The things that keep us up at night

by Karen on July 6, 2015

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The Angel Tree, near Charleston, S.C.

So, here’s what I was dealing with two weeks ago. Just when the temperature hit record highs, our downstairs air conditioner died. There was no reviving it. And worse yet, a new one couldn’t be installed for more than a week.

During that week, the local weather forecasters predicted continued highs in the upper 90s and low 100s – with no rain in sight. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so bad, since we have an upstairs AC unit working just fine.

But here’s the thing. My cousin was on her way to visit from the still relatively cool state of Connecticut. She would be staying with us, and I’d planned a big family dinner for the night of her arrival. Oven on, stove on, a houseful of people, and no AC? Nope.

So as I scrambled to come up with a new menu of cold salads and moved our party to my ever-gracious mom’s condo, I was a little put out by this whole air conditioning thing. I was still scurrying around, getting ready for my cousin’s Thursday arrival, when the news broke Wednesday night.

Nine people had been shot dead at a prayer meeting in Charleston, SC. Nine people. Murdered. In the city my daughter lives in. For – at the time – no discernible reason.

Well. Nothing like a sock in the gut to change your perspective. Suddenly, slicing a few peppers and onions in a hot kitchen no longer seemed like the crisis it never actually was.

In the days that followed, as we watched the news unfold and confirm the motives many suspected all along, I felt sick. Sick that this sort of thing was still happening.

Like many, I was heartened by the enormous capacity for forgiveness and the steadfast faith of those in Charleston. Like many, I wanted to gather my loved ones home and hold them close – if not in body, then at least in spirit.

The new air conditioner finally was installed a couple of days after my cousin returned home, and we could breathe more easily in the cool, dry air. As for sleeping easy? That may take a bit longer.

 

 

 

 


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