The first time I ever saw a dehumidifier, we were in North Dakota. Bobka, my great-grandmother, used to live in her own house in Pembina, North Dakota. It was right at the Canadian border. It was also the first time that I ever saw The Flintstones in French. I wasn’t bothered that Fred was speaking French so much that it was a different voice coming out of his mouth.
Anyway, there was a strange machine in her basement. Maybe it was an air filter. Maybe it was a furnace or something. I didn’t know what it was, but Bobka emptied a bucket of water out of it twice a day. Twice a day, this machine made water. Cool?
The more I thought about the machine the more confused I got. If Bobka wanted a machine that would make water, why would she just dump it down the drain twice a day. Why didn’t she drink it? Why didn’t she use it to water her lawn? Why did she just dump it out? I finally asked my grandma what the strange machine did and she laughed at me. I was an item of amusement to her with my weird little thoughts. It was a dehumidifier. It didn’t make water, it took water out of the air so it would be less humid in the house.
My desert eyes were amazed. There are machines that can take water out of the air? This could solve everything. I had just come to North Dakota from one of the worst droughts in Utah’s history. Why didn’t we have one of these machines in Utah? We could take the water out of the air and use it to water our dying grass. I had just lived through a summer in which I was not allowed to run through the sprinklers because of the drought. Our grass had turned dry and brittle. This machine could fix everything.
After I got back to Salt Lake, once again I became the subject of amusement. I told my mom about the magic machine that Bobka had that could take water out of the air. We should get one for the grass. My mother was a native of Millwaukee. She knew the machine of which I spoke. It wouldn’t work in Utah. There’s no water in the air to remove. That’s why we’re a desert. That’s why our grass is dying.
Last week, Mike and I bought a humidifier for our house. With the humidity at 19%, all of our plants were dying and the static electricity was threatening to mess up our electronics. After an hour of operation, the humidity was up to desert levels (25%). I wonder what a child from North Dakota would think about my magic machine that actually puts water into the air. Probably just be bugged because Fred Flintstone speaks in English with a different voice.