Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Cot, Natural Air Conditioning, and Vera

As I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep so I can wake up early enough to attend weekly Torah study, I found myself seeing flashbacks of memories. The relatively cool air (at least it feels like it when you're several floors up inside a high-rise apartment) blowing ever so gently through my windows, took me back in time to a place where I spent a good majority of my years; my grandparents' house in my hometown of Lakewood, Ohio, USA.

Yeah, I don't have installed or central air conditioning in my unit. I tried to install one and it wouldn't fit, so I had to return it. All I have for air distribution is an installed ceiling fan, which probably hates my guts because it runs almost all of the time.

Which is funny, because my grandparents' house didn't have central air conditioning, either. My parents had an air conditioner they  installed in their bedroom, but my sister and I had window fans for relief (I think there was one year where my sister had an air conditioner in her room, and I spent most of that summer sleeping on her bedroom floor to keep cool).

My grandfather passed away several months before my family and I moved in to the house, so it was pretty much my grandmother's house, until she decided to move to Florida in 1988. But while she lived upstairs in this two-story apartment style house, where each floor had its own front and back porches, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, dining room, and living room spaces, there was something my grandmother kept in her living quarters that satisfied her during the very humid and icky summer nights along the North Coast: a small bed, or a cot, on her front porch.

Even while my grandfather was alive, my grandmother would take a bath in the evening, then dress in her nightgown or pajamas, and would go onto her front porch (where it was mostly, but not fully, enclosed) to the cot where she would sleep until daybreak (oh, these are my dad's parents; my mom's parents died before my sister was born, so neither my sister nor I ever got to meet them).

I never saw my grandmother sleep on the cot personally, but she swore by it as getting a good night's rest. Then again, growing up in Ukraine and then living in the Northern portions of the USA would make someone like my grandmother yearn for warmer weather all the time instead of just 3-4 months out of the year.

I think I tried sleeping on the cot once when I was a wee lass, because it was just so hot that one night. I think I made it until 2:00am until I retreated back inside and went to my room, which was in the downstairs unit.

Even though, nowadays, I can manage (at least at night, heh) the rest with only a gentle cooling breeze (if any) through the windows and courtesy of my ceiling fan. But unlike most of my memories, which can range from annoying to insanity-inducing, this flashback had a particular warmth to it; no pun intended.

1 comment:

  1. I understand the heat thing. I did not have air conditioning growing up, just ceiling fans. It was unbearable and I hated it. I felt like I was going to melt into the floor like water. Fans can help, but air conditioners are fantastic. They can make a really uncomfortable home, comfortable. Especially when you live in a dryer and hotter climate, like the desert.