How Times Change

When I was a kid, the house I lived in only had two air conditioners: one in the living room and one in Mom's bedroom. You did NOT turn on the air conditioners without permission, and it better be scorching hot to do so.

To us, 85 was extremely hot and we had to come up with alternatives to cool off. My trick was to take a washcloth and wet it down with cold water, then wipe my whole body down and stand in front of the fan. (They didn't raise the LILCo bill as much as the A/C, so we could use those.) If we were lucky, a late night thunderstorm came through and cooled things down to 70 degrees or something close.

Then, I moved to Maryland, to a valley in which the air did not move. No breezes off the ocean. The heat seemed to turn on the first week of May and it would stay hot until the second week of September. It was hot, it was sticky, but at least I paid the electric bill and I used those air conditioners! When we built the townhouse, we were excited to have central air.

Six years ago, I went house hunting in Florida in a car with no air conditioning. In June. I rapidly learned that 95 is not all that hot. The following summer, friends came down to house hunt and we stood outside a restaurant chatting, the heat radiating off the blacktop making them wither, and not even noticed by me. Now, 60 seems COLD, and we can sit outside on those 95 degree days without breaking a sweat.

We're visiting New York to take care of family business, and last night, we slept with windows open and enjoyed a 'cool' 75/80 degree evening. Windows open is not something that happens for us back home very often, because it's still in the mid 80's at night.

It can stay like this the whole time we're here, because this is so comfortable. It's probably the exact same range of temperature that would cause discomfort 30 years ago.


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