With the temperature getting close to 100 degrees Memorial Day, didn’t it seem like we missed spring this year?
The warm weather made for an active day at the Abilene City Pool which had a record 458 swimmers and sun worshipers on opening day.
The average temperature this time of year is 80 and, according to Weather Underground, the record is 99 degrees set 90 years ago.
We missed it by three degrees with a high Monday of 96.
The average low is supposed to be 58 and we missed that by 11 degrees on Monday.
But given a choice between 100 degrees and 10 degrees, I’ll take the 100.
I like it hot.
To my generation:
• Central air was standing under a shade tree.
• Turning on the air conditioning in a car or truck meant rolling down the windows.
• Applying sunscreen was putting on a Panama Hat.
• Water came out of a horse tank hydrant or a hose from the well at the golf course usually used to cool down the putting greens, not from a plastic bottle.
• Fans were made from cardboard glued to a wooden stick usually given out at church.
The schools and churches didn’t have air conditioning either.
In fact, I was so hot on my wedding day, I’m pretty sure that my fingernails were even sweating.
At the start of school and sometimes at the end of the year, we held classes outside because it was hotter inside than outside.
I still enjoy the heat, but got a little worried last Saturday when the temperature reached 100 and my air conditioner couldn’t keep up. (A part is ordered for it as I write this.)
Just how did we survive then without all the amenities now available to keep cool?
We didn’t have cooling towels or even ice to put in them. Pop, or soda if you are not a native Kansan, came straight out of a can or bottle which we opened with a church key. (That should get the younger generation searching on Google.)
We dressed in white or didn’t wear a shirt at all.
Getting a deep, dark tan was the goal during the summer.
We played baseball during the heat of the day.
At football practice in August, the coaches gave us salt tablets. I guess that was to replace the salt we would lose during drills.
The really uncomfortable part of summer was not being able to cool off at night. Granted, we slept on the second floor with the windows open, but the air coming in was hot.
Many times we just slept outside.
One year we got a window fan and it blew the same hot air as Mother Nature.
After an episode of heatstroke a year ago, I take the hot temperatures seriously.
I have learned that it is best to hydrate before getting out into the sun.
The best way to do that is to simply drink water.
Queasiness, headache, exhaustion, weakness and dizziness are signs that maybe it’s time to cool down or end up in the emergency room.