Remember how excited you were when you moved into your first house? Everything is new and exciting. How are you going to lay it out? Isn’t it great to have more space? What memories will you make?
Then, there was the inevitable first repair. After an exhaustive search, you find the right plumber, electrician, or handyman to fix the blemish on what has become your home. Between the time the repairman comes and he gives you the estimate, you pray – “please don’t let it be a big expense, please don’t let it be a big expense, please don’t let it be a big expense.” Then you get the estimate and either you are left relieved or muttering.
Either way, residential innocence has been lost. You now know that the house is not only a place to raise your family, have bbq’s with friends, and watch Modern Family in but is also a place that can drain all your money. Yes knowledge is power, but it can also cause fear.
Well, I am over my residential fear. Sort of, kind of. Actually, the fear is now way back in my mind and no longer overwhelming.
Unfortunately something else has taken its place.
It’s been hot in my part of the world (and many others from what I have noticed). Really hot. Hot like take off all your clothes and still hot, hot like I see the lawn browning before my eyes hot, hot like please don’t make me go out there hot.
Now, empty houses have their noises. There is the hum of the refrigerator, the ticking of a clock, the rattle of a window. And depending on the season, there are the sounds of the air conditioning or heating system.
When the central air kicks in at my house, it sounds like a gentle blowing. It is quite pleasant and those of us who are in the house are made to feel comfortable. It’s actually a beautiful thing. Very fortuitous that we live in the times of air conditioning – wouldn’t you say?
These days my air conditioner is running practically non-stop. And the noise no longer sounds like a gentle blowing. No, no, no. It sounds like Darth Vader’s harsh breathing. It sounds like a powerful vacuum cleaner sucking up everything in its path.
One of those things it is sucking up is my budget. Each Darth Vader-like breath of the central air leaves me ever more fearful of the electricity bill. Will the massive bill forced my family and I to go on a pasta-only diet for the rest of the month?
I am going to extreme measures to combat this. I walk around my house looking for electricity to turn off like a traffic cop handing out tickets in New York City. Every light, television, and computer is turned off immediately as I silently (or not so silently) curse the family member who is guilty of this horrendous offense.
I sit and wait for the heat wave to pass and for the next PSE&G bill to arrive. I won’t underestimate the power of the dark side. May the force be with me.
P.S. Please, does anyone have any reasonable electricity saving ideas?