Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chillin' Again, Finally

So our A/C unit on the house went out on  June 3. Being a fifty three year old woman with major hot flash issues, I can tell when the temp rises one degree in  the house. I woke up and knew something was amiss. I checked the thermostat. It was set on 75 and the temp in the house  was 77 on  the first floor. Not a good sign when you live in a tri level home. I went outside to see if the unit was frozen up but it wasn't. My cousin's hub had come over the week before and juiced up our unit with freon, like he does for us every year. No ice on  the pipe coming out of the unit, which was humming away but  noticed the fan wasn't turning. I'm not an air technician but knew it wasn't a good sign. My cousin's hubs called that night and said he'd come by and check out the unit the next day. Not a big deal, it was in the mid to upper eighties so we just opened all windows and closed all the blinds.

I work at a furniture store three days a week with no air, move and load furniture all day so it was kinda like being at  work all the time.  It would get up to around 82  on the first floor  and as you climbed to the next  floor in our house the temps climbed with you. Massey's bedroom is on the first floor and I had a box fan in her room so she was better off than the rest of us. I camped out in the living room on  the second floor but had three windows open and a decent ceiling fan. Zach and Tim remained in their rooms on the third floor where it felt like a sauna by five in the afternoon. Zach was okay...he works at  night, gets off around ten or eleven and usually sits at  the computer on  the first floor for a couple of hours. By the time he goes to bed it would only be around 86 degrees in his room once he stuck his box fan in his window to draw out the hot air.

Tim simply made do. He'd been working days AND nights, covering for employees on vacation and by  the time he got home was so tired, just sweated himself to sleep.

We found out we needed a new fan so I used my networking skills and contacted a customer from the restaurant who can get parts for A/C units. By  this time we were over a week without air but making do.

Then this past Tuesday hit. High of ninety degrees with a heat index of a billion degrees. If that wasn't enough poop hitting the fan, through absolutely no fault of his own, Tim lost his job.

My  guy called and left a message for me to send him our address so he could have the fan shipped to us. Geez, how am I gonna pay for a fan, pay to have it installed and still pay bills? I was embarrassed to ask the guy but did anyway... via text. "How much does the fan cost"? I never got a reply.

The next  day was even hotter and  lugged home two fans from work when I left. When I got home at eight thirty it was 87 degrees on  the first floor and remained  there until after midnight. When I woke up at  six thirty the next morning it had cooled to a balmy 85 on the first floor and Tim came down from  the third floor wearing a thirty two waist size for the first time since we married over twenty  three years ago.

Even my dogs didn't want to be in the house. They said "We're good out back with bowls of water and a  breeze".

The next day was even hotter and  I brought home three fans from work. By  the time I get home all the fans do is blow the hot air around but at least it was moving hot air. I went upstairs to take Tim  a fan as he sat on  the bed in his underwear watching sports on the TV in our bedroom. He looked like someone had opened a bottle of baby oil and poured it over his head. In true Tim fashion, he thanked me for the extra fan... before passing out from heat stroke. (not really, but  don't know how he stayed up there)

My  friend left me a voice mail  wanting to know if someone would be at my house the next day for a guy to come by  and trouble shoot the problem and measure the fan for an exact fit?

Here we sat, broke as a joke and sweating like Mel Gibson at  the Apollo Theatre. I simply swallowed my pride and called my friend  saying Tim had lost his job and not sure if we had the funds to get the A/C part. He said not to worry , we'd work it out later.

A guy showed up around early afternoon the next  day, the kids called me at  work. Tim walked out back and told him about the  fan, and the guy started to work. He took the unit apart, and two hours later knocked on our kitchen door. Zach opened it and the guy simply said "You  can shut your windows now."

I got home from work around eight thirty and it was already down to eighty four degrees in house. It hadn't been below that in almost a week. By the time I went to bed it was 76 degrees and felt like heaven.

Happy as I was about the fix I was fretting about the cost.

Here's the kicker.

We made it. We survived and once again were blessed. I asked my friend what we owed when I got home from work and called him. He said he had called in a couple of favors and knew some people. In other words, we were blessed beyond belief with kindness, generosity and friendship. I tried to give him some money the next  night when I saw him but all he took was a hug and a kiss. He told me he was surprised we made it almost two weeks without air and acted as if it was no big deal. It was a HUGE deal to me and my family and made me stop and think of what a lucky person I am.

There is no shame in asking for help when you do your best, or accepting help when sincerely offered. If you live your life right and try your best, karma comes back around. It did when Tim and I both lost our jobs over three years ago and came around again recently on a hot sultry southern afternoon.

This friend, this person who is so unassuming,  quiet and someone  I rarely speak to because he is so private, took my own family's problem and solved it without hesitation with no need for thanks, recognition or acknowledgement.

That is  the true definition of a friend .

My bucket list is full of nothing other than pay backs.

When we were sweating like crazy in our house I kept reminding myself at least we still HAD a house. I kept thinking about children squatting in squalor,  flies in their eyes and no food in their swollen bellies in third world countries. I thought about people who would feel lucky to just have a room to lay down in with a roof over their head.

I thought about how lucky we used to be and how much we took for granted. After over twenty years together we finally made over six figures and everything seemed to come easily.

Just as quickly it was all taken away.

By the Grace of God and help from many, too numerous to name  we are not only surviving but thriving .

You can look at the glass as half full or half empty. Negative is negativity and never helps, only takes away.

Stay positive, stay strong and never be ashamed to ask for help. Just be sure to pay it forward.

One lucky lucky family, living one lucky life!

"Do unto others as you  would have them do unto you."

Til next  time...COTTON

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