Sunday, July 16, 2006

Air conditioning--the God-given right of all Americans

This post made me think about my California relatives:

Growing up, I have distinct memories of my grandparents. They lived (then and now) in the Central Valley of California....

Now the Central Valley in summer is hot. Damn hot. It's a desert. A desert with irrigation. My grandparents experiences growing up in the Depression made them very frugal, and there was never a guarantee of air conditioning - even when it hit 110....

My grandparents did what any enterprising American would do in order to combat the weather - they walked around their houses in their underwear. All the grandparents of all my friends did the same thing, so I never thought anything of it.

My son-in-law and my daughter live in the Central Valley. He doesn't believe in God, or air conditioning. Their houses are often 110 degrees in the daytime. Their answer to my vociferous complaints (not about God, but the heat) goes like this: "We don't need air conditioning. It's always cool at night." Great! I sweat until I'm as wet as a swamp critter, then at night the sweat dries and I get hypothermia.

He inherited this air-conditioning denial syndrome from his father, who told me, "We don't have air-conditioning. You don't need it." The father lives in Solvang, where the sidewalks melt in summer. If anyone in the world ever needed AC, it is the inhabitants of Solvang.

So the younger couple are building a house, an expensive one, on a very expensive piece of land. The driveway alone will cost more than my entire net worth. No air conditioning. Why? "We won't need it."

How could my daughter stray so far from her parents' teaching? Where, or where, did we go wrong?

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