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Air Conditioning. Necessity?

Kids today don’t know how good they have it. I grew up hearing my parents say the same thing about my generation. We recently had a conversation at work about air conditioning. Most people consider it a necessity. The state of Missouri does not. Therefore, my department can’t replace air conditioners unless they cost test. It’s a complicated equation, but the gist of it is we’re not able to replace many A/C units.

I haven’t always had air conditioning. I remember when my parents got a water cooler, commonly know as an evaporator now, when I was little. I thought it was amazing. The house was cool and we had the sound of running water all summer. My school didn’t even have air conditioning until I was in 7th grade. We started school in August, which is the hottest month of the year here in Missouri.

I attended a country school. The classrooms had one box fan each, and all windows were open. We were allowed to wear shorts some years and not allowed other years. We ate lunch in the basement, and the tables had salt and pepper shakers placed every few feet. If we had hot dogs or fries, there were ketchup and mustard bottles on the end of each table. Straws were in round crocks, unwrapped. That was just the way of things. We didn’t know any different.

During my older childhood years, my house had two window air conditioners, one in the living room and one in my parents’ bedroom. My room was on the far side of the house and didn’t benefit from either of those, so I had a box fan in my bedroom window.

My first experience with central heat and air was when I moved to my first apartment, which was in Springfield, Missouri. When I moved out of Mom and Dad’s house, I really moved. Springfield is 93 miles from where I grew up. I followed a job there and learned to adult in a hurry by doing so.

I had zero experience with thermostats, so there was a learning curve. I thought it was automatic. I moved during the winter, so it was set to Heat. I didn’t switch it over to A/C from Heat when it got warm. I didn’t know what was wrong until my aunt came over and asked me why my apartment was so hot. She looked at my thermostat and very gently explained how to use it. She also explained how to use the garbage disposal. I’d never had any of those fancy things.

My kids grew up with central heat and air, computers, cell phones, and other technological wonders. They tell me I’m something of a dinosaur, but “not as bad as Grandma.” I suppose that’s something.

The first time I walked into my step-son’s room and heard a female voice say, “Hi, Margarite,” I just about jumped out of my skin. That’s when I learned about Face Time. They don’t even believe me when I tell I used an outhouse at my grandparents’ house until I was 11 years old because there was no bathroom. We are from different worlds.

We need to be thankful for the good things technology has brought us. Modern conveniences can be a bit much, but I wouldn’t want to live without some of them. I pay good money to keep my house cool. Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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