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Joy in the Journey

September 6, 2013

by Linda Beerman
It has been a tough week for those of us who don't exactly love the heat!! I found out just how spoiled I am. Dan always tells me I am spoiled...and I tell him I know it and I love it! The fact is that he is just too good to me, and I have gotten used to it. And I sure don't want it to end now!

It just amazes me how we used to live without cool air coming into our cars, houses or businesses. As the temperatures kept raising, our window air conditioner kept going in and out, warning us that at any moment it was going to say good-bye. You see, we've had a long time relationship with this hard working machine. My dad actually had this air conditioner in his grocery store in Bigelow, Minnesota, during the late 50's and 60's. When he sold the business, Dan and I got the air conditioner to put in our dining room. It has been a life saver in our big, old farmhouse for many years. We don't need it often, because our home stays pretty cool with the grove surrounding our house and yard. But when it becomes as hot as it was this week, we have been blessed to have it.

This past Tuesday it decided to just pretty much give up. I think the heat just became too overbearing for the oldster and it couldn't keep up. I told Dan we should call the Amana company and have them come see the relic and know what a fantastic job it has done over 50 plus years! I doubt they make them like that anymore. We certainly can only sing its praises and not complain about it.

However, I DO complain about any extreme amount of heat. And with my parents here with us, and also our two oldest granddaughters, Shekinah and Ellyanna, this week...many heard me whine about it quite often! We have talked about getting central air for a few years, so we did check into the situation for us. Our furnace, even though it still works well, is a huge old Green Colonial brand, and it is not possible for us to get central air without a new furnace. So that option we are pondering. Along with the fact that our bedrooms are upstairs in our home, and it was stated that it wouldn't really help the upstairs all that much. Well, that is a problem...because I am most interested in being cool when we sleep! Getting our rest seems to be the factor that helps me stay sane in this horrible heat.

One night the girls slept in the living room because there wasn't any trace of a breeze coming into their bedroom windows. They, of course, didn't mind. It was more of an adventure for them. Most of the evenings we all found fans to help circulate the air. It works, even though it isn't the perfect scenario. It is what it is, sometimes, I guess.

Dan did work hard to replace our wall unit, and now the downstairs is very comfortable again! But..we heard about someone who put some kind of unit in their attic and forced the cool air DOWN..Does anyone out there know anything about that kind of system? Our top floor is a large, walk-in attic, and there would be plenty of room to work with. It seems like it would make sense to me, and at the same time solve the problem of having cooler places to sleep.

On a couple of the very hot afternoons, the girls and I hopped in the car dragging our towels and swimsuits. They wanted to go to Fulda to the pool, but I explained that it should be coming SOON, but it was not ready for us yet. When I called Slayton, they were closed for the season because of many of their employees going back to school. What we ended up doing turned out to be great fun! We headed south to Okaboji to Treasure Village and played a round of miniature golf, and afterwards, across the highway, found a public beach at Emerson Bay. Would you believe we had it pretty much to ourselves? Even on that very hot day. The sandy beach, clear water, and long dock with interesting sidelights gave us a couple hours of fun and frolic. The bottom of the lake was clear of rocks, seaweed, or any scary creatures, so we had such a relaxing and refreshing afternoon.

Finally when we were sufficiently cooled off, we went birthday shopping for both of the girls. When our grandkids get to be around school age, we try to take them shopping once a year for their birthdays. They have a specific amount to spend, and it is fun to see what their likes and dislikes are. And to see how they choose to spend their money. Sometimes if we can't see them, we send a gift card for them to shop with their parents, but it is certainly more fun to be there with them in person. This week, I think both girls spent a little of their allotment each time we journeyed into town for an errand. They are pretty frugal shoppers, and wanted every one of their dollars and pennies to count. I was in awe of the bargains they found: I think Heather,their mom, has given them good training in being economical.

Friday we had to say good-bye as we met Mark, their dad, in Albert Lea. That is about our halfway mark, so it happens quite often that it is our destination when getting together. This was the first time that these sisters had come all by themselves, without mom or dad. It turned out to be such a fun time, that Dan and I hope it will happen again soon. Of course, "what happens at Grandma's, stays at Grandma's"....and that is all I will say about that! Fun memories for all.

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