I’m on fire

At this point, you may be asking yourself….does everything in life go with a song?

It really should.

It’s just my opinion.

Don’t feel like you have to listen to my carefully selected little musical gift.

But you should.

It would be good for you.

I mean….come ON. It’s the Boss! (Bruce Springsteen)

Well, it’s  a toasty 99 degrees here today in the midwest. With a heat index of 106.

I’m completely into it. I love summer. I’m one of the few people who enjoys Las Vegas this time of year..with temperatures of 112 or higher.

My kids started to complain about the heat the other day. It was a perfect segue into one of my stories from when I was growing up. I tell these guys lots of memories, and they always love em…and want more. But the thing is…I can only remember things when I remember em.

We live in a perfectly climate controlled house. Our heating and cooling system just do their job of keeping the house at a perfectly even 70 degrees. We don’t even think about it.

When I was growing up, out on the farm…this was not the case. Our house stayed snuggly warm in the winter, and with our perfiniky yet dependable wood stove; sometimes too warm.

But in the summer…we had a window air conditioner. It was big, and had an attractive fake sandalwood finish; and it could make icicles form in your nostrils if you stood too close. However, it was expensive to run.

I’m guessing. Because we hardly ever turned it on. I can remember the air conditioner debates as if they happened yesterday.

“Whew! gonna be a hot one today”…says a Random family member.

“Yes, indeed.”….says Mom

“Hmmmm…maybe we should close the house up and turn on the AC….you think?”...says Random.

“Oh…let’s wait. I hate to close the house up.  We can get a good breeze out here in the country. Turn that fan on.”…says Mom.

“I don’t feel any breeze. It’s only going to get worse. Ruth down at the store has hers on”..says Random- sweating- even- from- their- eyeballs family member.

“No…now I heard it’s going to get down to 60 degrees overnight. We’ll be fine. Go have some ice water.”…says You Know Who.

But sometimes even Mom couldn’t deny…it was dangerously hot. Usually my sister coming in from layin in the sun to get the perfect tan, or mowing the yard soaked in gallons of sweat with a red heart attack kind of face would prompt her.

And then..it was like preparing for a hurricane. Batten down the hatches! I loved the process.

“Ok everyone. Shut all the windows. Shut all the doors to the bedrooms and bathrooms. Sis..make sure that door going down to the basement is closed. And close the curtains!” Mom would order with a commanding tone. She meant business. If we were gonna run the damn thing…we were gonna do it right.

It was Operation Air Conditioner.

Our house had one big open area. Kitchen, dining room, living room. That was the space that stayed cool with the air conditioner on. If you went anywhere else in the house…like my bedroom for instance, you would open the door to a hot wave of air that smelled like a cross between dry grass and sun, and laundry detergent.

We would sit happily in the cool, dark farm house…with small satisfied grins on our faces; I loved the low humming sound it made. I’d walk by the cold air shooting out of the window and let it blow my hair every which way.  Until Mom would unceremoniously shut it off after a bit.

Sun’s going down. I think the air outside is almost cooler than in here!”

It wasn’t.

But you didn’t argue with You Know Who.

I’ve come to take our comfortably cool home for granted. And I actually really miss the Air Conditioner Debates. It was the whole contrast of being so hot that you could wring your hair out from sweat, to being cool, like you were when you went to the drug store, or local diner.

It was a treat, and reserved only for the worst of times.

I told this whole story to my kids.

Random kid reaction: “Ya, right Mom.”


9 thoughts on “I’m on fire

  1. Love this, Lisa. Love the Boss too and you are right. Most everything goes better with music. (it’s addictive, huh?:) Our house was the same way. We hung laundry out on a line in the backyard (grew up in wide open country spaces myself) and we had a/c units as well. My sis’s and I used to lay out on the roof on those solar blankets with baby oil on. What oh what were we thinking? Great post. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Dear Brigitte,
      You’ve created a MONSTER!!!
      Ohhhh yes. The Baby oil. I’d almost forgotten!
      And the laundry on the line. It’s hard to make clothes smell THAT good, isn’t it?
      Thank you dear Brigitte!! You too!!!

  2. Memories…My mom still doesn’t run the air. Drives my husband NUTS when we visit. It is too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  3. Ya,
    They won’t believe you about slopping the hogs, either. lol
    Brings back good memories.
    Thanks for reminding me, hon.

  4. We used to open the house at night — perhaps with a window fan — and then close it up the next morning. If the nights were too warm, it never really cooled off. It wasn’t a perfect system! We now have AC and I honestly don’t think we could survive without it (especially as the climate continues to warm up). Thanks for bring back some memories — not all bad!

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