An Inconvenience or an Adventure?

“An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered,” writes G. K. Chesterton. I suppose, then, that I must be in the midst of an adventure.

I’m writing on a Sunday evening. On Friday afternoon, my wife discovered that the air conditioner was not conditioning. Please note that I am not in the least blaming the messenger for imparting negative news. It is just a fact that she usually notices inconveniences of this sort before I do.

If one of our vehicles is making a bit of a strange noise, she notices before I do, reports the potential problem, and presents me with a work order.

If a mouse has the temerity to put one of its itty bitty feet anywhere in the residence, she notices before I do, and presents me with a kill order. Neither mouse nor man will find peace until the rodent is dead. I once shot myself in the head (ricochet) with a BB trying to execute a hit she put out on one. That’s another story. 

These things often come in groups. After the A/C went on the fritz, she discovered that the back yard floodlight was dead. And then, running the ceiling fan at high speed, she reported a fan pull-switch malfunction. (High speed only.) Another work order. (She’s happier with high speed only than I am. She has long seemed to have a deep-seated fear of dying by spontaneous combustion. Fans? Oh, we have them.)

The present A/C inconvenience would have been much more inconvenient during our recent 100-degree convection oven weather. Now, it’s mostly a nuisance. Open the windows. Fire up fifteen fans. And get to work. 

The A/C was, if not dead, comatose and unresponsive. The inside blower, coil, etc., unit gizmo (note my precision with these terms) was not responding. The outside compressor, fan, etc., unit thing was just as brain-fritzed. The thermostat was faithfully recording rising temperature but, if it was issuing the proper “turn on and cool this place down” orders, they were ignored.

I checked breakers and called an over-worked A/C guy. He was already working, still working as Friday afternoon was ebbing away. I asked what else I could check myself, and then I went to work testing fuses and (I’m shortening the story) found one little 5-amp fuse with its brains burned out. When he arrived, we checked more wiring, and he pointed a finger at the thermostat wire. He was fresh out of such, having used all of his at earlier stops at homes having their own adventures. So, we made plans for Monday.

On Saturday, my wife and I made a trip out of town to watch a great little grandson play flag football. We ran by the massive hardware store, and I picked up a big roll of 8-strand thermostat wire. I was praying that I could successfully “pull” it by attaching it to the old wire. Later that afternoon, I tried. No such luck. My “borescope” camera showed some errant concrete had oozed around the wire. No pulling. So, the adventure was, as expected, ramping up. I’d hoped a trip under the house wouldn’t be required. The A/C guy shared my view. But now…

I unscrewed the access panel and crawled under the stairs in the garage. I was slithering up and over the foundation wall and shining a light around. But I soon noticed that the house seemed lower—or it’s possible that I was thicker—than the last time I made such a trip.  The destination was farther away than I had expected. No. Nope. Heck no. Abort.

Saturday night, I lay awake thinking about options. Early Sunday morning, when I should have been thinking about my sermon, I thought about more options.

On Sunday afternoon, when I prefer to be unconscious, I decided to ascend. I opened the attic crawl space hatch and climbed upward a bit. Then, back down. Then, up a ladder outside. Drilled a hole in the house. Cobbled together some “bride of Frankenstein” mismatched plastic conduit (all I had), pulled wire, shoved the pipe through the hole, crawled back up inside the mechanical closet, pulled wire, gave thanks, and called it a day.

Even I can splice together color-coded wires, but I’m done. I’ll let the expert do the splicing. I’m tired, and this adventure seems increasingly inconvenient. At least, neither of us will be crawling under the house.

The Apostle Paul was talking about real suffering, something much more than an inconvenience, when he said that, rightly understood, problems produce endurance, endurance builds up character, and character grows into hope.

I wish to make light of no one’s genuine sufferings by my levity here. I will say that I am not yet sure that this little A/C inconvenience qualifies as much of an adventure. And I’m not sure you’d think it improved my character if you’d been under the house or in the attic with me.

But I do live in hope. I hope to be cool by the time you read this.

Copyright 2023 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

Leave a comment

To Help Support My Music

No pressure, but if you'd like to help support this music-making, thank you!

Enter the amount you wish to donate


The minimum tip is $0.00

In cart Not available Out of stock