It was a really hot and humid day in South Florida. The sun was beating off the pavement and there was very little shade except for an occasional palm tree.
In those days nobody had air conditioning…not even the grocery stores. There was little respite from the relentless heat and humidity.
I was outdoors on our steps drawing pictures in a notebook when a neighbor invited me into her bungalow. I had to ask my mother's permission and she said it was okay. (In retrospect, she already knew about the invitation and knew I would love the visit.)
I was about ten years old… and hated the heat even then.
I entered into a very dark little home that was amazingly and comfortably cool. The lady made me a cup of tea and served delicious sweets.
She only had a few lights on…and showed me photos of her grandchildren far away in a foreign land. Her daughter and son were visiting her native land during that time and she missed them. (Mind you-- lights on in the day time was completely peculiar to me at the time.) During the day the her curtains drawn and windows were closed in the bungalow.
It was so wonderfully cool in her home that once back outside, I was blinded by the sun and a wave of heat as if an oven door had opened.
Our little neighbor wore a long white dress and thick sandals which most elderly ladies in the South did not wear although people still wore white in the summer in those days…men, women and children. Sometimes I do now; I am sure people think I am wearing some sort of uniform.
It was many years later before I realized that she was from India and she really knew how to keep her home cool …it was the opposite of what everybody else did where I lived and people could not seem to get enough sun.
Today I use white lined heavy curtains in our home to reflect the sun away... and keep our indoor shutters closed when the sun is on them. It is not light and airy in here, but it keeps the house much cooler—and the a/c doesn't have to be set so low. I often think of our little neighbor when I enter a darkened room in the summer.
besides a/c and fan?
and enjoy the day!