“Well, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance on this hot, very hot summer afternoon. But then, we do like it hot, don’t we, Rosemary?”
“Oh yes, Ginger, we do love it when it sizzles!”
While the Spice Sisters might like it sizzling hot in our book Happily Ever After Everyone Else, I am not a fan of the extremely hot and humid days we recently experienced here in Atlanta. After all, we are amid what is officially known as Air Conditioning Appreciation Days. I am so grateful for Willis Haviland Carrier’s 1902 invention! Recently my family was without his innovation, and as I waited for the technician to come to our rescue, I thought back to my non-air-conditioned childhood. While we didn’t have the luxury of air-conditioning at our home, I do remember a variety of options to find relief from the heat.
My favorite choice was always going to the public pool, even if there was a ‘double-dog-dare-you’ to jump from the high dive. (I felt just like the boy in this Norman Rockwell illustration!) After weaseling my way out of this habitual challenge and rollicking with my friends, we’d walk to Bork & O’Neill Drugstore, sit at the soda counter, and order banana splits, never entertaining the high number of calories packed into the scoops of ice cream, crowned with a variety of toppings and at least half of a can of aerosol whipped cream! If I wasn’t allowed to walk to the pool on a particularly hot day, it was always fun to run through the sprinkler in the back yard. My mom was usually agreeable to this option. The one alternative she never did allow was my standing in front of the open refrigerator door, letting the chilled air advance toward me. I can still hear her say, “Close that door! If you’re that hot, grab a popsicle and go sit in front of the fan to cool off.”
Of course, none of these solutions compare with the air-conditioned world we live in today. Most us move from air-conditioned home to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office or storefront consistently without breaking a sweat. Our busy lives continue at a harried pace even as the thermometer soars with summertime temperatures. So, what would happen without that air-conditioning? There just might be a reduction in our to-do lists and some enforced relaxation, and that does sound great to me. I think I need to go adjust our thermostat and slow down to enjoy some simpler times. How about you?