Arnold and Ruth Miller have lived in their Houston home for 55 years, and even they can’t remember a heat wave like this one.
“It’s been terrible,” Arnold quips. “You just don’t want to move.” A plumber for his entire career, Miller knows Houston well, and he’s seen hot days before. “Sometimes you wanted a pipe to just burst on you,” he jokes.
They both agree this year is the worst, yet the couple has used their air conditioner sparingly. That’s because they simply can’t afford to use it as often as they want to, at least not on their fixed income. Instead, they’ve found other ways to beat the heat to keep their home cool – without beating their budget.
They started by opening the windows on both sides of the home so they could catch a cross breeze. And they keep the blinds closed to block out the sun.
Ruth has even given up cooking her famed nightly dinners simply to avoid the extra heat caused by the oven. “We all have to make sacrifices,” she said.
The Millers’ grandson Scott has also been by to help. A carpenter by trade, Scott installed awnings over the Miller’s windows in order to reduce the sun’s impact and try to keep the home cooler. The couple hopes all of these changes will help them make it through the next few weeks until the heat wave finally relents.
“We just don’t have the money to run the air conditioner as much as we’d like to,” Arthur says. “That means you have to get creative.”
It’s not the refreshing feeling of a ruptured water pipe, but the Millers seem to be doing just fine.
Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.