Ever since the beginning of July, my brain has been like sludge.  There are pretty much no ideas springing forth for blogging, as my focus has been on my personal comfort level, which means – in short – basically finding innovative ways of keeping cool.

It’s been unseasonably hot.  Although this has not happened daily, we have had some actual (not heat index) triple digit temperatures in our coastal climate.  Ocean breezes usually temper the hot weather.  However, there were times when all was quiet on the sea breeze front giving us the heat that is normally reserved for inland areas.  With the humidity that is normally present, that made for horrible heat indices.

Part of the explanation for my whining is that our house has no central air conditioning.  We do have window units for our two upstairs bedrooms, and it’s a good thing because they are rooms converted from attic space.  There is not much insulation between the roof and the room, so when the sun beats down on that roof – the heat can soar inside to unlivable temperatures.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the a/c that we have.  However, it’s been getting a little annoying feeling imprisoned in a small room.  Frankly I miss the REST of my house!

With sun blazing into our kitchen’s west windows, cooking in this heat has become an unpleasant activity!  Adding more heat from the oven or top-of-the-stove burners raises the temperature to an already steamy room.  I’ve used shades to block the sun off to some extent – but there’s only so much you can do.  Therefore, Ray and I have been grilling outside, and going out to eat a lot more than usual.  Salads of all kinds have turned into main dishes, and I try to make them up in the morning when the sun is scorching the other side of the house.

Our pool is a godsend and we’re blessed to have it!  However, It’s only a quick fix.  Because I do not like to hang out in the hot summer sun endlessly, I don’t stay out there for too long.  I remember in my younger years when I’d burn to a crisp – on purpose.  No more!  We didn’t know the dangers of skin cancer back then…  Plus – I really do not enjoy sun bathing anymore.

I go back to old posts where I talked about longing for snow.  I guess that’s odd request this time of year.  Interesting how I’ve heard others long for those snowy days of only a few months ago.  I need to bottle their words of disdain for the white stuff to remind them how much they hated it at the time.  But – really, I get it.  It’s a matter of perspective how we feel in any given situation.  I think the relevant saying here is, “Be careful for what you ask for – you might get it!”.

I think back on my childhood and air conditioning was a luxury that most households didn’t have.  It was mostly reserved for stores, movie theaters, office buildings, and other public places.  Most people didn’t have window units, either.  We sure didn’t – and only had a few fans which we moved around the house to where we were living at the time.  My parents were always reticent to allow us to leave the fans on all night for fear of a fire, so we just sweltered.  I remember going to bed and squirting water on my face from a spray gun to get cool, and dreaming of having a pool in my back yard, knowing full well that I’d never see that!  Kezar Lake, Maine, where our family vacationed each year, was also on my mind – and in my mind’s eye, I was swimming in that clear water….  In the end, squirting water all over me was not the most comfortable of experiences, as the sheets ended up soaked.  Yet – most mornings, I’d wake up and the house *had* cooled down.

We survived.  Everyone else was in the same boat, so we didn’t expect any differently.  I think it all has to do with expectations, and expectations were different back then.

It has also occurred to me that having air conditioning at one’s disposal can make you “feel” hotter once you’re removed from it. Your body has more difficulty re-acclimating to the hotter temperatures after you had gotten used to the a/c.   Also – I wonder if people have less tolerance for the heat as you age.  And – aging is what I seem to be doing best…

I have some photos from a few other ways we have managed to keep cool – but that will come in a post to come.

However, as Ray and I experience this July heat wave, we are now seriously considering installing central air conditioning for this house.  Not sure when – or even if – but it’s at least a serious conversation.  We’ve considered it other years, but, despite the expense, this may be the year that we actually go through with it.   Call me a wimp – but I’m so ready!

Meantime – we’re headed to Kezar Lake, Maine in a less than a week….!

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