July 24, 2011

Sharing Memories (Week 30): We're Having a Heat Wave!

It's Week 30 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Write here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but please write!

We're having a heat wave here in Ontario Canada so what else have I been thinking about this week besides how humid and hot it is outside! That got me thinking about when I was a child. What was the weather like way back then? Did we have heat waves and  how did we cope?

I know my family didn't have air-conditioning - did anyone back then?

Old Storm Windows
I don't think children are affected as much by hot days so our memories of them may be hazy or non-existent. What I do recall is the windows in our house. They had storm windows, not screens, and all you could do for air was flip up a little piece of wood which covered three horizontal holes. That let outside air in.

It was also difficult to open the windows and you had to wedge something either in the track (a think piece of wood) or between the bottom of the window and the sill (a book if one was handy) to hold then open.

I'm assuming the upstairs, where we kids slept, was hotter than Hades but I just don't recall. I'm also not sure when we finally got screens for the windows but we had them by the time I was a teenager.

Did we have fans? That's another thing I can't remember. We didn't have a lot of shade in the form of trees either so outside probably wasn't the best place to be either. We did have a lilac tree in the back corner of the backyard so that would have provided some shade.

I have a vague memory of the sprinkler being on and us kids running and jumping through it. But is that a real memory or wishful thinking! I'm not sure. Isn't it funny how some memories just won't come to you? I'm kind of hoping one or two of my siblings read this Sharing Memories post and comment. They're older than me and maybe they can remember hot weather better than I can.

Do you remember extreme summer heat when you were a child?

Update: My older brother phoned me to tell me that we did have screens, and that he was the one who had to put them up every spring and take them down every fall. 


Anonymous said...

I am 77 years old and grew up in Oklahoma. And when my AC went out here in Texas this summer I had to remember how we kept cool in the hot, hot summers. Let's see, rest in the afternoon, few clothes, shades drawn, lots of playing in sprinklers, etc. And for all of you reading about eggs frying on sidewalks, I remember being in Tulsa, OK when it was over 110, real thermometer readings, and they did exactly that. And in those days we went to work in dresses, stockings, hats, and sometimes gloves. We also went about and lived in non-airconditioned vehicles and residences. How on earth did we survive! Perhaps we need to remember it is possible to live with those things we really need and give up some of the "wants". We could survive.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Anonymous - you also jogged my memory! I do recall my mom having a ritual of certain window blinds being pulled down in the morning (the east side of the house I presume) and then the other side of the house having their blinds lowered in the afternoon.

How soon we forget those little heat-reducing rituals! I don't bother doing that because we have A/C but I should.

Anonymous said...

Our house had storm windows that were taken down in the spring and screens put up. My bedroom upstairs had a window right beside the bed, it didn't get much of a breeze, but when I sat on the window sill at night I always felt cooler.

Kristin said...

I grew up in Detroit. We had storm windows that were taken down in the spring and screens put up. We had a fan that went in the bedroom window when it was really hot.
I lived in Mississippi, Missouri and Atlanta without air conditioning. the air doesn't feel quite as hot if you aren't going from cold to hot. And the methods other mentioned worked. It is only in the last 4 years of moving back to Atlanta that we have had air conditioning.