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!