“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”

Help!! I am a prisoner in my house. Going outside could mean certain death. Okay, I admit to an exaggeration here but not by much. It is so hot and humid it took my breath away when I went to get the papers. I didn’t even stop to admire the garden. I am now safe and comfortable in my cool house. I will admire the sun from the inside out.

When I was a kid, I don’t think we even had fans in the house. My mother kept the shades down. The living room did feel a touch cooler but not by much. Sometimes we’d go through the sprinkler, get cool and wet then go to bed. I used the same trick in Ghana. I’d take my shower, a cold shower as I had no hot water, just before bed then go to bed still wet. I was air cooled and could fall asleep.

Heat never really bothered me that much when I was a kid. I was out every day all summer, even when it rained. In Ghana, in Bolga, it was always hot, even in the rainy season, but that’s just the way it was and life went on.

I have a great memory of Ghana. One of my friends was terminating (Peace Corps argot for finishing service) earlier than the rest of us were. His school was on strike so there was nothing for him to do. During Easter holiday a few of us met up in Accra by happenstance as we always stayed at the Peace Corps hostel. We decided to go out for drinks and toast our departing friend. We went to a hotel, one of the grand old hotels. We sat in the bar. There were chairs and couches with flowered cushions, not uncommon furniture in Ghana. Fans were on the ceiling and were stirring the air a bit. There was a bank of open windows behind us and outside those windows was a garden of ferns, eucalyptus and frangipani. I had been whisked back in time to a colonial hotel, like in some old movie of long ago times and places. I was living in old Accra for just a little while. Even now I can close my eyes and see the fan, the windows and me sitting on the couch, drink in hand. It is an amazing memory.

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10 Comments on ““The past beats inside me like a second heart.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    It has cooled down here today 🙂 It shouldn’t according to the predictions but it is so nice now. Not even 68F, the sky is cloudy and a cool wind is blowing. I’m pretty sure I’ll sleep really good tonight 🙂 We might even get rain during the evening and night but I think it is too much to hope for that, I think there’s a bigger chance that I win the lottery 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      You have cooled down and we have gotten hotter.

      I love 68˚. It is just about perfect. I’d be out on the deck with my chiminea lit instead of hiding in my house from the awful heat. Enjoy it!!

      What perfect weather to go back to work for you.

      Have a great day!!

  2. Birgit Says:

    Yup, it’s hot. Too hot outside, even for me who has less problems with hot weather now than I had when I was younger. No AC here, rooms are kept dark, windows are open only at night and I sleep on a couch downstairs because it’s too hot in the attic, the old-fashioned way to deal with hot summers. It’s okay for now at home and I can sleep in the cold cellar when necessary. My computer is in the attic so you only get midnight comments lately 🙂
    No bike tour today, just quick shopping by bike because I ran out of essential food, namely ice cream.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      Boston hit 94˚ and add in the humidity, and you have a totally oppressive day. Tomorrow will not be much better. I never left the house today though I may try tonight to go on the deck and get some fresh air.

      My upstairs doesn’t cool as much as my downstairs so I keep a window AC and have turned it on.

      I have to go out tomorrow so I’m setting my alarm for an early morning.

      • Birgit Says:

        I’m just listening to some radio reports I missed today, one of them introduced a new (currently free) Trash- and B-movie streaming site http://www.bynwr.com
        Maybe interesting for you?

      • katry Says:

        Birgit,
        I love I am known for watching B and trash movies. It has been bookmarked for one of those nothing to do nights.

  3. Bob Says:

    My grandmother once told me that she had air conditioning when she was a girl in Russia in the 1890s. She told me that on hot days they would close all the windows, turn up the furnace and put on their winter fur coats and hats. After a while sitting like that they would turn off the heat, take off the coats and hats and open the windows. Then they would take deep breath and exclaim how cool they felt. 🙂

    Without the invention of air conditioning cities in the south and the southwest would just be skeletons of themselves. Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix would be small agricultural cities. When the temperature hits triple digits and the humidity is high A/C is a godsend and allowed for the explosive economic growth of the sunbelt and this country.

    I was unable to take my proficiency check today because our examiner’s authority expired on August first. They were observed by the FAA inspector last month but he forgot to turn in their paperwork before he went on vacation. Government bureaucrats, what can anyone do? The paperwork which he turned in today will take at least ten days to come back approved. 🙁 Then I can take the check. Of course it gives me more time to study or forget the material. 🙂

    There is an August surprise on the way. Rain and cooler weather are forecast for Thursday and Friday. I will believe it when I see it.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I get your grandmother’s air conditioner. I’ve been in really hot places and gone outside into heat which felt cool. It’s weird, but it works.

      I lived in a country mostly without air conditioning. Luckily, though, the largest cities never got as hot as the upper regions. Along the coast was mostly in the 80’s while where I lived often was over 100˚in the dry season. I survived; however, I do agree with you about the big cities in the south.

      I’d be a bit put out that the examining authority did not do its duty in turning in paperwork, but I’m glad you took the positive spin that you could study more.

      We have heat though Boston was the hottest in the 90’s. I got my papers then did not leave the house the rest of the day.

      • Bob Says:

        Many years ago I attended an FAA examiners course in Oklahoma City. That’s where the FAA training academy (The Mike Monroni Center) is located. An inspector conducting a class on regulations made a statement that made no sense. When I asked him about his statement not making sense he replied, “We in the FAA don’t have to make sense because we make policy”. These are words I have lived with professionally for all these years. Sometimes I refer to the center as the FAA Moron Center. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        That man is an idiot who has Trump syndrome: when caught saying something mindless, stupid, or just plain untrue, tell the world you are the authority or the president and everything you any is ti be taken as the truth.


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