I have a new appreciation for one of the greatest inventions of all time. It is not the wheel or the airplane that recently caught my new found admiration but rather the invention by Willis Haviland Carrier in 1902, indoor air conditioning.
We noticed that there was a problem with the system during the Memorial Day weekend. Saturday the house started to heat up as the day progressed. We checked our old system to find it frozen. It must have been confused since it was making things icy cold outside and hotter than the bad place inside.
My wife and I took refuge from the house by going outside into the much more bearable South Georgia heat. Even though it was 99 degrees outside, it seemed far cooler than in our home even with all of the fans on and the windows open. It wasn’t long before the kids were smoked out too. Even the draws of the Internet, television, and video games could not keep us inside.
We went outside and developed a “Plan B.” Our sons wanted to see the movie The Avengers. I think we might have been the only people in the country that had not seen the movie. It is not often that we go to the movie theaters these days. There is just something nice about watching a movie at home. You can pause the movie and rewind if you need. However, a cool dark movie theater was a great idea to beat the heat. We joined the rest of the nation and saw Captain America and his buddies defeat the bad guys.
When we got back home, we knew that it would be best to cook supper outside. The kids played while we cooked and then later picnicked in our driveway. Knowing it would be uncomfortable to sleep inside, we decided to camp outside in the yard. The camper has a working air conditioner. Our two sons wanted to try out their new tents in the backyard, and they were excited to have the opportunity to pitch them. We invited them to join us in the camper too, but they did not want to give up this time to have a backyard adventure. Our youngest son did come in and entertained us with shadow puppets until it was hard for any of us to keep our eyes open.
The point of this week’s column is that life is what you make of it. We could have complained and been miserable over the weekend. It is easy to let tempers flare when you get uncomfortable, but there is another approach. You can take the challenges that life gives you and make the most of the situation. It is not about being happy during life’s trials, but rather to find joy in the outcome of life’s adversities. In the end, Saturday turned into a much better day than it would have been with a comfortable home. It took a hot house to really bring us together.
You might conclude that we have decided to live out in the yard for the rest of our lives and embrace life with no air conditioning. If so, then you missed my opening paragraph where I declared indoor air conditioning to be one of the world’s greatest inventions. However, it was not such an emergency that we had to call the repairman immediately. He will be at the house in the morning to repair the system, and life can return to normal. That’s cool!
Written by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.