...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat Wave

This week we are experiencing a heat wave. It's noon time and the thermometer just hit 100 degrees. Thankfully I am inside with the air conditioner at full blast to keep the house at a nice 76 degrees.

I remember the "old" days when I didn't have the luxury of air conditioning. When I grew up in West Shokan, we never had it. Well, we didn't have man's version. God provided a babbling brook in the back yard and some shade trees. We would open the creekside windows and let the cool air fill the house; then close it up before the sun came over the house. If it got too hot in the house, we went down to the stream to splash, build dams or climb around on the rocks. Our little 'pool' wasn't deep enough for swimming. When I had my own children, I brought them there to cool off and play as well.

Druykill (Dry Brook)

I remember my dad used to take his lawn chair down and set it on the flat rock overlooking the stream. He would sit there and read for hours. Who needed air conditioning?

Bell boys in Grandma's stream.
As I got older, we went to local swimming holes to cool off and it was here I was taught to swim and dive. The older kids taught the younger. The older kids also took it upon themselves to watch out for the younger. Just one of the niceties of growing up in a small town.

Red Rocks swimming hole
In later years, the town put in a public pool. Here the swimming lessons became 'official' with Red Cross certificates and ribbons. As you went up their skill levels, the goal was to achieve Life Guard status. I can vividly remember the test. 75 laps of the pool on a chilly Saturday morning. Then having to rescue the trainer who had no mercy when it came to trying to drown us. I remember wondering, "has anyone ever drowned while learning how to rescue people???" It was a scary but valuable lesson.

Davis Park town pool
It wasn't until Jim and I were married that we had air conditioning in our house. That was only because one was given to us by my brother and another by my inlaws. We were grateful for the relief they provided, but we used them very sparingly as we didn't want to run up our electric bills.

Our first car with air conditioning was a 1983 Chevy Cavalier Wagon that we purchased in 1984, just before our third son, Dan was born. This was prompted by a vacation to Washington, DC when we were caught in traffic in the heat of the day with no A/C. I remember trying to lie down on the backseat to get relief from the air blowing through the windows. It was not a joy filled memory of being pregnant and having two kids in a strange city with no A/C in the car! When we got home we started shopping for a new car. The new car had electric windows and yes, air conditioning!

Nowadays we feel kind of spoiled. Going from our air conditioned home to our air conditioned car to our air conditioned stores or work site. We can't imagine living in Florida in A/C 90% of the year! The blast of hot air when you go outside your vehicle or home or store or office it quite a shock to the system!

These days when my body brings on its own heatwave, I am very happy to turn on the fan and have it pointed directly on me...though I do remember doing that even when I was a kid. As a matter of fact, my first paycheck I received as a teen went to purchase a quilt and a fan. My mother thought I was crazy, setting up the fan in the window to blow air right across me and then I would bury myself under the quilt.

Jim doesn't understand that today either. "Why are you under the covers with the fan blowing on you?" Maybe I have security issues. I like to be covered!

I always say I would rather be cold than hot but I have to be covered up with at least a sheet. I can ALWAYS warm myself up somehow: tea, socks, longjohns, extra clothing, blankets, or last resort -- electric blanket; but I can't always get myself cool enough in the heat. Once I get warm, I tend to stay warm. Once I get cool, something changes and the heat come on again. Must be something with my inner thermostat...or maybe its a built in wariness of hot places that I don't want to end up in!

Anyway, I am sure this heat wave will bring out all the global warming zealots that haven't been able to prove to me yet...that this is not all part of God's plan for life on earth. Lots of things go in cycles. The Creator has plan for the Universe he created. Sure we can cut down on our pollution and impact on the environment, but we will never be able to control it all. Someone else has a better plan than we do. It is said this earth will pass away...whether that means this earth will be destroyed or life on earth as we know it will be different, no one knows. I am not worried, I know the planner, personally. I choose to worship the Creator more than the created. The rewards are out of this world and more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Special credit to my brother Rick for the links and photos of the town pool and one of the creek.