Remembering Life before air conditioning


Everyone takes it for granted, but I remember life without air conditioning. When I was a little girl, I  used to go to the pool to cool off.  It was a welcome relief. There’s nothing worse than being too hot in the summer.

We had a big fan upstairs in our unfinished 2 story house,  but I never felt a breeze from it. It made a lot of noise. We kept the windows wide open, but all that did was let you hear the neighbors next door talking, laughing, or arguing.  We had an unfinished porch and we’d sit out there when the sun went down. It gave a little relief.  I kind of miss the old backyard porch, but I don’t miss the unrelenting heat.

Ice was something we’d use. You’d put it across your wrist, or just in a wash cloth. I spent as much time as I could at the pool.

When restaurants started to get air conditioning, you’d go there to eat to escape the heat, and then  the mall.

Finally, my parents decided to install the air-conditioning to our house.  My allergies weren’t as bad, and I didn’t have to escape to the pool anymore. I could actually pull the covers up on my bed at night because I wasn’t so hot. I could stay inside more.

Like anything else, I got used to it. I almost forgot about the big fan and the misery. But not quite.

When my own children were teenagers, sometimes they’d say, “ I don’t like the air conditioning, open the window.”

I figured they really didn’t know what they were talking about. Just spend a few years in the miserable heat.

 

Air Conditioned sign

Air Conditioned sign (Photo credit: Caroline on Crack)

Do you remember life without air conditioning? Are you the type of person who doesn’t like air-conditioning.

 

 

 

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Coming full circle: taking a walk in the woods on a wintry day: Memoir


Today I came full circle. My two  daughters and son-in-law took me out for a walk.  I was wearing a funny black furry hat  reminiscent of something my  Russian grandmother would wear,  a pair of sunglasses, my old red sweater, black stretch pants, and running shoes with a ragged shoelaces.

I have vague memories of construction workers whistling at me 40 years ago.  I didn’t like it. It embarrassed me, and I felt like it was an invasion of my privacy. Oh, what I would give to have anyone whistle at me now.

Before we got to the park, the grown up children made sure I was buckled in the back seat. My oldest daughter fastened my belt for me. It was rather humorous. I don’t feel I’m quite at the state where I can’t handle a seatbelt, but I thanked her for it.

We got out of the car, and started walking. It is Ohio, and it was cold. Naturally, they all sped ahead of me. My knee which recently was in a state of disrepair, is still not feeling too normal. Something tells me that it will never be the same again.  I banged it into the stove or closet or something, and had to wear a knee brace for two months.

My doctor consoled me by saying, “if you were a world-class athlete, they’d have gone in and cleaned it up already, but you’re not. Give it a couple of months. It’s just a knee.”

So, we went on our walk. and I ignored my nagging kneecap.

I could see the two girls as they once were. Both blonde, one with curls, and one with straight hair. The youngest following the oldest one around.  They’ve grown into beautiful caring young women.  The person missing is my youngest son. He, like my oldest daughter, now lives out-of-town. It’s a rare occasion when all three of them are together. It is always a joyous occasion for me.

Now, they’re all grown up.  It seems hard to believe they were ever little. I have vague memories of dragging all that baby stuff with me: diapers, an extra set of clothes, a baby seat to set up. I always had the oldest child to help me with the other two.  I also remember the youngest two fighting over who was going to sit on my lap while we watched TV.

So, we finished our walk, and I got back in the backseat. I was  glad the walk was over. It was too cold for me. I would not  have  lasted if I was by myself.

Post script

I wrote this a couple of years ago. My kneecap is now back to normal. I have also updated my wardrobe.  Unfortunately, nobody is whistling at me. I guess those days are really  gone!

How do you feel about getting older?  Do you recall a moment when you realized that you were in the last stage of your life?

Reflections of getting older

Reflections of getting older

Wintry Ohio


Here’s some picture from Columbus, Ohio. Last year we dodged the winter. This year we don’t seem to be as lucky! The Columbus people love their football team, The Ohio State Buckeyes. Even during a winter storm, they are always on our minds. If you click on one picture, you can see the whole gallery–one picture at a time.