Thursday, July 28, 2011

What We Didn't Have Then

With a few days reprieve from a horrid heat wave covering the U.S., seems everyone is out and about to do what should of been done last week when we were saying "screw it" and stayed inside in the air. I remember the days we didn't have air conditioning...ya I'm that old. We did have electric fans but honestly they weren't big at the time as people worked to keep electric bills down and if you wanted a breeze you used a piece of paper and waved it in front of your face, weather just was what it was. On really hot days kids played under the hose and filled wash tubs with water and sat in them to cool. We made cool-aid pops or cubes and drank them as they melted and tied wet neckerchifs around our neck or hopped on bikes and air cooled, adults who knows what they did other than just deal with it and all the chores still done by hand. Nights the lights were off so they didn't add heat as we sat outside on the porch enjoying conversation or listening to the radio which was often a baseball game or a comedy hour, and kids played tag or hid & seek under the stars. YA there were many Dog Days of Summer all summer and it was just life. Nights were the worse laying in breathless rooms with windows open wide praying a breeze would find you on sweat soaked sheets. Wise parents let kids camp out to sleep on blankets in the yard to get some sleep themselves. The cooling system was to draw drapes on closed windows of the sunny side of the house and open them on the shady side then change sides with the sun. It was the 1940' the 50's mother who had to be first at everything, had Dad install a huge window fan in the attic to draw air from first floor shady side and out the attic. We were living high with this huge new noisy fan. When my sister moved to her large 4story Victorian house in the 90's they found a free standing 5ft high attic fan which still worked. By 1970's window air conditioning was slowly becoming more popular, by the 80's every store had air and most homes had at least one window unit. In the 90's central air was making it's stand and we soon got it in the renovated barn. Fans hang in chicken coops, horse and hay barns for use on these exceptional day. We are a spoiled bunch!!!!

Ya things were different, we made do cause there was no other choice, and somehow 90 and 100 degree days were hot but seemed less hot then. Probably cause we allowed our blood to adjust to temperatures by not using cooling devises. When the kids were growing up in the 70's we had air in the second floor hall and one in the dining room, they were never used cause once on you couldn't go outside and there was always farm work to do. Going from air to a heat wave just wasn't hitting it and made the hot feel hotter.. today couldn't live without or would have a horrid time trying, we got a test for 5hours in 100+ temps last week when the electric went down. It was a good reminder that I should practice not being such a woos by making myself less dependent on this glorious invention. I say this heading to work in the garden while it's still cool.

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