“Now August comes with a dreamy haze of heat.”

The AC is on high with the outside temperature already in the high 80’s, and when you add the humidity, the low 90’s. We are under a heat emergency while north of us has an official heat wave. I have a list for today, my first list in a while. It is a long one with more than a couple of stops. The dump is on the list, but I’m moving that to tomorrow as that’s when my cleaning lady comes. Laundry is not on the list. I have no dirty laundry. I’ll repeat that last one: I have no dirty laundry, literally or proverbially.

We didn’t have air conditioning or even fans when I was a kid. My mother kept the house almost as dark as a cave. All the shades were down to keep out the heat. I remember being restless in bed on hot nights. I remember throwing off my sheet and being impatient for the Sandman and the dreams he’d bring. But finally, the bike riding, the games at the park, the walking to the pool or the zoo caught up with me and I’d fall asleep.

In Ghana, during the dry season, every day was close to or over a hundred. I didn’t have a fan then either. I’d go about my day regardless of the heat. I’d teach my T2 classes, the second years, every day. Often, when my work day was over, I’d even take a nap. Everything in town shut down for a couple of hours each day. Later in the afternoon, I’d sometimes go to town. I’d walk but not very far. Someone always stopped to give me a ride. They knew the white lady walking down the road was a teacher at the training college. It worked the same way for my walk home. I was one of few whites in town and the only one at my school until my second year when Bill and Peg joined me so most people knew who I was. They aways greeted me as madame. Every night I took my cold shower. I hurried doing my hair as the first water out of the pipe had been warmed by the sun. I rinsed with the cold. During the dry season I never toweled dry. I’d put on my robe while I was still wet, hurry inside and go to sleep as the air dried me. That always worked.

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10 Comments on ““Now August comes with a dreamy haze of heat.””

  1. im6 Says:

    Thought about you as I watched CBS Sunday Morning today. In case you missed it… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2RPVDOiu-o

    • katry Says:

      Thank you so much!! I hadn’t seen it.

      My neighborhood mostly has blue hydrangeas. A few years back, blue hydrangeas were popular for wedding flowers. People would wake up and find their gardens empty of their blue hydrangeas which were stolen then sold to florists at a heavy price.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When we first moved to Texas in 1953, few homes had central AC. Most people had attic fans which supposedly sucked out the heat from the bedrooms. It didn’t work. We soon had a large window unit which cooled only the down stairs living room, dining area. And kitchen. We slept on blankets on the living room carpet.

    My dad had an air conditioning system installed in his car and this thing blew out cold air from two blowers mounted in the trunk. This unit was so powerful one could hang meat in the backseat. My mother had to wear a sweater in August in the car because my father liked it cold.

    Without AC the entire sunbelt would have not developed as it did. Dallas had less than 700,000 people in the 1950s, Las Vegas had about 75,000 people. Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, and other sunbelt metropolises were small communities before widespread AC.

    Even in the big cities of the north, families would flee in July and August to mountain resort areas such as Tanglewood and the Catskill mountains and returning after Labor Day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      My sister’s house in Colorado had an attic fan. Hers worked and cooled her house. We could never have used them here as my house would turn into a mold spore. My parents did get air conditioners for the living room and two bedrooms. When we were getting ready to sell the house, we added central air.

      My father’ truck never had AC, but my mother’s car did. I bought the car from them and loved the AC.

      I know I have said it before, but I could never live with that heat the whole summer. Here, the humidity is a killer when added to the heat. The air is miserably damp.

      I always lived in the suburbs, but I do remember the cities were far quieter in the summer.

  3. im6 Says:

    It’s amazing how “cool” (I use the term very, very loosely) 98º here seems today.

    • katry Says:

      It is definitely loosely used!! I did a couple of errands today. One was the garden center. I got a bit dizzy and fled to the AC in my car.

  4. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Here’s a great story from 40 years ago about Jim Rice’s quick action:


    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      This appears every now, but I hadn’t seen the last part with the father and his son. I had see the picture of Jim Rice carrying the boy.

      When Rice made the Hall of Fame, well deserved but at the last minute, this was resurrected. I think that’s when I first heard about it.

      • Bob Says:

        First I had ever heard the story. Rice deserved the hall of fame regardless how he got there. This story is just the cherry on top of the sundae of being elected.

      • katry Says:

        Rice was elected to the Hall of Fame on the last year he could be. We couldn’t believe he was passed over the other times. They recorded Rice getting the phone call and the great news. He is a commentator on NESN which airs all the Sox games.He is an amazing dresser even to the matching pocket piece. I think he has his clothes made for him.

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