June 23, 2018

Hard to Imagine Living in Mississippi Without Air Conditioning

Mississippi river landscape
June brings the start of a long summer here in Mississippi, with plenty of the oppressive heat and humidity I dread. It isn't quite as bad as July and August, but it is plenty bad. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled when my air conditioner suddenly stopped working in the middle of a recent Saturday. I know, I know. I probably should not have air conditioning at all since it is apparently sexist and probably bad for the environment. I can't imagine living here without it even though I am aware that some people do.

Neither the temperature nor the humidity changes much at night this time of year, so opening all the windows brought little relief. Still, I felt like I had to try. Sticking the one electric fan I could find in front of an open window had to be better than nothing. As I lay in bed sweating and drifting in and out of consciousness, I heard a strange noise. I figured it had to be the insects outside, but it wasn't. It turns out it was me.

I've had asthma since I was an infant, but it has been fairly well controlled by medication for most of my adult years. Not that night. With all the windows open, it wasn't long before I could hear myself wheezing. Evidently, the air conditioning had been doing a good job of separating me from the many things I'm allergic to. It has been so long since I had to use one of the inhalers my allergist prescribes that I wasn't sure I had one. Fortunately, I found one without too much difficulty and it allowed me to breathe almost normally.

It was 85 and humid as I tried to sleep and 82 and humid as I finally gave up in the morning. Fortunately, I was able to get a repair guy to come out early on a Sunday morning and fix it. I was pleasantly surprised to find a local business in this part of the country willing to work on Sunday. They made me pay extra for it, of course, but at least they were willing to do it. With warmer weather in the forecast, I wasn't interested in waiting another day.

Fortunately, the fix was not too expensive or time-consuming. The repair guy identified the problem quickly and had the part he needed. Getting it back on made a difference within just a few minutes. As the repairman pointed out, taking the humidity out of the air is what makes the difference. I'm thrilled to have my sexist air conditioning back.