This is something I have to comment on because I see a correlation with age.
The air conditioning on my car went out about three weeks ago when the compressor failed. So, being the person I am, got quotes to get it fixed. I decided that it would be cheaper to just live with it not working and put that money toward a new car (mine is going on 11 years old and has 225,000 miles on it). To me, it hasn’t been a problem.
For others in the 17 to 22 year range, it has been a big problem. Several of the younger generation (including my daughter) have complained and given me comments that are funny to annoying. I often find myself wondering what the big deal is that there isn’t any air conditioning in the car. As long as the air is moving, it is very bearable and comfortable — you just can’t hear anything because of the wind from the windows being open. Some of them have even taken their own car and followed me because it had air conditioning and mine didn’t.
I also reflect on what it was like for me growing up. We didn’t have air conditioning until we moved to Washington, DC, and prior was only one window air conditioner in the main family room where everyone watched TV (if we watched TV). The rest of the house didn’t have air conditioning. On my grandparent’s farm, we still used out houses and loved to sleep outside where the air wasn’t hot and stagnant.The alternative was sleeping in the upstairs bedrooms where the heat was usually around 100 or more degrees and never moved. My other grandparents didn’t have air conditioning – if you wanted to be cool, you went to the basement. I suspect that is one of the reasons we spent our time with one of my uncles, as he had both air conditioning in his whole house and a swimming pool out back. You never got too hot at his place. Heck, even my first elementary school (Granby Elementary) didn’t have air conditioning – it was always hot and sticky and remember trying to take a nap on floor mats covered with sweat, or sticking to the plastic chairs trying to pay attention to the teacher while she talked to us or another student said something.
Today, though, many of our younger generation seem to think everyone needs air conditioning. It is a requirement. And, if they don’t get it, then they have some problems with not having it. I have to wonder if I would have been like these kids if I always had air conditioning like they have?
Today was an interesting experience. I spent some time working at a day camp put on by a local church. My time was volunteered and I took some snapshots of the day’s events. I am amazed at how enthusiastic we are as children, how much energy we had, and the constant need to be doing things. All the kids are from the inner city and soak a lot of things up like sponges. They also work hard to please the adults around them, and the smallest things make them happy: sidewalk chalk, a cheap beach ball, plastic baseball bats and wiffle ball. There was no playground – just an empty lot – and all of them were very content to play in it during their break.
One thing that impresses me about this particular church is that they are very upbeat. Signs and slogans and posters are all over the place. “You can’t win the race unless you start the race”, “You are someone who is special”, and various pledges to oneself to become better and accomplish things in their life. There are “ladders to success” and other things promoting to individuals that if they work to become something, they will.
One thing that stuck out was seeing someone who was constantly in trouble with the camp counselors — but this person wasn’t a bad person. He was very intelligent and strong willed. Even in this nurturing environment, he always found ways to cause a stir. I wonder what his life may be like. What is it like in his home when he goes there? Is the home nurturing? He has chips on his shoulders, and frequently acts out just because he knows he can get away with it. I also wonder what kind of things that society and people he knows have instilled into him? I look at this guy, and I see so much potential and what he can be. Instead, he wants to spend it being mad at the world and taking it out on the people around him. It hurt to see someone like him in the group – and I wish that there was more I can do.
Today, I want to mention something after a long day of reflection for me. My adopted daughter and wife got into a rather intense fight (more than the usual mother/daughter fighting that goes on), and both acted up without any warning – it was like this had been brewing for some time and both wanted to fight. Yes, they fight every so often, but never this intensity or veracity. It happened when we got out of the car to get something to eat for dinner. According to my daughter, my wife’s eyes were bugging out correcting my daughter’s son and she was being down right mean to him – not to mention that she had been complaining about her yelling at her son the whole trip to the restaurant. My daughter’s son is to that age he doesn’t want to wear a seat belt and be free – so it always ‘hurts” unless he isn’t strapped in. According to my wife, she was only saying his name and looking at him while he cried – and never got his attention. She just called his name. Being oblivious to this because I was walking around the car to help my wife out of the car (who says chivalry is dead?), I only caught the tail end when they were well into the fighting. My daughter wanted to leave and just go home, and my wife the same. The first 20 minutes – my daughter and her son were in the bathroom hiding. Finally they came out. My daughter and her son sat at one table in the restaurant — my wife and I sat at another — when I finally got them both to sit down and eat. The ride home was silent.
This is the first post of the blog and just one of those things that says, “Hey, I am alive!”
I don’t know the content yet, but it should be some of the thoughts I have about life and the things that I see and feel. These are from my perspective and are based on what I personally experience. If you don’t like what I say, tough, these are my thoughts. You are welcome to your own.