When we came back from our road trip we noticed our portable air conditioner in the living room wasn’t cooling like it used to. It was four years old and pretty much goes 24/7 all spring, summer and fall. It has done a remarkable job cooling down all of the apartment (except for the study which has its own a/c) for such a long time. It not cooling properly really had me worried – I couldn’t afford to buy a new one, could I find someone to repair it? How much would that cost me? We couldn’t live without it – Beth would really overheat when she left the study. And a heat wave was on its way.
I called all the air conditioner businesses and they all said fixing a portable wasn’t worth their time. Go buy a new one. When I explained I was unemployed they still didn’t change their mind. Finally, I found an old guy who repaired appliances. He was probably around 80 years old, had very limited vision and puttered around outside his shop. He and I spent a couple of hours taking the a/c apart and cleaning it out. Fortunately, he didn’t charge much. The a/c was working a bit better, but still not cooling like it used to.
I was telling my friend here in Victoria about it on the phone one evening. We were arranging when to meet up for a cup of tea. It was my turn to host – and we were going to try out some of the tea we bought at Chado’s in California. A day or two later she was forwarding links to a/c ads and asking me which was closest to the one I currently had. When she arrived a few days later for tea, she said she needed some help getting something out of the vehicle, and to bring my trolley.
Apparently we have a guardian angel. One of my friend’s connections bought us a new portable air conditioner which was a new version of our current model. It was amazing. Someone who has probably never met us found out we had a need and they filled it. It was humbling. It took a huge weight of worry off my shoulders. And it was easy to install – just had to take it out of the box and switch the air vent from the old a/c to the new one. No fitting hoses and panels into the window. It was all already there. We set it up in the middle of the heat wave and it has made a big difference to Beth’s quality of life. Mine, too, as I spend most of my day in the living room. It works so well I’m usually wearing a sweatshirt inside. And, with the help of a couple of fans, the cool air reaches the bedroom and bathroom. This is a big bonus as when it was hot Beth would go into heat exhaustion sitting in the bathroom and in the bedroom I couldn’t wake her up because she would be so overheated.
It has been a few weeks and the air conditioner is still working great. I don’t know who was so generous to buy us the new air conditioner, but I am very grateful. What was an impossibly huge expense for me was possible for someone else. Their generosity was a real miracle. Being unemployed and trying to live off employment insurance cheques is pretty difficult. There are always decisions to be made as to what can we live without. After paying rent, groceries and medications, there isn't much left. There's no way I could have replaced the a/c on my own.
So, guardian angel, if you’re out there reading, I just wanted to say ‘THANKS!’