Heat Wave

I don’t know where you live (well, some of you I do), but here in the Philadelphia region this summer has been pretty brutal. Though I haven’t really had to deal with the extreme heat too much because of the graces of modern conveniences (read: air conditioning at home and the office), the temperatures have been pretty extreme. Officially, Philly has seen 5 heat waves so far, and is approaching the 6th. And it isn’t even August yet!

Granted, the time from March to the end of June when I was unemployed, I didn’t turn the AC up a notch. I dealt with it. We have a digital system that adjusts the temperature depending on the time of day, and sets the temperature to about 86 degrees during the day when we’re normally at work. I could have set it cooler, but I figured I’m unemployed and can suffer for awhile to save some cash. I’d just turn the fan on when I started sweating like a stuck pug. And it seemed to work for me for those short months.

But I started thinking recently what people did before there was air conditioning. When I was growing up, we put a fan in the window (we didn’t have the money for air conditioners at that time) and if I remember correctly, we didn’t have a problem with it. Later, in my teens, we purchased an air conditioner for the window for the room I shared with my older brother, and I remember it was bliss! There were even some evenings we would have the AC cranked so high we would be shivering under our covers, but it was still bliss!

I asked another friend this past Sunday (which was another 90+ degree day in a stone church that felt more like a brick oven) and he remembered when they would take up all the rugs on the floors and put down mats, took down all the drapes and put up sheers, opened all the windows, etc.

We sure did do a lot of preparation to stay cool back then. But then again, was it this hot in the past? “They” say we’re experiencing global warming. Could this be the reason for such hot summers? Or are we just not remembering what our childhood (and parents) taught us?