Heat waves do strange things to humans. It makes some become very grumpy, while others are mellow and find good reasons to enjoy it, say, poolside. Still others less privileged and unable to enjoy the luxury of aquatic relaxation stay indoors, going to overly-air conditioned movie theaters, shopping malls, or Costco runs to savor a Vanilla Chocolate-Swirl frozen yogurt. Sometimes the heat makes us drowsy, giving a good excuse to chill out in a comfy chair or sofa, feet up, book open and eventually eyes closed. Preferably with the fan blowing lazily over you while you doze and dream the heat-stricken day away.
It also does strange things to our homes. They’re unable to cool down as well despite the AC running full blast. The AC can actually kick the proverbial bucket, too much as ours did on Friday in the wee hours of the morning or late Thursday night. Not sure which since we were sleeping. Perhaps I’m getting to be a pessimist and speaking prematurely about the state of the cooler’s demise. Perhaps it isn’t dead, maybe just a coma. It will turn on, just won’t blow air and the air isn’t all that cool either. *le sigh
We all go our cars, open the doors and it’s suddenly the gates of Hell, a smelting furnace or actively erupting volcano type of heat blast that belches out at us. We stagger back in shock and fleetingly consider 1) staying home, 2) calling a friend to share the ride or 3) wonder if walking is a viable alternative. Summer has its pros and cons, fans and haters. I love the summer, though the heat in the parked cars sometimes makes my devotion waver.
Why does this type of thing happen at the worst possible time? My husband actually asked that this afternoon and gave me pause to ponder the possibilities of the ‘why’. Timing could not be worse yet disastrous things seem to happen when you can least afford for it to, like now when the temps are soaring into the high 90s and the index screams triple digits.
The best possible response I could offer is the stress on the power supply has stepped into that supply versus demand conundrum. Just when we need it most the demand exceeds the supply making comfort a thing of limited availability. Elusive. Just out of reach. Others are also suffering and they too have pushed that temp lower than usual in their home to remain inside a comfortable range, thus putting greater strain on the power grid. Power companies make the effort to keep up, but well, the fact is, the grid is aging, the lines are not sufficient to meet the growing demands of our ever-increasing demand caused by not just our body’s need to remain chill but also for our electronics to run. And boy do we love our gizmos! The more the merrier many believe to be their credo. I’m not ashamed to say I love gizmos, but more? No, not necessarily. I have enough to serve my needs and not too many (or too many shiny new ones) to make us a target for thieves.
The hardware most homes boast in this current era would blow our minds if we’d traveled from an era long gone by. Can you imagine what we’d think of all the amazing gadgets & machines of today if we stepped from the 18th or 19th century into this one? Autos with push button starters, ones that park themselves, cameras and beepers to let you know there’s something behind your car. Starting your car remotely. Cell phones 1/4″ thin. Turning off or on your lights, setting alarms, lowering or raising the thermostat in your home by mobile app, paying your bills by phone or online. Laptops less than an inch thick when closed. Televisions with flat screens, a narrow shelf footprint, and lifelike images. Talking to someone 8000 miles away and looking at them as you speak via computer? Our great, great grandparents would be amazed to see the technological achievements we now take for granted. And many require power.
I can only imagine what the power consumption is collectively right now as the utility companies struggle to meet the demand that exceeds demand at times. There’s one less gizmo in our home this weekend making that demand while these temperatures rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Our central air conditioner has quit, or taken a temporary leave for now, but the proper experts have been made aware and while we shop for new units, we’ll just wallow in the cool in front of the portable AC gizmo we use in the back rooms of the house. All is not lost. We are not sweating to death and we are still able to laugh together at the end of the day. I’ll just read. No grumps here.