It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to sleep without air conditioning. Why is it that the A/C has to wait until mid-July to conk out? Couldn’t it have done this in April???
But, as I notice the little runnels of sweat forming on the back of my neck, I can commiserate with Rose. Summer is a hot and sticky time of year. Sometimes, we of the A/C generation forget that.
Not that I’ve always had air conditioning. No, you young whippersnappers;
back in the “olden days” when I was but a wee lass (that would be the 1960-70s), only the rich had air conditioners. We had a box fan in our bedroom window (facing out) and another one in the living room window (facing in) and this served as our A/C. I guess it worked. I don’t remember not sleeping.
What I do remember is…
- Eating supper in the cool basement.
- Having “cold” suppers like ham or tuna salad, because it was too hot to cook.
- Sitting outside in the evening to let the breeze cool us off.
- Running through the sprinkler in the heat of the day (we didn’t worry then that it was bad for the lawn).
- Laying on the cool tile floor of the basement.
- Taking a piece of ice and letting it drip on my arm or leg while it melted.
I suppose Rose did similar things to cool off. I can see her sitting on the porch, a cool glass of lemonade in her hand, occasionally touching the cool condensate against the pulse point on her wrist or against the back of her neck to cool off.
Of course, houses were built to handle the weather better back then. Rose had windows on every side of her house, to take the best advantage of the breeze in the summer. (This would cause cold drafts in the winter… but that’s a different post altogether.) For comparison, my house has windows facing east and west only, so the nice southerly breeze that graces my backyard all summer long never makes it into the house on occasions like this when I’d like it to.
Tonight, as I fidget from the summer heat, I’m a bit jealous of Rose’s large porch. I’m thinking it’d be pretty comfortable sleeping there right now.
5 thoughts on “Hot & Sticky”
That’s sort of sad that houses are no longer built to local conditions. I’m sure it would be better for the environment. We don’t have AC here, but it doesn’t seem to matter as much when it’s a dry heat. Humidity, on the other hand, is unbearable. I have no idea how people who need to work in it (farmers, construction workers, firefighters, etc) handle it.
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I remember the summers of my childhood and early adulthood when only the rich and the stores had air conditioning. We played outside in the summer under the deep shade of pecan trees and didn’t think about it. Momma would give us iced tea, lemonade, and Koolaide from time to time to keep us hydrated. There’s only one thing worse than trying to sleep in the summer nights of the south…and that’s what you do in the bed when you aren’t sleeping. Talk about working up a sweat. 😉
We’d be in a pretty rough situation if we were out of a/c here too. I feel for you.
Those memories are mine, except for the basement! Our old farmhouse was an oven in summer, with a mist of humidity added. Fortunately, upstairs we would get a good cross-breeze around midnight.
Ahhh, a woman with real farmhouse experience. I’ve been looking for someone like you… 🙂