It is not the best of times, nor is it the worst of times; it is, simply put: the time between the end of winter and the beginning of summer. It is the season known as spring, but more to the point of this column, it is the time when, if the weather cooperates/accommodates, I won’t need to turn the heat or the air conditioning on in my house. I will instead be able to ride the wave, so to speak, and not incur any post-winter/pre-summer utility bills. Possibly, I might even be able to pay off my oil-heating budget bill balance for the 2013/2014 season – before the 2014/2015 budget cycle begins, and hopefully not have to cool down the house at the same time – due to an early summer – so that on the day my oil-heating bill is due, it won’t be competing for cash with my upstart electric/air conditioning bill for money not well spent and for money hardly in abundance.
As difficult and challenging as our most recent winter has been, and as hot and humid as our summers typically are, I (like many others I’m sure), would certainly appreciate a break/brake in my cash flowing out and instead enjoy its staying power – in my bank. Not that it earns any interest idling as it does there; nevertheless, its presence in my checking account without immediately being in demand would create a sense of solvency, false though it may be (and a temporary sensation at that), and likely make a positive contribution to my seasonal situation. I don’t mind being thrown a bone once in a while. Moreover, given the circumstances and reality of living in the never-having-enough-resources world, any discount, reduction or delay, real or imagined, in the ongoing and recurring utility bills, would be a most welcome improvement. If the heat and air conditioning indeed stayed off, and I didn’t need to be warm any more than I needed to be cool, I’m sure I could make the adjustment. Paying less probably wouldn’t be a hardship. I’m not too proud to admit it, though I’m not begging.
I’m not asking for a multi-month sojourn from my utility bill reality. I’m just asking for a month. One month where I could stop the bleeding and possibly pay forward to get ahead rather than pay backward to not be in arrears. I don’t believe I’m asking for a lot. And neither do I think I’m being greedy. However, I agree it may be wishful thinking. Nevertheless, it’s a request worth making. And as unpredictable – respectfully speaking, not criticizing – as the weather can be, a little help would go a long way; in dollars and in sense. Otherwise, I might have a dickens of a time paying for heat AND air conditioning in the same month. Then it would be the worst of times.