Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hot, hot, hot

A poor hummingbird tries to stay cool as he perches on a
fern, also a victim of the effects of the hot weather
What is worse than surviving a heat wave? How about the air conditioner failing during the hottest day of the year?

That just happened here, but thankfully, it didn't last too long. 

It has been hot!

While watching TV Sunday night, I noticed it felt a little warm in the house. I thought that odd, because I'm usually cold when the air is on. My husband, John and I fight all the time about where to set the thermostat. I'm comfortable at 78º. He likes 77º. It may be only one degree, but I can always tell the difference. When he comes in after being outside, he tries for 76º, usually to no avail, unless I'm cooking. When the kitchen gets too hot, even I give in to the temptation to turn it down.

We were watching Ice Road Truckers. The sight of all that snow and ice apparently made us forget how warm it felt in the house. But when it was time to go to bed, John retired first. I was still using the computer, which is right next to the window. The air conditioning unit is just outside. I heard the thing try to kick on, but it didn't. I listened again and all I could hear was the fan. I woke John who confirmed my suspicions. We had no air. This had happened before. It appeared to be the same problem, so we knew it would be costly, albeit probably an easy fix. At least that was our hope.

Though we didn't panic, our minds were certainly working overtime, trying to anticipate all possible scenarios and all the what if's.

It was almost as if we were expecting a problem, since our of neighbors had just experienced a problem with their unit. Although theirs was much more involved and costly. Their problem resulted in their having to buy a whole new unit. That news would definitely have induced a panic.

Needless to say we weren't looking forward to facing a night without air conditioning. That is one time when we agree on the temperature. Neither of us can sleep when it is hot, so we turn the thermostat down at night, to 72º.

In the morning we opened all the windows, turned on every fan in the house. Fortunately, the humidity was decent and the temps were hovering around 70º. I can't figure how it could be so beautiful in the morning and so ghastly hot in the afternoon. We called the repairman early and had air conditioning by that afternoon. We were lucky.

The last few days has wreaked havoc on every living thing outside. That includes my beloved plants, birds, and other wildlife. The heat, which has gotten as high as 106º has been brutal. On top of that, we have not had any measurable rainfall in many weeks. 

All of Arkansas is under a severe drought and fire warning. Cabin fever is beginning to set in, not unlike what is normally associated with winter.

I've watered all the plants, filled the bird baths, and hopefully, the cool mornings have allowed both to recover enough to face another day. It is so hard to watch the birds with their little beaks open, as if they are panting. That, and holding their wings away from their bodies to allow for air to circulate, is about the only way they can keep themselves cool. I'm sure their frequent baths help too.