I was the oldest of three siblings in a single parent home.
Mama did the best she could for us, but to provide for so many, she had to work two different jobs.
We were latch-key kids, as the expression goes, and as the oldest I had to look out for my brother and sister. I won’t say it was an easy childhood, but we loved each other, and Mama really did try her best, we were just more than she could handle. Money was so tight, even with two jobs, that we had very few creature comforts. One time our air conditioner broke down, and she told us there simply wasn’t enough money to get it fixed. I decided to go to the public library the next day and do some research about air conditioners. As luck would have it, they carried several different manuals about the service and repair of HVAC systems, so I dug through them and found the one that looked most like ours. I spent the entire week pouring through that HVAC manual, comparing it to our home system, and trying to figure out what I should do. I was terrified that I would make things worse, but then I remembered that the air conditioner was already dead, and I couldn’t break it any worse than it was. I gave it a shot, took the A/C unit apart, and did my best to fix it. Did it work? No, sad to say this story doesn’t have a happy ending, and we spent the whole summer with no air conditioning.