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.

 

 

 

Don’t ever leave your key in the ignition when a toddler is in the car


The day my daughter took my her little brother for a ride in a mini-van

 

I will never forget the day my daughter figured out how to drive. She was around 3. I went in the house to get something, and left my kids in the car for only a  minute or two.  Somehow my daughter maneuvered her way into the driver’s seat. (In those days she wasn’t required to sit in a child’s seat.)  She also figured out how to turn the key sitting in the ignition of the van.

 

When I came out of the house, the big van was rolling down the driveway. My daughter looked like she wasn’t a bit surprised that she was powering the car down the driveway.  I ran to the open window of the driver’s side. I looked back. My son was in his baby seat looking like it was perfectly normal for his big sister to be driving him down the driveway.

 

I ran and tried to get to the steering wheel, but I couldn’t get to it.  The car was going very slowly. It ran over my foot. I still kept going. We went out the driveway heading for my neighbor’s car parked in their driveway across the street. I ran and ran. Finally I got to the steering wheel and pushed it toward the parked position. We were 1/2  inch from my neighbors car.

 

It was like being in the movies. I was so relieved!  The only consequence was my foot hurting for a couple of weeks.

 

But this could have been a real tragedy. A car could have been coming down the street, or she could have run into my neighbor’s car. I recently heard of a case where the outcome wasn’t so good. A woman left her key in the ignition and as a result the child had an accident and is now brain damaged. That sad story reminded me of this past incident.

Steering Wheel

Steering Wheel (Photo credit: Wikiped

 

Lesson: don’t ever leave your kid in the car by themselves with the key in the ignition. Not even for one second.

 

Kids are smarter than you think.

 

Silence is golden: 10 pet peeves about cell phones: Any additions?


Cell phones and smart phones are really fun.  I rely on my cell phone as much as anyone else. The only reason I haven’t gotten a smart phone yet is because I don’t want to pay the extra dollars for it. I am also afraid I will become one of those people who I am complaining about in this post. Constantly looking down at my phone, or using it when it’s really inappropriate. I think it’s rude when people prefer their phone to me. .

Here are 10 places I wish people wouldn’t use their phones

1. Movie theater:  I am there to enjoy the movie. I find the light from your phone very
distracting. If you want to stay in your own little world, stay home, rent a video and don’t
put on your freaking phone. There is a reason they run that cute little feature before the movie starts about keeping your phone shut off!

2. Dressing room: Don’t talk on your phone in the next dressing room over when I am trying on clothes. It is depressing enough for me to be looking at myself in the full-length murder. It is annoying to be taking off my shoes, pulling up pants that don’t really fit me, and getting frustrated with the price of everything. I don’t need to hear your personal conversations. I don’t want to hear your arguing with someone on the phone or discussing a matter that requires  professional counseling.

3. Gym: This is especially directed to personal trainers or class instructors. . I may be old, but I’m not stupid. I see you with that phone that you think is hidden, playing games, or checking your email. (while I’m working my fanny off.).

4. Restaurants:  When I am enjoying a meal I paid for I don’t need to hear you talking in 3 volumes up to someone.

5. Traffic: Don’t talk on your phone while driving. People are really risking getting in an accident.  Don’t text. Everyone knows this by now, but they still do it.

6.  Nature path : When I am walking in the woods by myself, the last thing I want to hear is somebody yelling on top of their lungs on their phone. I prefer the sounds of the birds and the wind rusting the leaves of the trees.

7. Library:  I used to like to go to the library to browse and get some peace and quiet. Now, people are allowed to talk on their phones, and I can’t do a thing about it.

8. Public Restrooms:  Can’t I even do “my business: in peace. Can’t you wait until you’ve flushed the toilet?

9. Play or live concert:  I can’t believe the amount of phones that appear in the dark at these events where I’m paying big bucks.

10. Looking for a tenth one. Any suggestions? Comments would be appreciated.

I know I might as well get used to it because things aren’t going to change any time soon. People have to be constantly entertained. It almost seems like they’re afraid to be alone, even for a few minutes. That’s life in the 21st century.  What do you think?  Agree or disagree?

Sometimes, Knowing I’m Just an Animal Creeps Me Out! How about you?


The Shaggy Dog (2006 film)

The Shaggy Dog (2006 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I sat in a restaurant happily chowing down on my tuna melt, I looked around. Everyone else in the restaurant was also chomping down on their food. Some were doing it more politely than others.  When you think about it, it’s really disgusting. We’re all put together the same way, need food to eat and that’s how we get energy. It goes through our digestive system the same way; and you know how that ends up.  Just like the other animals. Of course, we have a more sophisticated way of doing away with our waste.

Women get pregnant and have babies just like elephants, dogs, cats, cows, horses, and other mammals. Horses seem farther ahead. When they have a foal, it stands right up. No waiting for a year to a year-and-a-half.

Human beings are born with bigger heads. Their body has to catch up with their heads. That’s really weird. It’s like we’re the space aliens, when you think about it.

Sometimes, when I realize we are all just animals, I get creeped out. I know some of you may say, we’re spiritual, and that’s how we’re different. I say, ” how do you know animals don’t have their own way of being spiritual?” Maybe we’re not smart enough to see it.

They have families, just like us

Animals even form family groups, just like us. When we had birds, it was interesting to notice that both the mother and father bird were very attentive to the babies until they pushed them out on the perch. After they did that, they acted like they didn’t know them at all.

When I went whale watching in New England, it was interesting to learn that they form very strong family groups. They follow each other across the ocean. There’s real loyalty in that group, just like human beings.

The chimp family at The Columbus  Ohio Zoo has an established family group: mother, father, kids, grandparents and great grandparents. When one of the babies was sick and taken away, the grandma and mother were obviously depressed. They just laid around until the baby returned to the family group.

Watching little kids is like watching puppies or little monkeys. They play just like other animals. They like to explore and touch each other and innocently destroy anything in their path. Any eighteen-month kid will stick about anything in their mouth. Once they learn to walk, they are like little puppies that need to go to Obedience school.  It’s a good thing our little kids smile disarmingly at us; otherwise, we might throw up our hands and walk away.

Go to the zoo and watch the chimps. Better yet, watch the human animals watching the chimps. And why do we like to watch other animals in the first place? I get creeped out when I think about our DNA being 99% like the great apes. When you look into those zoo ape’s eyes, from a distance, they do look almost human.

What’s really strange is that human beings keep other animals for pets. They like the love they get from the creature. It’s less complicated than a human relationship. (Unfortunately, this human being sneezes their brains out and breaks out in hives from cats, dogs, etc;, or I’m sure I’d have one too.)

In the Animal Kingdom they destroy each other, just like us

Just watch the animal kingdom on TV. They are always going after each other, and protecting their territories. They tear each other to ribbons, just like human beings.

How are human beings different? They’re smart enough to have discovered weapons that will destroy the whole human race. That, terrifies me. So, I try not to think about it. We also fade away, just like other animals. The older I get, the more I really try not to think about that.

Movies about people turning into animals still scares me

When I was a little kid, my family went to the movie theater to watch the original Disney movie, “The Shaggy Dog.” It’s about a kid turning into a giant shaggy dog. Everyone else was enjoying the film and laughing. I burst out in very loud sobs, and my parents had to take me home.

A classic 1941 werewolf movie, “The Wolf Man,” that  I caught on TV at age 8, scared me to death for at least 2 years. If I see that movie is playing on TV, I won’t put it on. Even though it’s only a movie, I don’t want to revisit it.

Am I the only one that gets creeped out at the idea that we’re only animals?

What creeps you out? Care to share?

Remembering my first hair stylist: My mother


My hair in braids

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacape...

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacapelli a casco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I went to the beauty salon the hair stylist put me under the hair dryer, and it reminded me of my mother.  I was a little girl during the 1950’s.

My mother was a determined hair washer. She didn’t finish the procedure until my hair squeaked.  She used some type of white shampoo that came in a round container.  It had a distinctive odor because I can almost remember the smell.

I liked it when my mom gently brushed out my wet hair, and used the old silver hand- held dryer to dry it. I liked the soft hum of the dryer, and the feeling of the warm comforting air. I remember that the coils inside the hair dryer gradually lit up when you turned it on.

I don’t think she was terrific at cutting my bangs. In all my old pictures, they are pretty short and a little uneven. I remember sitting in a chair while she attempted this tricky procedure.

Every day, when I was little, we’d go into the bathroom, and she would style my hair. We’d both look into the mirror. I vaguely remember our reflections. She always wore a “house dress”—an easy slip-on dress. If I was going to school, I had on a dress, or a skirt and blouse.  I remember her being so much taller than me. (When I grew up, I towered over her.)

We both must have enjoyed this, or why would I remember it?  She was gentle, but firm. My mother was like that in everything she did. She was a born leader, but didn’t garner our respect by being harsh. To this day, I’m not sure how she did it.

The hairstyles varied between a pony tail, two pigtails and sometimes two braids. My mother worked carefully to get my thick wavy hair into those rubber bands. She didn’t pull and tug. My thick hair didn’t fit into braids too easily. No matter how hard she tried, a stray piece of hair would escape. By the end of the day, it was a disaster. ( She only did this particular style when I begged.)

When she was done with styling my hair, we’d go onto the kitchen. She would take a ribbon, sometimes two, and smooth it with steam from the tea kettle. She’d carefully put it in my hair, and firmly tie it around my hair style for the day. Then, off I’d go to school,

It’s funny what we remember about our childhoods. I guess it’s good to know those people, so important to us, can be conjured up by the sound of a hair dryer in a beauty salon.

What are your memories of your childhood that you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be about hair!

Selling memories at a yard sale


My husband is a nice city boy, but you would never know it. He likes country music, and having yard sales. I really think he likes all the people, and rearranging stuff. He’s one of those working types.

I noticed his love of yard sales shortly after I  married him. This was in 1973, when yard sales were not as socially acceptable as they are now.

I was sitting in our old rented town-house,  I looked out the window, and there he was, outside with a bunch of junk. He was pricing stuff that was more suitable to be put in File 13, otherwise known as the garbage can.

Not only was he selling junk, but he was selling stuff we still needed. Like casserole dishes, appliances, etc. At one yard sale, he even sold the guitar that my parents bought me for my 16th birthday. (Okay, I never really learned to play it, but c-mon. He did ask me just before someone purchased it. I agreed under pressure.)

Not a lot has changed in 40 years. He’s having another one today. Okay, it’s a great idea of getting rid of clutter, but he just sold a perfectly good lawn chair. For $2.00.

Going down Memory Lane
It is funny how we attach memories to stuff. Like my son’s soccer ball, or an old picture that we tucked away in the corner. How about my exercise ball that I haven’t been on in two years. Chances are I’m not going to jump on it any time soon. .

There is a rocking horse that my parents bought for their first grandchildren. It eventually found it’s way to my house.  My kids rocked the heck out of that horse. It fell apart, but my husband put it back together in time for the yard sale. The old steed doesn’t look too bad.

I’m hoping maybe one day there will be a little one who wants to rock it back and forth. But, it’s pretty used. Would they want to go on an old beat up horse?  Wouldn’t it be better to get a new one?

I can still see my parent’s excited faces when they bought the thing. Who knew the horse would outlast them by years and years?

I know if some little kid comes up, puts his arm around it, and begs his mom, I will be a goner.

I refuse to let my husband sell  those 3 grimy Cabbage Patch Kids. How could I ever get rid of Greasy Foo Foo and Loraine Loraine?  I do apologize, but I seem to have forgotten the other one’s name. I hope I haven’t hurt her feelings. I only know she was loved to pieces.

It is  now the end of the day, and somehow he managed to make a profit out of a lot of random stuff.  Some of it was in good shape though. Some of it was tools, plugs and extension cords .

We practically gave away a perfectly good carry-on bag. It’s too big for me, and I’m never going to use it again.

The old rocking horse

There’s another day to the yard sale. Probably, I’ll put out some of the old white dishes, and someone will buy them.

But, I hope the  rocking horse doesn’t catch anyone’s eye.

Is there something you regret selling at a garage or yard sale? Please comment.

10 good reasons to have children


Cute Kids in Children's Costumes

Cute Kids in Children’s Costumes (Photo credit: epSos.de)

1. You are patient, kind, and love children. You find them fascinating and fun.

2. You have a strong marriage or relationship  and want to share your happiness by having children.

If you’re single, independent and secure,  that may work too.  (I’d like to hear from you if you’ve accomplished that.)

3. You are a mature adult, and can put yourself second to others. It is amazing how you can have room to love your children. It’s a great feeling, natures’ way of putting you lower on the totem pole.

4. You like to get on the floor and play. It doesn’t hurt if you like play-doh, paint, and all that fun stuff. How about those little people toys?

5. You like fun activities like going out to the zoo, dressing up, and watching plays.( Ones they put on), There’s nothing like seeing activities through a child’s eyes for the first time. How about the surprise and delight when they get on that merry-go-round for the first time?   It’s like being a child yourself….all over again.

6, You aren’t having a child to recreate your life. They are not there to give you a second chance at athletics, academics, or a social life.  (Please don’t yell at your kid when they’re playing sports.)

7.You don’t care about having the best clothes, vacations, etc. Unless you are wealthy, of course!

8. You don’t mind tending the sick occasionally. It comes with the job description. Have a relief person when you get sick yourself.

9. You don’t mind being a disciplinarian. It is necessary. It’s the hardest part about being a parent.

10. Be prepared for your heart to break when they get more independent, and would rather spend time with their peers. You’re only a hero to them for part of the time.( When they get older and realize your human too, it’s always a little sad. )

Was I good at all these things? I would have to say no. . My report card would show I had weaknesses and strengths, like anyone.  But, these are conclusions I came to when all was said and done.

Maybe it can help you.

Anything to add? Disagreements? Please comment!

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