As a kid, our family regularly took a week off in the summer and headed to this cute little beach town.
It was always a lot of fun for us, and we looked forward to it every year.
Then, one year, my dad got sick, so we had to cancel our regular weeklong vacation. The next year, when we got back to our little getaway town, in some ways it seemed like we had been gone for a lifetime and in other ways it seemed like nothing ever changed in that little town. There was one thing that changed big time, though, and it was air conditioning. The little house we used to rent did not ever have a/c, and we were kids so we didn’t care. It was close to the beach so the breeze meant that air conditioning wasn’t vital. Plus, we kids were always in the water, so we weren’t all that interested in thermostats and ductwork, and all that stuff that goes hand in hand with a/c. We never realized that our parents really struggled in that little house. Of course, they were older and they were used to having a/c to make their lives comfortable. They did without the central air conditioning, though, in order to take us kids to the beach. The places that came with a/c were much too expensive, so if they didn’t sacrifice the air conditioning they liked, we would not have been able to afford to go. But after missing a year, we discovered that almost everyone had installed air conditioning the year we missed. Even the little ice cream shop had a sign on the door reading, “please close the door and keep the a/c inside.”