Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Air, Conditioning, & Air Conditioning

For his 60th birthday, I gave my husband some air conditioning. That is, I spoke to the repairman and paid him, and learned about the leak, the new kind of (safer) "freon" in the pink canister, the kind that is less harmful to the ozone layer than the old Freon-12, and that fits our new energy-saving unit, and so on. I also baked him that lemon & chocolate cake and cupcakes, right before the heat wave, the one we are having now, with the "feels like 110" temps. 

This is the one week a year we will use the AC, so I had to get it going! 

He gave himself a new doorknob, having removed the existing one on the door between kitchen and garage, leaving a fine round hole, which actually worked better than the previous doorknob. This was a longstanding problem with cheap door & mickey mouse doorknob, exacerbated each summer by heat and humidity. 

Now it is fixed until the poor fit of the cheap door causes the next set of problems and/or until the fabulous husband finds the perfect new door at Menards.

Meanwhile, my daughter continues her volleyball conditioning--summer weight lifting, running, etc.--after last night's league game in a hot warehouse. She's grown up so much since being afraid of everything except the air, the wild claim I made in this poem, first published in Drought, an online magazine that no longer exists.  

Oddly enough, I wrote it before our house fire, and she did know where to meet, the big pine tree in front of the house, near the sidewalk.

The Air

 My daughter is afraid
of everything

except the air.
At night she cannot sleep

unless she clutches
my fingers through the bars

of her bed.  When the siren
wails its warning

we go down
to the basement, bring

blankets and zebra
or the red velveteen bear.

In kindergarten
she learns to crawl along the floor

and reach up
to feel if the doorknob is hot.

She knows where
we will meet

when the house burns down,
when there is nothing left

but the air.


Maureen said...

We're back in heat-wave mode as well and some genie keeps playing with the power switch, causing just enough of a flicker to shut down everything for a few minutes.

Do keep cool.

Wonderful poem.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Maureen, and you keep cool, too!

Julie Kistler said...

I keep thinking of buying a kiddie plastic wading pool and sticking it in the back yard to plop myself into. But it's too hot to be outside, even in a kiddie plastic wading pool.

Kathleen said...

Cool shower!

seana said...

Loved that poem.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Seana!

Etta Worthington said...

Enjoyed the poem, Kathleen.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Etta! Loved the photo of you and your daughter!

Kim said...

I so remember that stage of your daughter's life. And so enjoyed/still enjoy that poem. And remember the house fire, and my own AC failure during a heat wave a couple years ago. The years go on and intertwine and go on and on...

Kathleen said...

It's nice to be entwined with you, Kim.

Collagemama said...

Nice poem for a fire drill day at school.

Dale said...

I love the poem too.

It's a scary world, especially if you think about it.