Mondo got A Night in the Box.
Morning came, as it tends to do, and the temperature was already climbing by 9. It’s currently 91. Fortunately, we got a phone call around 1 this afternoon, letting us know the part had come in — a little later than usual, of course — and that they’d be right over to fix things up. And so they did, and our indoor temperature is at 80 and dropping.
So I reckon that’s a happy ending, but it made me think — as so many things do — about my parents. Dad was born about 35 miles from here, and like lots of folks of his generation, his home was not air conditioned. Mom grew up in Nashville, which has heat issues of its own, and likewise was without AC. As I spoke to the repairman this afternoon, I said, “How the hell did people live back then?”
He said, “I was asking my dad that the other day. He said that a lot of nights, you’d just wake up at 2 a.m., lie there, and sweat.”
I can dig it.