When I was growing up, I had three younger siblings that were at least five years younger than me. At sixteen, I was often seen as the “mother” of our family, since both of our parents worked well past the usual 9-5 work schedule six days a week. I would clean the house, delegate chores, but most importantly I would cook for all of us throughout the day. If you haven’t had the pleasure of cooking for four people, just know that it’s a great way to heat your home in the winter without needing the actual heating system! We had an old gas furnace that we practically never used, simply because I had to cook so often and in such large volume that we had plenty of heat just from using the kitchen stove all day long. For that same reason, we had a hard time keeping the house cool during the summer. We had two window A/C units, one in my parent’s room and one in the living room, so we didn’t have much of a way to keep an entire house cooled down aside from leaving windows open all day. Of course, having the windows open meant that a ton of dirt, dust and other outdoor debris would find its way inside! We didn’t have any real ductwork to circulate the air in our home, so we just had to clean the entire house often to keep the air somewhat fresh. It was rough back then, but I’m glad I have a house of my own now – with an excellent central A/C system, as well as ductwork that I have professionally cleaned by an HVAC technician every six months. I can’t imagine living like I did as a teenager ever again!