Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cave Season

We have entered "Cave Season" at Smokey Acres. Cave season usually begins around June and wanes around September. The purpose of cave season is to stay as cool as possible in the extraordinary hotness that is summer in these parts. Three-digit weather is not uncommon here, and contrary to six-figure incomes, is not desirable. 

The goal of summer is to remain in a state of relative coolness while not handing over our first born child to our utility provider. Hence, cave season.

Cave season starts with closing all window blinds. Any drop of unnecessary sunlight can anger the thermostat. The thermostat must remain stable or it triggers the air conditioning which starts the tally with the utility provider. The doors and windows must remain closed as much as possible. Heat likes to sneak in and disturb the coolness and pleasantness of our cave. My children have been caught trying to air condition the outside world. They did not get in trouble. Upon seeing chilled dollar bills fly out of our back door I simply collapsed into a pool of goo.

Cave season requires the use of ceiling fans. They must remain on at all times if only to stir up stagnate air. I do open the windows in the early morning hours of cave season when the air is still crisp and not completely wilted in the heat. But, the smells of childhood in progress do need intermittent stirring. 

Ice water, Otter Pops, and Ice Cream are a must in cave season. The moment one becomes dehydrated the outside world starts to appeal more that the coolness of the cave. A dehydrated child is a cranky child and yard work seems like a good idea at 103 degrees when offered alongside the option of being trapped in the cave with a child battling a case of grumpiness. Otter Pops and ice Cream are just for fun, because, it is summer after all.

Cave season is the price we pay for living 60 miles away from the gates of Yosemite and 3 hours from the golden sand lining the Pacific Ocean. We live in a beautiful part of the world and I suppose having to slap the steering wheel of the car for the first 5 miles to avoid third degree burns is not totally unreasonable.

I merely hope to survive cave season with a portion of our savings intact. The less I can run the air conditioning means the less money the utility company gets. They will get more than their fair share no doubt but I would love to keep some of that hard-earned money in the bank. 

The irony of this post is that I am writing it outside while I watch my children swim in our little above ground pool. The temperature gauge reads a cool 99 degrees - but the cave is a chilly 80 degrees! Now, 80 may not seem cool but, trust me, when it is 111 degrees in August it will seem like the polar ice caps!

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