These past few hot days have reminded me of summer when I was young. No air-conditioning anywhere; not in homes, not in businesses, not in hospitals. My poor mother had both of her children in the middle of July…and spent over a week in the hospital with each of us. I can’t imagine.
I grew up in old farm houses and all the bedrooms were upstairs. We didn’t even have electric fans when I was small. Windows were wide open all the time and we were trained to jump out of bed in the middle of the night if a thunderstorm or shower occurred, close all the windows, then lay there and wait for it to be over so you could open the window again…It was difficult to get a good nights sleep when the weather was hot. No air moving, hot air in a stuffy upstairs bedroom was just not a great way to get any rest.
Bike riding was a great activity for hot days… until you stopped. We lived close to a river, so wading and “accidentally” falling into the water was a popular past time. But those mosquitoes!
Taking a drive in the car was a good way to cool off, too. Until you stopped! All the car windows were cranked open and sometimes a trip to the local dairy queen made it all a little more bearable
On Sunday mornings I am sure you could hear me complain. Church meant wearing your Sunday best which included a slip and a dress and stockings and dress shoes. Sunday School wasn’t too bad because our classes were in the basement of the church and it was cool down there. But when church started, we would trudge upstairs and sit shoulder to shoulder in uncomfortable pews and sweat the service away. I couldn’t wait to get home and strip off those hot dressy clothes and put on my shorts and go barefoot!
When I got a little older the local swimming pool brought some relief. I also remember making homemade ice cream with lots of ice and salt to make it freeze., and Kool Aid Popsicles frozen in little cups or in ice cube trays.
We were probably a little tougher back then. If you’ve never had air conditioning, your body gets used to the heat.
I remember getting whole house air conditioning in 1990….our furnace died that year and we decided to add on the a/c unit. I would hate to live without it now.
It’s hard to believe – but we managed, didn’t we? My mom used to make homemade banana ice cream in those exact kind of ice cube trays AND we made Kool aid “popsicles” as well (in paper Dixie cups!) When I was around 13 my parents got a window air conditioner and it went in THEIR bedroom window; we continued to swelter (although on REALLY hot days, the 3 kids would sleep on our parents’ bedroom floor). I didn’t have it in my first (married) home; we moved into a house with a pool AND central air in 1979 – what a blessing; I couldn’t imagine life without it now (or air con in the car).
So true. I remember those Dixie cups!
Even though I wasn’t around in the 50’s, I do remember stories from my mom about those times. Simple (yet hot) but lovely all the same! We had those same ice trays growing up! 🙂