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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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The Keeper of the Cool

June 4, 2008

“Miss Amy? Why you gotta be writing all over Jay Jay?”

An honest question posed by Jay Jay’s grandma as to why I sent him home with pen marks on his arm. Why do I gotta be writing all over the neighborhood kids?

The answer is easy and, I think, obvious: To save money on electricity.

Our electric bill for the first month of air conditioning use was double what we were anticipating. I mentioned this to my buddy the maintenance man and he told me that my problem was all the kids coming in and out of my home.

Did you know that if you get your home nice and cool and then leave the door open for five minutes, it will take your air conditioner TWO HOURS of being constantly on to recover? I knew it was bad to open and close the door, I just didn’t know how bad.

And so, to fix the problem, I started to write on the kids’ arms. They are allowed to come in and out three times. After a child has earned three stripes, they must stay outside if they are not in my actual custody or they must stay inside if they are mine.

I marvel at how quickly and well these kids jumped on board and started budgeting and planning their visits outside or in.

“Miss Amy? If I go in and out with a friend, does that mean I get one stripe or can I just get a half?”

“Miss Amy? If you tell me that I have to go outside, does that door opening count since you told me to open it?”

“Miss Amy? What if I have three stripes and I have to be outside, but I really need to use the bathroom and also I need a band-aid? What about that?”

The good news is that the heat has kept most kids at home and the only kids I have in my house most days are kids whose parents have arranged to leave them here. I have only had to shun one child to the heat so far. But I’ll do it again if it means getting that bill down. Sheesh.

11 responses to “The Keeper of the Cool”

  1. Andi Hawkins says:

    I wish I could stripe my dog!

  2. Susan says:

    Brilliant! If I wasn’t as guilty as the kids of leaving the door open I might try this at my house.

  3. What a great idea! I might try this on my husband. =)

  4. Great idea!

  5. Theresa says:

    I love you! I would let you write on my arm but as long as you made me good Ice Tea, I would stay on your couch and play with Charlie….
    Miss Amy, If I am taking Charlie out to you know do I have to get a stripe?

  6. Eric's Wife says:

    I love you too! Since none of these kids read my blog, I feel it safe to tell you that grown ups are allowed to open the door whenever they please. Just close it immediately behind you or I will be on you like a mad cat.

  7. Kim Heinecke says:

    Miss Amy, you’d better use a Sharpie…

  8. Eric's Wife says:

    I have a Sharpie. And I honestly thought about it. I also have neon markers and a black light, thought about that too.

  9. Full of Joy says:

    Brillant! Really 2 hours? Things are about to change around here…

  10. Eric's Wife says:

    I know! Two hours! And that is assuming you have a shiny new and fabulous unit. Don’t even get me started on the pre-historic behemoth that belches out our cold air.

  11. lauren says:

    you are so creative. love it.

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