Friday, June 13, 2008

Hot Times by Nannette Croce

It’s 95 degrees here in southeastern Pennsylvania, but looking out from my air conditioned house it could be 85 or 75 or even 65. The rustling leaves could be from a chill breeze or a hot wind. I wear reasonably cool clothes for my trip to the mall in an air conditioned car, but nothing like the loose sleeveless tops I wore just a few years ago when we still lived in our “starter house” after eighteen years, unable to give up some of the last treed and secluded acreage in our once rural county.

Dinners were carefully planned back then for outdoor grilling or a cold platter, eaten on the patio under a tree. In bed I wore a scant nightie and slept on top of the covers, the white noise of a fan and deep heat lulling me to sleep. Heat waves in the high 90s and 100s, when the extra heat of a light bulb became unbearable, could be tough, but even then we soldiered through, slowing down, eating less, and drinking more, as folks had done for thousands of years before us.

My friends who kept the air on all season and sweated temps in the 80s couldn’t believe I found anything below mid-90s quite livable or that when we moved to our new home I hated waking chilly in the morning with all the windows closed tight, and avoided it as much as possible.

My current home doesn’t have the thick walls or high ceilings that used to keep homes cool. More asphalt and cars add to the heat. Computers break from high temperatures. Even we use our air conditioner more.

But I’m glad my daughter was raised in a home without it, because sometime soon we may all have to live that way.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Can't even consider no A/C here in this region, but we did grow up without it and survived. Part of the "character building," plan, I'm sure.

Dry heat's one thing, but when you're walking around in WET humidity over 100 by 10 AM, it's another. I'm really grateful for those nice 70's-ish days and nights where you can sit outside and enjoy a breeze...if the mosquitos don't tote you off. ;)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Since moving to the mountains and without ac, I can hardly stand air conditioned air! But, as well, I can't stand humidity anymore, either (not that I ever did!)

Barbara Quinn said...

With my allergies I am thrilled to have a/c. And I sleep so much better when I'm cool. Work better too. I'm betting we'll figure out alternative energy sources to keep the chill on.

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