The heat of the day this time of year sometimes brings me into the summer doldrums.
I know there is so much that needs to be done outside, but I step outside and after a few minutes in the oven, I begin to think “Oh, that will wait,” so I step back inside and let it wait.
What happened to that little boy who could not wait to get out into the summer sun to run and play? I know he is still buried deep inside of me somewhere.
I know that he wants to get out there a run and play, its just adult running an playing is often done largely with a lawnmower, weed eater, hedge trimmer or saw tightly grasp in hand.
In my defense, those activities did not thrill me as a youth either so at least I have not changed that much. However, I do miss that desire to get out, to use every drop of light that can be found and squeezed to steal just a few more minutes from the day before retiring into the house to rest.
I remember leaving home after breakfast, which was served when my father and mother were nearing departure for work in the early morning. I’d play all day and be in by lunchtime to have a bite to eat, and then out again, only to return to be sitting at the dinner table. Once I was old enough, my folks let me go back out to play some more after supper until the streetlights came on. The only deviation from that is if the neighborhood parents were all out enjoying the evening on the porch or in the yard, then the kids might get a game of ball going on the street beneath the lights as the parents cheered their little darling on.
Eventually though the remainder of the day outside would have to be returned to the night air as we stepped inside our homes, windows open, curtains and sheers blowing inward as fans sucked in the evening air to cool the house before sleep.
I remember days so hot you couldn’t sleep; you know those days when folks said you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. I would get up just to go to the kitchen, open the freezer just to breath a few cool breaths. It wasn’t long though; no matter the time before mother would be in the kitchen to remind me I was wasting electricity and letting the food spoil.
Eventually though my folks saved up enough to move into the age of air conditioning. I can’t recall what it cost but they had to run a new breaker and plug to put the big window unit in the dining room. It worked so well it felt like hog killin’ time in no time in about three rooms of the house. The rest was still hot except for us sitting fans around to move a bit of the cool air down the hallway.
Still though it made a difference, we often found we had guests dropping by to sit a spell.
The increase in power bills soon had us on rationing though, we could only use the air when we had guests or if it was a holiday. Which to me seemed fair, we wouldn’t want those visitors to sweat like we did on days they were not there. Holidays were days we were all home most of the day and folks generally showed up on those as well.
This plan worked pretty good until we saw an increase in visitors and mother realized I was stacking the deck a bit and then guest under a certain age were eliminated from the air conditioning formula.
As I think back on it, it just reinforces for me my original question. I did perfectly well for several years of my life in the heat. All I can figure is that years of air-conditioned living have spoiled me.
Given the choice though, would I rather have better heat stamina and no air conditioning or plenty of air and no desire to spend my day outside? I guess my answer would be neither, I would go back to what I had as a kid if I could enjoy a little of both. I am planning on starting tommorrow that is if I can get this metal rotary fan I pulled out of the attic to work. Now let’s see I think the last time I opened a window was 2003, Where is that hammer? I may need to some help to coax those.
Friends, as temperatures rise, be sure to check in on your elderly neighbors to make sure they are staying cool, if their home is warm, it might be to keep their bills affordable. You might politely invite them over to your house or to go shopping to get them somewhere cooler in the heat of the day. Be sure to enjoy every minute of sunshine you can, but don’t overdo, and drink plenty of water!