“If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?”

The heat is still horrific. This is the worst it’s been in my memory. My friend Bill wondered if it is hotter here than in Bolgatanga, Ghana where we both lived. Some days I believe it is.

This is the rainy season in Ghana, but it isn’t the rainy season here. We haven’t seen rain in a while, especially that drenching rain I remember in Ghana. Luckily my irrigation system has kept the lawn and garden green. The plants in the deck pots have to be watered almost every day or they wilt. I understand wilting. I wilt every time I go outside. It is not a pretty sight.

When I was younger, I could tolerate the heat here in the house far better. I didn’t even have a fan. I used to sleep downstairs on the couch, and I kept the back door open all night. That was enough. Now, it would never be enough.

When I was a kid, I slept through the hottest nights because I was exhausted, because the swelter of every summer day didn’t matter, didn’t slow me down, didn’t stop me from having fun. I rode my bike, played softball, walked to the pool and hung around outside with friends. I was a kid so being sweaty and dirty was no never mind. The sprinkler was my summer shower. That it was cold water was the best part.

My mother always had a pitcher of ZaRex in the fridge. It was cheaper than making lemonade and tasted better than Kool-Aid. The pitcher she used the most was blue aluminum. The glasses were also aluminum but were a variety of colors. She had a couple of glass pitchers, one smaller than the other. I found their duplicates in an antique store and bought them both. I’m heavy into nostalgia.

My mother didn’t use her stove or oven a whole lot in the summer because the small kitchen held the heat. Sandwiches were acceptable supper food. My dad barbecued on weekends but my mother never did during the week. Everyone knew barbecuing was a man’s job. That my father sometimes set himself on fire was just an acceptable risk.

I have a doctor’s appointment in Hyannis today. I’m not happy with going outside. That my car has AC doesn’t matter. It’s just the idea of it.

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10 Comments on ““If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?””

  1. Bob Says:

    In the tropics people ate extremely hot food to cause them to sweat which is nature’s cooling system. My grandparents emigrated from Eastern Europe where paprika was considered a spice. πŸ™‚ There keeping warm in the winter was a bigger problem.

    When I was a kid we also had those aluminum glasses that came in assorted colors. I think everyone bought them because they looked modern and seemed like something astronauts would use. My mother made pitchers is Koolaid daily in the summer. We moved to Dallas in 1953 which was during a very hot period. I remember series of days of 110F degree days. Air conditioning was just becoming widespread and we lived in apartments with one window AC unit. In 1955 my parents bought a house and installed central AC. That was a great amenity that indicated that we were finally in the upper middle class. Our house had a two car attached garage and we owned two cars. Our hose had three bedrooms, two baths and two living areas. With two kids we were the post war upper middle class family. Unfortunately, we had no dog. πŸ™‚

    Another dry, sunny hot day.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      In African the heat is part of their taste profile. Even here, in the winter, Ghanaians want hot pepper. The only Ghanaians I saw sweat were workers and market sellers in the sun.

      When I came back from Ghana, I froze that first winter, but by the next year, my system was back to being pure New England.

      We never had Kool-Aid. In those days you had to add too much sugar for my mother’s taste, but we were fine with the ZaRex.

      Air conditioning took far longer to become the norm here. I didn’t know anyone who had it. Some people had fans, and that was it. My parents bought their first house when we moved to the cape. My mother didn’t have her license until then so we only needed one car. After she got it, my father had a small piece-up, and my mother had her car. I was out of the house when my father started making 6 figures a year, but he was still generous. We Always had a dog.

      Getting cold tonight, down to the 60’s.

  2. GnuFOOL Says:

    Fall is almost here

  3. olof1 Says:

    It has been just below 68 here so it’s quite nice outside but now the rain is pouring down and from what I know it’ll continue for quite some time.I don’t mind since we need it and it is a great excuse for doing nothing πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    No pitcher in our fridge but my mormor always had different sodas in the cellar or in the fridge and I could just take one if I wanted to, no wonder I always biked to her even if it was well over 10 miles to get there πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ She also always had ice cream in the freezer but I always waited to take one until she asked if I wanted one. Have no idea why because I knew I could just take one if I wanted to πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We’ve got similar weather coming, and I’ so glad. This heat has been debilitating. It makes us want to do nothing. Right now it is quite cloudy and getting dark. The forecast said a slight chance of rain, but I’m thinking more than slight based on the change in the weather right now.

      A cold front os coming starting tonight. It will get as low as the mid 50’s.

      She knew because what kid doesn’t love ice cream? We never had soda when we were young. I don’t remember it ever being in the house. When I was a teen, I’d buy it from the drug store fountains.

      Have a great day!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Yesterday wasn’t as bad as the days preceding it though it was still very humid. It helped that I took a long nap from 10:30 AM until 2PM so I missed a big chunk of it. The dogs napped right along with me. Bless that AC unit.
    I think the heat was less hot when we were kids. And kids seem not to be affected by temperature. Much like other animals. πŸ˜€
    Zarex was sometimes the drink of summer but usually it was Kool-aid. My mother preferred the ease of storing the envelopes. She didn’t use all the sugar it called for, either.
    The aluminum cups were present. My cousin and I used to bang them on to the ends of long branches that had spurs at the end and pretend they were the necks of dinosaurs. The different color cups would indicate which dinosaur belonged to whom. Every now and then I contemplate getting a set of those for old time’s sake but I resist.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Last night my bedroom was just a bit warm but a breeze started so I was able to fall asleep. Henry won’t stay on my bed when I put the bedroom AC on. If it is really hot, I do it anyway. Henry will just have to learn to adjust.

      I agree that kids don’t notice the heat. It didn’t matter how hot I always fell asleep. Boxers are affected by the heat. I think all snub nosed dogs are.

      My mother never bought Kool-Aid, but we didn’t care as we all liked Zarex.

      My mother still had the pitcher and a coupe of glasses. My sister has them now. She used them with her kids and bought a few more to complete the set. That pitcher had a lot of wear, but it was a good reminder of its history.

      Have a great evening!


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