Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kid memories before A/C

Okay, there was airconditioning.  My folks' car had it.  Our home had it.
But our summer home did NOT have it.

Besides, Grandpa Fred would have thought it was a waste of electricity.  Understand that electricity was a commodity that Grandpa Fred thought was not only precious, but expensive.

I didn't understand the whole aspect as a 12 year old staying at the cottage all summer.  All I understood was that any use of electricity was deemed unnecessary as far as  Grandpa Fred was concerned.
Grandpa Fred made the 'green' people of today look backwards.  Everything was put to use, everything was conserved, including any rainwater.  Rainwater was reserved for baths and clothes washing.  That way no ground water was used and no electricity to pump the water was used.

It was hot.  Hot hot.  Humid hot.  Unbearably hot.  
Mind you, this was before heat indices....

My sister and I stared at each other over the old Formica 50's era kitchen table.  We were playing Crazy 8's.  A card game.  [NOT the computer age...Grandpa Fred had a phone and it was on a party line.]
We'd reached an impasse.  Neither of us wanted to continue.  But there was nothing else to do really.

We watched sweat trickle down off each others' noses and onto the Formica table.  We made a game of counting each other's drops.  We passed the hot afternoon watching sweat drip and of course playing a hand of Crazy 8's.
Occasionally we went outside to our bicycles and rode them swiftly up and down the driveway to create a breeze through our hair.

If we were good ... later ...  mom would let us ride our bikes down to Half Moon Lake and take a cooling dip in the waters.

You know what?  We never even thought about Air Conditioning.  We just dealt with the suppressing heat and humidity.  It was a fact of life.  Something we were able to work around as kids.

We got up very early in the morning, ate breakfast and then helped out in the garden.  The heat of the day was usually ours ... to read, play cards, or go down to the lake and swim.  Grandpa Fred napped with an ancient black iron fan blowing air on him.  Grandma and Mom went fishing.
My sister and I ... well we entertained ourselves and tried to beat each other in Crazy 8's.  We kept a summer long tally of points that usually got tossed before we left back towards the Chicago suburbs.

Hot taught us a lot of things.  Slow down, get your outside work done in the morning or afternoon.  
Being out in the 'boonies' taught us another lesson.

This is a lesson I shall never forget.


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