Life Without A/C

3 Jun

We folks in the South tend to treat a broken A/C system in our house or car as a tragedy.  Having lived through a time in 2008 when the system in our home was so broken it needed to be replaced, over the Fourth of July, while I was in my first month of chemotherapy for breast cancer, I kind of agree with the assessment that A/C is essential for homes here.  

Yet, now that my system is iffy in my old 2000 Century, which we are consciously trying to ride into the ground, just to see how long it takes to do that, I will say that there are worse things in life than no A/C in a car.

Thankfully, car windows are usually nearer to us at any moment we are riding than house windows are when we are home.  And the motion of the car makes air streaming through the windows into something strangely wonderful, even as your hair gets messed up!

The first car I ever bought all by myself, my Ensignmobile when I was first commissioned in the Navy in 1982, was a Chevette with no A/C.  I bought it in Michigan, drove it to my new abode in Florida, and kept it there for three years as I deployed in and out with the Navy.  

I remember driving that car to work in 90 degree weather . . . attired in a polyester khaki uniform.  Life wasn’t so bad.  Really.  

I took that car with me to England and then to Germany.  Both places were cooler than Jacksonville, Florida, but both got toasty in the summer.  And still I survived.  Noel and I even drove that car all the way to Pisa, Italy and back to Germany on vacation one time.  

Meanwhile, even my flat in London and my apartment in Stuttgart had no A/C.  And the one in Stuttgart was on the fourth floor with a butcher shop on the ground floor.  A butcher shop that heated up the central stairwell on the hottest days of summer.  

We survived.  We even thrived.  We learned to leave doors open onto our balconies (three of them!) at night.  Not too many mosquitoes to worry about in Germany.  The windows were not even screened.

Odd to look back and realize how great a percentage of my life I didn’t have A/C, and didn’t realize how deprived I was.  Ha ha!


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