Looking for the Treasure Hidden in the Mundane

Last week our house felt like a sauna. No, maybe sauna is too mild of a term. I think it’d be more accurate to liken it  to a lava bath on Venus. After two weeks of no air conditioning, (luckily we were on vacation for one of those), our home had gone from mildly uncomfortable to nauseatingly unbearable. Seriously. By Friday afternoon, with our thermostat reading ninety-three and climbing, our bodies began to revolt.

It’d been a rough week for all of us. The evenings were the worst. At bedtime, with the outside temperature barely dipping below ninety, there was no way to cool our house no matter how many fans you got going or windows you opened. Needless to say, the Slattery household was anything but cheery come Friday morning. Although we did have one thing going for us…the air conditioning guys were installing our new unit that day. Woo-hoo! Unfortunately, that meant Ashley and I had to stick around, in a hot, sticky house while they did it. And after a week’s worth of sweaty, itchy, crabby, sleepless nights, I was expecting fireworks. Or at least a few angry tears.

I was not anticipating any “precious-memory making moments” that day. In fact, I think I would have been happy just to get through the day without either one of us losing it entirely. And yet, despite the heat (or perhaps because of it) and lack of sleep, my daughter and I had the silliest, giggliest day we’ve had in quite a long time.

It started with time.

Despite a 92,000 word document desperately needing to be edited and numerous impeding deadlines, I shut my computer down and put it aside, along with anything else that required movement. (minus the occasional fb pop-in) And my daughter, too tired and hot to play outside or hide out in her room, hung out with me.

The giggles were initiated by dog-vomit

So here we were, dying, wishing we could head to Sonic for an ice-cold Cherry Limeaid when our mop-top started spewing nasty green stuff out of her mouth. So I picked her up and ran to the door, sending globs of bile shooting across the sofa, onto my daughter and leaving a trail from the den to the back yard. This quickly sent both of us into a fit of giggles and an afternoon of silliness–chasing dogs down with ice-cubes, Ashley sprawled across the wood floor in an effort to stay cool, us making goofy faces at each other. At the end of the day, a moment of discomfort led to some very special times between me and my baby-girl. And as I think back over our time, I can’t help but wonder how things might have been if one of us, just one of us, had reacted differently. What if I had thrown a fit when our dog started spraying our furniture with vomit? What if my daughter had lashed out when the vomit smacked her in the face? What if, after a day of roasting,  her giggles had become “annoying” or my jokes “lame”?

An entire day worth of special, long-to be treasured moments would have been lost.

It makes me wonder how many other moments I’ve missed. On those days when I’ve allowed circumstances to control me instead of looking for the silly, ironic or down-right absurd. I think God has many blessings hidden among our day, if we’d but look past ourselves and our momentary circumstances. In fact, I wonder if even those seemingly terrible situations can be turned into our greatest sources of joy.

One of my favorite verses says: “Every wise woman builds her house but the foolish one tears it down.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Unfortunately, I spend way too much time tearing down. Getting frustrated, distracted, upset, whatever. And yet, it is just as easy to build up, with joy, giggles, words of encouragement and focused time. Air conditioning or not.


  1. Very well said, as usual, Jennifer. I can totally relate as today it says 90 out side and it feels hotter inside. I’m house/pet sitting for a friend and they do NOT have air conditioning and it’s been between 83-90 for the entire time I’ve been here with humidity at 80-100% and just a few moments ago I heard the weather channel tout out we’re at a dew point level of 80…now, that’s hot and sticky, icky for this pampered fat woman who has air conditioning and other amenities I won’t mention but it occured to me that the very worst part about this is my friend lives on a street where the houses are only the road street width apart, the pavement soaks up the heat like a sponge and oozes it back out after dark into this house and there are NO curtains at these mulitple windows…I live in a rural setting, have multiple windows WITH curtains and even in the air conditioning there are times I dress down to be more comfortable…not so, this week! So, I OH, SO, CAN RELATE to the week of torture you endured…
    Joyfully looking forward to being back home with my DH and my spoiled Yorkie…

  2. Wow, you are quite the friend. I hope they appreciate your sacrifice. Good luck with the rest of your time there. I did think quite a bit about all the people who don’t have air conditioning and realized how very lucky we are.

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