When the factory here in town closed down, over half the town lost their jobs. Luckily for me I am a writer, and I work from home, so the plant closing didn’t directly affect me, at least not at first. Soon after began what I have been calling the Grand Exodus. With so many people out of work, hundreds of families just picked up and moved away. The mass migration in turn lead to a great many local businesses going under. Now our town is more like a ghost town than anything else. While this is sad, it is also very inconvenient, as I recently learned when my air conditioner stopped working. Around here, having a working AC is not exactly optional unless you like swimming in your own sweat. In the past I would ask my neighbor Ed to take a look at my AC, because he was so handy with things. Ed has moved away, so my second step would be to call up an HVAC dealership and request a service visit. There were two different heating and cooling repair shops in town, but it seems that both of them have closed for good. Exploring my options, I found that the nearest HVAC repair shop is now over forty five minutes away, so it will cost an arm and leg just to get my broken AC unit inspected. Doing a little online research showed me that I could have a small, portable AC unit delivered to my house for about the same cost as an HVAC service visit.