Monday, July 25, 2011

A lesson learned...

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.

What do you do to keep cool
besides a/c and fan?

Stay cool,

and enjoy the day!


Beth said...

Lovely post. Interesting how certain memories from childhood remain with us all our lives.

Love the doll pictures, especially Bleuette in her bathing costume :-)


April said...

Like Beth, I love the doll pictures too- especially the doll behind Hitty- did you make her? I love the story of the lady from India with her pretty outfit and tea and sweets- what a wonderful memory and good advice!
To keep cool, I have found 2 things that really help- Hand held fans (Thank-you for the beauties you sent!) and Minute Maid Lemonade!

Flutterby Patch said...

What a lovely memory to treasure. We used to have 'heatwaves' here in northern Britain but recent summers have been cool and damp. I remember summers when it was 'too hot to move' and reservoirs dried up. We haven't seen that for at least 15 years. How to keep cool . . . my advice would be 'come to Britain' (and bring waterproofs and warm clothing!!) Eli x

Lena said...

Oh goodness, I have to admit that we only rarely have days so very hot, and don't have AC. I usually wake up early on those days, and open up the house to let in as much cool air as there is. I can't stand not having the curtains open, but my house is situated to follow the sun, so that helps a bit. I usually make large salads for dinner. We drink root beer floats, and depend on fans, and cool baths. I spray myself with a water bottle, and dress lightly. Mostly, I just try to enjoy the excuse to move slowly.

Ani said...
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Ani said...

We had an unusual built-in ceiling fan when I was growing up in the 50's -60's. It was recessed into the ceiling in the middle hall and only worked in one direction - to pull the hot air up into the attic and out of the house via a roof vent. It really did work! We didn't have AC when I was young, so my parents would give us a mister bottle of water to spray on to keep cool. Love your Bleuettes!