Gary Brown: Air conditioner takes a lot of coolness out of my world

Gary Brown

What your senses miss when you run whole-house air conditioning instead of opening your home’s windows:

- The sound of birds chirping in the back yard.

- The smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of a lawn mower running in the distance.

- The feel of a cool breeze blowing through a window screen.

- The sight of a bug flying in through a hole in the screen.

- The day-brightening laughter of children playing in a neighbor’s yard.

- The clock-setting arrival of the mail carrier or trash truck.

- The stomach-churning siren of a passing police car, fire engine or emergency vehicle.

- The shouted greeting of two neighbors working in their yards.

- The hammering and sawing of an energetic homeowner putting on a roof or adding deck several houses away.

- The sudden hisses and screams — more than mere meows — of two neighborhood cats squabbling over a determination of territory.

- The bark of a dog down the street who is warning or welcoming a visitor.

- The loud music coming from the open windows of a passing car, reminding you that the youth of this generation is not all that different from our younger days of driving and listening at a high volume.

- The bounce of a basketball on the asphalt of a neighboring driveway.

- The plop of a newspaper on the front porch when thrown there early on a Sunday morning by a paper carrier.

- Wind through the trees when a stiff breeze blows before a rainstorm arrives.

- The sound of raindrops hitting trees, lawns, driveways and roofs, then the smell of freshly dampened ground and the feel of sun-warmed air when the shower has passed.

- The sound of rubber meeting road when a car or bicycle rolls by or the sound of footsteps and faint conversation when pedestrians pass.

- The smell of a neighbor’s backyard barbecue.

- The sound of a ball game broadcasted over a radio somewhere in the neighborhood.

- The memory-prevoking music of the ice cream truck as it follows its evening route.

- The calming, almost hypnotic sound of crickets chirping early in the night — either commenting on a day well-lived or repeating the reassurance that “Everything is as it should be.”

- Well, yeah, OK, the feel and smell of stale, still, stifling air that almost overcomes you on days when the outdoor temperature is in the 90s during the day and still in the 80s at night, so the indoor temperature makes you melt. But it’s worth sweating to bring the outdoors inside where you can enjoy it in a recliner chair.

Contact Gary Brown at gary.brown@cantonrep.com