The Day the Air Conditioner Died - Part 2
|The Day the Air Conditioner Died - Part 2|
Note: The character in this blog are merely representations from other stories that I have heard or lived through. Their names have not been added because ... it's all made up anyway!
Now ... back to the story ...
The family van pulls up in front of the in-laws about twenty or so minutes from when I turned over the ignition. We pile out or the cars like first-word refugees, only bringing with us tablets, pillows, and USB chargers: instead of actual supplies, one needs in a crisis. My wife rings the doorbell. We hear footsteps, the movement of the door, and a very unhappy Mother In Law standing in the doorway.
Let's start at the beginning. Her name is Kate. She stands about five foot, seven inches and she is the devil. Seriously. Since "Day one" of my wife and I's courtship, she has let it known (mostly inadvertently) that does not like me. At all. Not ... one ... bit. She wore all black to our wedding. She has tried on several occasions to bring over guys for my wife to look at. You got that right. My wife ... she did this after we were married. Every Thanksgiving, my place card is at the kid's table, with my parents, as her family (including my wife) sat at the main table.
During Christmas, Kate would read "A Christmas Carol" to the children. Except she was drunk (or we would use the polite term ... off her rocker). Any time she would reference Bob Cratchett, she would point to me, make some sort of joke at my expense, then continue reading. When it came to Tiny Tim, she described him as "living off of the government" and some sort of reference to "Obamacare." Then, she made the story into a crucial lesson for the kids to go to school, shape up, or they will get sent to the workhouses as described in the book or boot camp in one of the Armed Services! As stress release, in the car on the way home, we would all sing the song: "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" at the top of our lungs. I guess that I was the only one who REALLY wanted it to happen.
Charles is my wife's Dad. Amazing person. Wonderful human being. He sets the example which all of us will one day hopefully attain. He's about six foot five, slender, and always with a positive attitude. Why did he marry Kate? I have no idea! She is almost the exact polar opposite that Charles. He worked for the Department of Defense for forty years and retired with a pension. Now, he spends his time doing whatever he wants to do. Many times, it is to come to our house and take our kids out to museums, hiking, maybe some canoeing, or just to take them to McDonalds.
Her response, "Yeah."
My wife explains, "Mom. I called you about the air conditioner ..."
She doesn't care and rolls her eyes like a teenager who just got caught on their cell phone at school.
Her Mom says, "Yeah. I have one question."
Patiently, my wife replies, "Yes, Mom."
She points towards the roof and says, "Did you see a red neon blinking sign over my house which reads, 'Motel' and 'Vacancy'"?
My wife cooly replies, "No."
The Mother continues her interrogation, "Then did you ... "
Her Dad yells from the back of the living room, "Stop giving them a hard time! It's hot out there and you're keeping the door open! You're wasting money!"
The mother cocks her head back and replies, "I'm not done yet!"
My wife states, "We are." then all of us rush past the mother and see my wife's Dad (Charles) in the living room.
The kids hug their grandfather, which is a much better start to the visit than the integration we received seconds ago.
Charles gets up from his chair, stretches out his lower back, and then reaches out his hand for a handshake.
"Good to see all of you!", Charles says as he takes and shakes my hand.
I reply, "Good to see you as well."
My wife chimes in, "Thank you for taking us in on short notice."
Charles says, "No problem! Are you guys hungry?"
Kate says, "I'm about to head over to the pool. Does anyone want to join me?
The kids raise their hands and dart upstairs with their luggage to get their swimsuits on. A few minutes later, the kids are out the door, and Charles, my wife and I are in the living room.
Charles has an idea, "We can make this into a picnic. I have to go to the store and get something. Feel free to hang out."
Before we knew it, Charles was gone getting food for tonight. The kids were with Grandmom at the pool, and we were ... or the first time that day ... alone.
At first, there was silence, a sound of a car passing by, then back to silence. I let my ears adjust to the absence of sound. The absence of little hands taking the remote control away and changing the channel. It was nice! So serene. So ...
My wife says, "Shouldn't you be doing something right now to get us out of my parent's house?"
Then I remembered why I was there, "Oh yes. Let me call one of the HVAC places!"
I did a quick internet search, found a few places, then started making calls. There was one place that was willing to come out over the weekend and take a look at the unit. I went to the kitchen, to the right on the living room, founda scrap sheet of paper, wrote down the technician's name, phone number, and time arriving at the house, then I hung up the phone.
I turn to my wife and say, "He'll be at the house this afternoon."
Next blog entry ... the conclusion ...
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please let me know.