Sunday, July 19, 2015
Today I am grateful for air conditioning. Of all the electronic conveniences of modern times, if it didn’t exist, I would miss my air conditioning most. I hate being hot and I hate the sultry days of summer. Add 99% humidity and I hate it a 99 times more.
When we were kids we never ever had air conditioning. Not in any of my childhood homes, do I remember so much as a window unit. Never. What we had were fans, which were like being blasted with the 350 degree heat from the oven when you opened the door quickly enough to catch a breeze. Sometimes my dad would say to turn the fan out the window to “draw the heat out” but if it’s the same temperature on both sides, all you get by doing that is noise with no breeze.
To keep cool at home we had a lawn sprinkler that we ran through. We had to move all over the grass so it would all get watered or we’d have to shut it off and stop wasting water. Our slip ‘n slide was when we let the sprinkler sit too long in one spot and we’d belly dive through the soggy sod.
We had one shade tree and if we were griping about being hot we were told to “read a book in the shade”, which was fine except the tree was small so we had to move our blanket every ten minutes because the sun moved.
If we complained about not having anything to do because it was too hot, we got chores. Big chores! We didn’t want to be cleaning the garage, or scrubbing a floor, or vacuuming when it was hot, so we’d shut-up quick and just sweat.
Occasionally my mom would pack up the car and take us to Lake Michigan to cool off. It was less than ten blocks away, but you’d think we were going on a month long excursion based on the junk we took with us. Since the water was usually around 62 degrees, we’d have steam coming up around us like we were wearing dry ice bathing suits. By the time we brushed “every grain of sand” off of us before getting back in the car, we were already sweating. . .again.
On steamy summer nights we got cherry Koolaid and popcorn on the front porch and so did every other family. TV’s were turned off, but there was usually a transistor radio somewhere. Maybe we’d play cards or a game, but not always. It was just too hot to stay inside.
Our house had a small airing porch on the second floor off the back. My sister and I would drag a pillow and a few blankets out there to sleep, waking up to the blazing sun, which sort of defeated the purpose.
Take my stove, my microwave and even my washer and dryer. . .but leave my air conditioning alone. I don’t know how I’d survive without it!