In Retrospect…

In retrospect, taking 6 kids in 100+ degree weather in a non-air-conditioned vehicle for a 7 hour road trip isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

On the bright side, it’s also not the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and we invented the most fabulous on-the-go, do-it-yourself, totally-Pinterest-worthy air conditioning system while we were at it. Our system is called ICE EVERYWHERE — ice every damn where — and it worked! It worked!

Please don’t feel sad if you’ve never thought of that elegant solution yourself. It’s OK. You’re OK. Some of us are Pinteresty, and some of us aren’t, and we accept all comers here. As for me, I’m Pinteresty. Obviously. I mean, I even shoved ice in my hair, man.

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Because DEAR LORD, IT WAS HOT.

Just in case you’d like to create your own DIY Air Conditioning, I’ve created a step-by-step guide below. BECAUSE I CARE, friends. Because I care.

DIY Portable Air Conditioning
A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Borrow a large passenger vehicle. We borrowed an airport shuttle from my father-in-law, but I imagine any bulky, unwieldy, beast of a van absent air circulation will do.
Step 2: When the vehicle’s owner notes the lack of air conditioning in said vehicle and asks if you’re really sure you want to borrow it, given the time of year, assure him you’ll be just fine without air conditioning. After all, you live in in a temperate part of the world and you grew up in Southeast Asia. Be sure to say things like, “Pacific Northwesterners are enormous wimps,” and “How bad can it be?” Scoff loudly.
Step e: Arrange for a 5 hour road trip. Make lots of potty stops and also sort of crash your borrowed vehicle into a coffee shop awning so it becomes a 7 hour road trip. I mean, you could just make a 5 hour road trip in 5 hours, but where’s the fun in that? Honestly.
Step 4: Bring a half dozen children. They needn’t all be yours. In fact, it’s better if they’re not all yours, because being responsible for other people’s children while you’re crashing your borrowed vehicle into coffee shop awnings and keeping them locked in a metal can in the blistering heat creates maximum enjoyment for everyone where the word “enjoyment” is replaced with “dear God, what have I done?”
Step 5: Decide that if this isn’t going to be The Worst Road Trip of All Time, you’re going to have to Do Something and Do It Quick.
Step 6: Buy a boat load of ice and twelve hundred dozen million frozen treats and tell the 6 children there’s UNLIMITED EVERYTHING. YOU CAN HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT, KIDS. SHOVE THAT ICE WHEREVER YOU LIKE AND EAT ALL THE POPSICLES. HAVE A BALL!
Step 7: Giggle when they actually shove ice every damn where.
Step 8: Be supportive when they craft their own elegant, DIY air conditioning system titled Screw Pants.

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^^^The inventors of Screw PantsTM ^^^

 

In conclusion, take that, Pinterest.

Also, Screw Pants.

With love,

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P.S. If you’ve ever wondered how to greet your neighbors when they come home from a 7 hour road trip with 6 kids in 100+ degree weather, wonder no more. THIS IS HOW:

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Cold beer. Cold Coke. Praise Jesus and people who really do love their neighbors as themselves.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
8 comments
  1. Remember in 2012 when we had that week of a heat wave in early August? No? well, *I* do, we spent it in our non-air conditioned BLACK SUV driving across Washington, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota … for 10 days, with a 7 year old and an 18 month old who we learned would scream non-stop any time we were at an altitude higher than 4600 feet for more than 30 minutes. (Living at sea level in the Seattle area, it never occurred to me that once I came down out of the rockies, we wouldn’t be right back at sea level….) So… yeah, that was fun.

    And Lord help me, we’re about to do a similar trek down the Oregon coast in the same vehicle with the same two children, (now 10 and 4) where we will be driving multiple hours a day… Would they get frostbite if I just filled the backseat with ice after putting them in for the ride so they are surrounded? Probably, might need to figure something else out.

    Glad to know I’m not the only one crazy enough to attempt such a crazy pants kind of excursion!

  2. This is pure gold. Screw pants indeed.

  3. This is bringing flashbacks to last summer when we trekked across southern AZ in June/July with no A/C. We only had two kids in the car but one was only a few months old. It was 111 degrees of pure hell. We stopped at the first Walmart we found and bought several gallons of water and some spray bottles, and the rest of the drive was a non-stop water fight. We kept the baby wrapped in a wet blanket with the windows down so the air would blow on her and keep her cool. It worked so well that at one point she got so cold she started shivering. It was hard to feel bad for her being cold though as the rest of us were suffering moderate heat exhaustion. The week on the beach in San Diego was awesome, but I’m still not sure it was worth it.

  4. BTW, you failed to sign the airport shuttle damage waiver.

  5. It was 114 here on Friday, which, for us preggos, translates to about eleventy million degrees.

    I may have fed my chickens a plate of crushed ice.
    I may have spent an entire hour with my arms deep in the laundry tub. For fun.
    I may have used my watering can to make “rain” for my chickens to stand in.
    I may have briefly put my head in the freezer but abandoned the plan when the puff pastry started to thaw.
    I may have worn a gel ice pack in my bra.

    But, I will admit, as a Pinteresty type, I did put a bowl of ice water in front of a fan, and it was every bit as AMAZING as having my own personal AC.

    Not exactly practical for the car, though.

    Glad you made it through! Remember to hydrate!

  6. Thank you yet again for waving in the dark, I am wide awake at an ungodly hour for no apparent reason but I laughed so hard at this post I almost woke up the kid who woke me up by trying to crush all the air out of my lungs and strangle me with her love and need of me. I so needed that laugh at this moment. (I love her but I was having a nightmare than someone was smashing me into the dashboard of a car by collapsing the seat and then driving really fast to try to kill me, and then I wake up and the feeling of being smashed and unable to breathe was real. just the car and the laughing psycho were not.) Ok maybe I am not wide awake for no apparent reason, it was a very disturbing dream and there is no room in this bed for me because an 8 year old is some how taking up the space of like 5 people.

  7. I love your neighbor. Also yes screw pants wise decision

    1. I love her neighbor, too. Isn’t he great?

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