Thursday, June 25, 2009

" Thoughtfilled Thrusday "



Well here we go again. Another three to four days of extreme heat. I know, I know. You are probably tired of hearing me drone on and on about it. But being under heat advisories for the next three days with predicted heat indexes in the triple digits, It is hard not to think about it. If I could pass this lovely weather along it would go to Eileen from "Umma's World" as she has a lovely pool to cool off in and I am sure that her grandson Jayden would love that as well!

As I write this the temperature at 9:00a.m., with the heat index, is 89 degrees. We are supposed to get some relief next week as it is only supposed to be in the mid to upper 80's. That I can handle!

This heat wave makes me sit and ponder my childhood and days gone by. Growing up we didn't have air conditioning until I entered high school. As I am sure it was the same for many of you. I have one particular memory of my mother and I sitting outside on the front porch of an apartment building we lived in when we were still living in Chicago. I was in the sixth grade. My mother was a single mom at the time to me and my younger brother. She waitressed to make ends meet. When she would come home at night we would sit on the porch to catch up and cool off.

We had fans, but no air conditioning. Window air conditioners were not something that was common at the time. What seems odd to me is that I really don't remember being very hot. Perhaps it is because we tend to block out uncomfortable feelings and situations we have experienced in our lives. There did come a time in those three years that we lived there, that mom was able to get a window unit. However it didn't blow very cold air. Our bedrooms were too hot to sleep in so we all had to camp out in the living room on extremely hot nights. And it did get hot in the city.

I am a huge fan of the 1940's. The people of that era were extraordinary to me. I love the music of that time. And often listen to the 40's station on the satellite radio. The music from that era always picks me up. I also loved the movies from that era. I pay particularly close attention to the scenery in those old movies. The decorating styles, furniture, building architecture and interior design. I love it all and it fascinates me.

Growing up in the city of Chicago gave me many opportunities to visit many of the buildings from that time period and older. Many of the old office buildings of the downtown business district are still, on their interiors, as they were back in the forties. And older. The only difference is the modern day addition of central air conditioning. When I would visit these buildings, I couldn't help but imagine what it was like back then.

The amount of clothing that people wore was a bit more than what we wear today. It just wasn't proper to wear something that risked too much exposure. Suits and ties for the gentlemen and skirts, blouses hats and heels for the gals. Fabrics were heavier then too. But just imagining all that proper attire with no air conditioning is somewhat stifling.

They did have their little architectural tricks however. Very high ceilings gave the hot air a place to go as opposed to staying at ground level. And of coarse the transom windows that sat atop most doors of that day. Allowing a hopeful escape for the hot air that found it's way up to ceiling level. One of the apartments that I lived in when my children were young, still had the transom widows in it. My sons current home has them above all of the doors upstairs. I personally don't know how well they worked but I do like the way they look!

We are so fortunate today to enjoy the comforts of air conditioning. But not without sacrifices. The amounts of energy that we use for this modern day comfort is enormous, as are the costs. Not forgetting to mention the fact that it has helped in turning our nation, and world for that matter, into a generation of spoiled and lazy human beings. Along with many other technological advances of our time.

I do include myself in the above mentioned statement as I sit here in my air conditioning typing away on my keyboard on my computer hooked up to the Internet. However, after hearing of a sixty-one year old woman in our area that passed away in her home from heat stroke yesterday due to lack of air conditioning, I am grateful for this modern day convenience non the less. It has saved many peoples lives, who because of health reasons, just wouldn't be able to handle this much heat.

So until next week, when hopefully, I can once again venture outside, I shall stay inside enjoying this modern day convenience. Perhaps with a nice glass of iced coffee!

16 comments:

Eileen said...

Diana, I wish I could send you some heat relief!
We finally have sun today (but they promise rain for tomorrow!). I heard on the news this morning that we had 28 days of rain in May and 22 days of rain so far in June!! And it was nasty, almost Fall storm weather most of the time! I wish we could trade for a little while! Oh well, there are worse things in life than bad weather. But good weather would help ease the pain of the worse things! Agreed?

I think you are a girl after my own heart, Diana, I LOVE the forties! I love the music, I love the fashion styles, I love the home decorating styles, I love it all! My Dad was a BIG fan of the Big Band Era so we had that music on all the time in the house growing up. And I spend hours looking at old photos of my parents from that time, picturing what life was like. And the movies! Ray hates them and I love them. He will yell from another room, "I can tell you have one of those old black and white movies on, I don't even have to be in there, I can tell by the music!" And then he'll sit there with a glum face repeating over and over again, "You're kidding right? We're not really going to watch a black and white movie, are we?" Grrr!

And you are so right about the AC when we were kids, I wonder if you just don't feel the heat as much when you are little. We had a few fans in the window, but we didn't get air conditioning until I was a teenager, and then it was only in the living room, and we would camp out on the floor if it was a really hot night too.

Diana, I am loving your posts! Brings back such nice memories! Thank you!

Teresa said...

Hi Diana,
Please stay cool! How are you feeling otherwise. I have been thinking about you.

Bernie said...

Diana I knew you were having much sun and hot weather but I didn't realize it was sooooo hot! Even I wouldn't care for that. I am happy you have an a/c to keep you comfortable my friend. I loved the way the people dressed in the forties, seems so much more respectul than todays style, those crisp white gloves, can you imagine if we had to wear them today....Stay inside, drink ice coffee and relax, you deserve it.
....:-) Hugs

Stillness Speaks said...

I can sure imagine how oppressing the heat it. My parents narrate similar stories of how every place used to be so much cooler in their growing up days, that they didn't even need fans! Now,Every year the temperatures are going up, rainfall getting scantier. It's not a good sign AT all!

In some parts of my country, it gets terribly hot too and many die every year because of the heat wave. They can't even afford two square meals a day, air conditioning is a far cry. We are just so privileged to have what we do.

Take care of yourself Diana :)

Wanda said...

Diana your posts take us all back to a time much different than what our own children experienced...when you think about all the changes in the last 50 years it's mind boggling...good and bad.
I can remember sleeping outside under the stars without tents...where were the mosquitoes back then...
It's hot and somewhat humid here today...after working outside earlier...I've spent most of the time with my grandsons indoors drinking ieced tea!
Stay cool!

Jackie said...

Diana, I love the walk back in time...It brings back a lot of happy memories for me. I hope that you get the break from the heat soon. Thank you again for taking me back to my 'youth'...Those memories are warm ones.
Smiles,
Jackie

Rebecca said...

What a nostalgic post! I feel it as though I were there (and I kind of WAS).

I lived in Chicago, too. First while my father went to Moody Bible Institute, 1954-57; later when I attended there 1966-1969. Our daughter lives there now. I LOVE the city. While a student, I worked at the Tribune. I can't remember what floor, but it was up there!

Stay cool and quiet. I'm waiting on the storm that's supposed to come to NE Indiana to cool things off. It's looking less likely as the day goes on.

Diana said...

Hi Eileen, My favorite thing about the old black and white movies was the over acting. Such drama! I am fortunate that my husband does like them too. Katie however won't watch anything that isn't in color. I hope she changes some day as I think she is missing a lot! Thank you Eileen.

Diana said...

Hello Teresa, I am feeling so much better that I don't want to go for those tests but I will do it anyway!
I am staying cool but am tired of being cooped up! It's just to hot to be outside.Thank you for thinking about me Teresa and I hope things start to turn around soon for you too!

Diana said...

Yes Bernie It has been horribly hot here and Kate and I have been going stir crazy! We have been rearranging the furniture today!
I just miss the respect in general of days past. It's quite sad really.
Iced coffee sounds good about now!

Diana said...

Stillness, you are so right about being privileged to have food and air conditioning. It can all disappear so easily.
It makes me very grateful for what I have now!

Diana said...

Hi Wanda, I remember sleeping on the porch swing on my parents front porch after mom got remarried. It was the early 70's, I was just a teen and this was in Chicago. I couldn't do that there now I'm pretty sure!

Blessings each day said...

Sweet memories...I remember as a little girl in Chicago how awed I was by these people in our apt complex who had a window a/c unit in their living room, with a plastic cloth shutting off the rest of the apt, for their daughter who had severe hay fever.
When we finally got a window unit, we had to camp out in the living room!
It would be so incredible to have the morals of the forties...at this rate it would be great to see any noticeable morals showing up!!!

It's terribly hot and humid down here, but I hope you do get some releif.

blessings with hugs,

marcy

Diana said...

Hi Marcy, I hope that you aren't doing too much in this heat. I know how much you enjoy your garden but it isn't worth heat stroke! It's hard to believe it's only June! Stay cool Marcy, Oh what am I saying, you are cool!

Snowbrush said...

I like the old movies too. In fact, I rarely watch anything in color.

Not hot here in the Willamette Valley. In fact, it is a little cool outside in shirtsleeves. We do hit 90 an average of ten days a year, and it's not pretty since most people don't have air conditioning. It does get dry though with hardly any rain all summer long. Then in winter, it rains pretty much everyday for months on end.

I don't know much about Chicago--other than the train station, the Field Museum, and the Sears Building. I'll bet it was hot there when you were a kid, although air conditioning does serve to insulate one from the outside world maybe a bit too much.

Air conditioning in schools...Nope, not when I lived in southern Mississippi. Not even when I taught there in the seventies.

Southern Illinois is the prettiest part, I think. I remember the hills near the river, and an old black man I visited just north of Cairo who had a yardful of whirligigs. That was in the late eighties, so I guess he's long dead by now.

Diana said...

Hello Mr. Snowbrush, It was nice of you to stop by. I've been through many states in the U.S. but never Oregon. I much prefer the cooler weather even as I get older. Don't like all that heat. If I ever had a chance I would move somewhere cooler. As Rhoda Morgenstern used to say, the cold air keeps you more preserved!
We never had air conditioning in school. I can't imagine kids today with no air, cry babies, all of them!