I’ve lived all my life without any significant amount of time spent living with air conditioning.
Now, granted, I’m a northern girl, always have been. But hot does happen, even in Alaska, although it’s a much shorter duration than the Lower 48. And New England can get nasty muggy come July and August. So moving to the south – yep, sorry, for me Ohio is the South! – was something I wasn’t sure how I’d handle. Add to that, moving to the Ohio River Valley area, with the state of my lungs, and it was a concern. Well, so far…
We do own an air conditioning unit. A friend gave it to us, one of those boxes you stick in the window. It’s been sitting in the tool area since I got here. I don’t think we need it, and as I used to say about the Farm when someone made noises about ‘how can you live without it? You must get one!’ the result of installing an air conditioner in an old, drafty house is pretty much the same as taking handfuls of money and throwing them out the window.
When we go out in the summer, I take a shawl or cardigan with me (I have fake pashmina shawls that will stuff into my purse and take up very little space) because I know that I will freeze in what other people consider adequate air conditioning. Not that it isn’t nice to retreat to the Waffle House with my dear First Reader and amuse the waitresses by sitting there sipping coke, holding hands, and reading. The Kindle or a tablet in a kickstand case makes reading while having a hand free very nice.
Of course, if we mention to the waitress that we’re retreating from the heat because we don’t have air conditioning, the look on her face is priceless. She just can’t believe we can live like that. Really, it’s not hard. You get used to it. The First Reader points out that when he was a boy, only high-end department stores and a few movie theaters had any such thing. People survived. He also jokes that it skewed the birth rates – you don’t find conceptions during June, July, and August!
We make adjustments. If we don’t need to move and do things in the afternoon when the heat is highest, we don’t. I try to nap if I can, and then stay up later, in the cool of the evening, to get things done. I try to do housework early, before the heat climbs. This morning I cleaned the kitchen before 9 am and still got sweaty. I’ll have to get up earlier tomorrow, I really need to clean out the tool area. But not the air conditioner. It’s going to sit right there until someone else needs it, not us.
And I should make up a pitcher of something cold to sip on. I may have moved south, but I’m still tweaking the sweet tea recipe to something I like without too much tannin.