Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Cool Birthday

by Annette Dashofy

Tomorrow is my birthday. Yeah, yeah. Big whoop-tee-doo. How old will I be? Let’s just say I’ll be as close to 50 as possible without BEING 50. In other words, I’ll be 49.

What a blah kind of birthday. Now, NEXT year, look out. Those round numbers somehow elicit a huge demand for celebration. And heckling. But the years BEFORE the round numbers get no respect. And very little attention. Frankly, I’m fine with that. In fact, I’m considering cancelling all future birthdays. Really. Who needs ‘em.

In case you’re wondering what I’m getting for my birthday (yeah, I know you really don’t care), I’m getting a heat pump installed in my house.

Okay, we were getting it anyway. Hubby was rather grateful that I let him off the proverbial hook, since we will have no money once we pay for the thing. The way I figure it, a woman pushing fifty has certain needs in life. Central air conditioning is one of them.

The two dinky little window units we’ve been using are fine. As long as you happen to be in either the bedroom or my office, which is where they are located. But the rest of the house resembles a sauna. Plus, I can’t stand the rumble, rattle, and hum of the window unit when I’m trying to sleep. So we shut everything down and throw open the windows before bedtime. Within an hour, the humidity has crept in and I can’t sleep anyway.

I think a heat pump with central air is a terrific birthday present. I don’t need anything else.

Plus we went away for a few days over the Fourth of July and had to leave my cat at home. I closed all the blinds and curtains and prayed for cloudy weather. Goodness knows we’ve had enough of it lately. But of course, the sun came out, the inside temperature soared above 80, and poor Skye was one cranky little cat by the time we walked through the door. As soon as I fired up the a/c units and the house cooled off, she bounced back to her usual happy, if psycho, self.

The next time we take off for a few days, we’ll have our new air conditioning up and running, so the furry one will be cool and comfy, too.

Of course, Hubby isn’t even slightly concerned with the cat’s comfort. He’s concerned with his bank account. We currently have a twenty-five year old oil furnace. The first year we had it, we paid 67 cents per gallon for oil in the summertime. Because we only had one tank, we ran out mid winter and had to pay close to 90 cents per gallon to refill it. By the next year, we had a second tank so that wouldn’t happen again. We would wait until June or July when the oil prices dropped to their lowest to order our winter supply. For years, we never paid over a dollar a gallon. Last year, we paid over two dollars a gallon. This year, it’s well over four. And climbing. So the decision to replace the aging oil furnace NOW and use our winter fuel stash as part of the down payment seems like a no-brainer. If anything, we should have done it sooner. Like for my forty-seventh birthday.

So bring on 49! Bring on 50! Hit me with your best hot flash. I will be languishing in my air conditioned glory. Happy Birthday to me!


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Annette!

My 49th birthday last year was the second day on my new job. Feeling awkward about telling people I'd never met before it was my birthday, I didn't mention it at work. Me and a couple of my friends had a celebratory lunch the Saturday before.

But I told myself my new job was my birthday present. And, I have to say, a year into it I'd still say I couldn't imagine a better birthday present.

I'm all for practical presents for 49. So, bring on the heat pump! Maybe you'll have my experience of going to an amazing yoga retreat, trance dance and Rumi fest for you 50th.

I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Annette said...

Thanks, Tory.

I haven't given much thought to how I want to spend my 50th birthday. On second thought, I know exactly what I want for my next birthday. A book contract.

Of course, I'd be perfectly content to receive that particular gift a little early.

Joyce Tremel said...

Happy Birthday, Annette! You're catching up to me. I actually liked turning 50.

My worst birthday was turning 30. I thought that was so old. My life was over! But I found out it wasn't so bad. And 40 was good because that's when I got my blackbelt. After that, I figured out it's only a number. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Anonymous said...

Annette, have a very happy birthday!

I think an air conditioning unit is a perfect gift - and perfect for this age, when you put away alot of nonsense and just get down to it.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Annette. And, oh, BTW, happy birthday me too! Yep, we share the same birthday, but I'm years ahead of you, Annette. 49 is but a distant memory. As for 50, I'm with was a blast. Can't say the same for last year's b'day...turning 60 left me feeling all flat and morose. So I went on a 275-mile bicycle/camping trip to get over the self-pity!

Congrats on getting the heat pump. I'm jealous.

Annette said...

Joyce, I really enjoyed turning 40, too. I recevied the funniest birthday cards. I think that's the trick to those big ones. LAUGH.

Martha, it's also perfect for this age that includes those pesky internal power serge/heat flash things.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Annette! You rock at any age. :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Annette. Mine was yesterday, but it wasn't my 49th or 50th. I wish.

Annette said...

Hey, Happy Birthday, Mike and Lee!

And, Lisa, you're sweet. Thanks.

By the way, Mike, I think a 275 mile bike trip would kill me. I guess I'd better start training now to be in shape to tackle that one at 60. Only eleven years to prepare? I don't know if that's enough time!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Annette...and Mike and Lee.

AC is a wonderful gift. I gave up on the luxury gifts a long time ago. It's the big things (like being cool) that really matter, huh?

Our AC was acting up, too. It's patched together for at least the time being. We will be replacing it within the next year or two, so I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

I did post a comment earlier, but it must have gotten lost in the ether. Oh well...

Happy birthday, Annette! Gosh, I never would have guessed you were that old. ;-)

Yeah, HVAC rocks. You made the right choice. Who needs diamonds, right?

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Happy birthday, Annette!

We just replaced our AC and furnace, both. We had the heat pump option, too -- glad we didn't get it, as we got word during installation that our electric company was now discontinuing the discount for it. Hope your utilities are nicer than ours!

Annette said...

Thanks, Jennie...I think. ;-) Hey, I can't change being this old, so not looking it is the best I can hope for. Okay, not FEELING it helps, too.

Susan, I wasn't even aware of the discount until after we ordered the thing, so I guess it doesn't matter.

maryalice@mysterylovers said...

What a cool gift!

Just had to say it!

Happy Birthday Annette, Mike, Lee and me on all are me.

Annette said...

Hey! Happy Birthday, Mary Alice! I didn't realize how much company I had here from other July babies.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! It's a good gift to yourself. Being comfortable is important and the older you get, the more important it is.

I hope you left open the option for forced air heating to go with the AC.