Body Heat

The last few days have been scorching and this practically on the heels of my whining about a dud summer. We don’t have air conditioning, central or window box. Even the heat waves we can get are not long enough to warrant the expense of a central system, but as our bedrooms are the dormer attic type, we caved and purchased one of those room units that vent to the outside via the attic. It only cools the upstairs and that’s with doors open, but it makes a difference in the quality of one’s sleep.

I grew up without air conditioning. When I was about fourteen, Dad purchased a unit for the kitchen window that basically cooled the kitchen and living room. The summer I left for university, for reasons I still don’t know, Dad decided to install central air. So while I was sweltering in a dormer attic room of Currier Hall, my siblings were living the life of Reilly with central a/c and another out of character purchase for my father – cable television.

Air conditioning was erratic in my apartment years. Sometimes I had it. Mostly I didn’t. It wasn’t until I was 33 and a first time home owner that I lived in true comfort during the sweaty Iowa summers.

When I moved to Alberta, Rob assured me that “heat”, “humidity” and “summer” were near mutually exclusive. The summer we got married, we had a heat wave of 30C or better for nearly a month and a half. Although the humidity really isn’t taxing on a non-native used to summers when it sometimes equaled the temperature, sleeping in an attic bedroom that never cooled was exhausting. Throw in the whole newlywed thing and we were both wrung out zombies for the first few months.

Last night reminded me of that summer. I was baked to the point of migraine. I woke once in the middle of the night and fleetingly realized that one could probably fry an egg on my stomach – and this was in a room with the a/c running its little motor out.

Today the winds have shifted a bit and there is a slightly cool caress in the breeze, but we are exhausted with the effort of keeping hydrated and staving on spontaneous combustion by whatever means necessary.

4 thoughts on “Body Heat

  1. I do not miss the hot, humid summers of my childhood in Maryland. We didn’t have air conditioning, a small in-the-wall unit, until I was 15 because my mother was pregnant and unable to bear the heat. I do miss the heat of which we have not had a taste this “summer” in Maine. It has only been summer by the calendar.

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