Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Heat & No AC

Welcome to Summer mother fuckers. Today it was 99 degrees in good ole Southwest VA. A couple of degrees hotter and we would've broken the record for the day. Personally, a couple of degrees doesn't matter that much. It is HOT!!!
We live in the Blue Nymph. A house that was built (primarily) in 1890. We have no central air. For that matter, thanks to our contractor, we have no heat either, but that is another blog. When we bought the house from my mother there were window AC units, but gradually they have found themselves new homes (thank you Freecycle!).
Let's get some things straight. I HATE Summer. I will like Summer when I have an in-ground pool in my own yard that I can take a dip in anytime I want to. Until then, I hate Summer. This is a stance I have had for many, many years now.
I also hate air conditioning. It's an odd hatred though. I LOVE cold weather. So, I have to admit to loving the suddenly cool air. But AC is false. And I hate it for that.
We aren't meant to be wearing long pants/jeans in the Summer. We aren't meant to be wearing UGG (UGLY) boots in warm weather. We have lost the sense of what Seasons REALLY mean. This is why I hate AC.
What I find truly both interesting and annoying is that people who bitch non-stop about the heat seem to think that, because I don't like AC and because I choose not to waste energy by having AC, I am not allowed to express displeasure with the heat in general.
To them I say "FUCK YOU!"
It IS hot. I don't think less of people who have AC because I am all too well aware of the fact that different dwellings hold heat differently and that all people have their own personal needs (and that is meant as needs, not wants). For example: this house is tolerable without AC in the dead heat of Summer. Our basement level apartment wasn't. The majority of Americans (people in general???) have forgotten that the type of dwelling you live in DOES matter.

But, that doesn't mean that it isn't hot. It doesn't mean I detest the heat any less. I am allowed to detest the heat and not buy into central air.
What do we do? We open windows. You know, those things you look out of at your neighbors to see what they're doing. We open them. We hear the birds sing and the crickets chirp, and we even smell the skunks' spray.
We put fans in the window. When it is cooler outside than in, we have the air blowing in. When it is hotter outside than in, we reverse the fans and have them blowing the air out.
We learn to stay still. We embrace being Southern and the slower pace of life. .... Take a deep breath ... inhale ... exhale ... feel the breeze and be grateful for it. We drink lots of water and find refuge in cooling herbs. Like mint. Hence Mint Juleps. Duh.
We collect rainwater so that we can attempt to keep plants alive, and we fill buckets with water as we're shutting off showers for the same reason (you'd be amazed how much water is wasted in the time between deciding your shower is done and turning off the water completely). We put hunks of ice in our dogs' water dish, especially now that we have a breed that is sensitive to heat.
We've moved our chickens back to their "Winter Chalet." They'll be blocked from the morning sun by the hops, from the evening sun by the pear tree, and they'll have the coop to flee to if all else fails. We will deal with, and learn from, any potential losses due to heat stroke.
We've hung up blackout curtains in the boys' room, though that doesn't stop them from sleeping shirtless or on the floor when the heat gets to be too much. We set up blankets and make-shift bedding on the wooden floors to keep them comfortable.
This is how we live without AC. We don't skip around, singing with giddy when the temperatures are near record breaking. But we do understand what it truly means to live in the environment when the temps get so high.
We don't spend the majority of our lives living and being in settings that are approximately 72 degrees and then bitching non-stop when it is hotter or colder than that. The walk to the car, or from the car to the store is so damn torturous isn't it???
Live it, embrace it, man-up and get the fuck over it. This is what the Seasons truly mean. Buy some seasonally appropriate clothing and learn to wear it. Accept the fact that it is hot. That you are sweaty, even when you've just gotten out of the shower. That the Summer isn't the same as what you were promised by the endless stream of Summer advertising throughout the Winter and Spring. That bugs bite. That there ARE bugs. That sandals are cute but sandals with heels are simply stupid when you're walking around in a wild field. Don't bitch to me about your sprained ankle and bug bites because you failed to dress for the weather and where you were. You won't get much sympathy here.
Welcome to Summer, bitches.


Lisa said...

LOL Sometimes I just wish you would open up and tell us how you really feel about things.

We don't have air conditioning either. I've always hated it. For the past three summers we were in an upstairs apt that was like a solarium so moving to the basement apt has been really nice. So much cooler. My only beef is that the windows do not open! Can you believe that? But, the door does so sometimes we let the bugs right on in if it's cooler outside than in.

I love that you so often write what I've thought a million times. LOL Though, I do love summer, even when it's 99.

Rachel said...

It's like I wrote it myself! LOL

I too hate the heat and am sans AC. Our house of course holds onto the heat REALLY well. Too well in fact. When the sun sinks it is actually nice outside and the damn house is still blistering even though we have all the windows open with fans in them. Our water tower, OTH, is always a tolerable 75 degrees. It's the strangest thing. Esp. since it's on the western side of our house.

We don't have an in-ground pool - too much maintenance and energy. We do, however, have a 3' deep doughboy which I highly recommend! I don't know what summer would be like without it. and in the winter it just goes away and we don't have to take care of it. Sure, we can't dive into it like an in-ground, but we can float around in it.

Carrie and Justin said...

Haha, thanks ladies. I wrote the blog last night. When it was 89 degrees outside and 90 degrees inside and I'd had enough drinks to make me .... um .. as Lisa put it "open up". ;)

@ Lisa - We measure the passing of the Seasons by the bugs that are in our house. (Seriously - Shannon actually wrote about that to his penpal!!)

@ Rachel - Our pool is a 24" deep kiddie pool that I fill above the fill line so I can fit my rump in it too. It sits at the far end of our driveway and we wave to people as they walk by. (Honestly, we just put it there so the dogs can't pop it)