Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A to Z Challenge - N

Good morning!  The letter N is on the table today.  What do I remember that starts with the letter N?

I remember NO air conditioning.  I'm certain many of my older readers remember those days.

My family lived in a modest brick rancher built in the 1950's.  Air conditioning was a luxury few could afford.    Window fans, open windows, screen doors, and lots of ice tea was a way of life.  During the day we were so busy either working or playing, I can't say I really felt the impact of the heat.  When the sun was too hot to be out in it, we would lay on the cool carport concrete and play games or read books.  The unfinished basement was also a safe haven.  We had a little record player and lots of children's records.  We'd play songs like The Bear Went Over the Mountain, lots of Disney tunes, and silly songs.  One of the silliest, and therefore, favorite, was Jenny Jenkins.

"Jenny Jenkins"
Will you wear white
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear white, Jenny Jenkins?
No I won't wear white
For the color's too bright

I'll buy me a foldy-roldy, tildy-toldy
Seek-a-double, use-a-cozza roll to find me
Roll, Jenny Jenkins, roll
Will you wear blue
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear blue, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear blue
cause blue wont do.

Will you wear pink
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear pink, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear pink
I rather drink ink

Will you wear green
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear green, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear green
It's a colour of a bean

Will you wear orange
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear orange, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear orange
cause nothing ryhmes with orange

Will you wear grey
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear grey, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear grey
It's a black and rainy day


A not so fond memory of those days of NO air conditioning was the night time.  My parents were old school in many ways.  They had this thing about drafts and sickness.  This equated to not being able to sleep with our heads anywhere near an open window.  Each night we would say our prayers, kiss mom and dad goodnight, and head for bed.  My sister and I shared a bed room.  I think she might have been the good child, because every night after mom and dad came in to check on us, I would flip myself down to the end of the bed so my head was near the open window.  I don't think Kathleen did that, but as I go down memory lane this month, I'm finding a lot of what I thought were clear memories, are rather faded.  If she didn't move to the bottom of the bed, like I did, she was definitely the smart one.  Because I do remember that I almost always got caught.

My own children can tell tales of the many years that we had only a window air conditioner to cool an entire floor of our home.  It didn't even come close to reaching to the bed rooms, so many nights were spent sleeping on the living room floor.  Since Jim was a school teacher, he was home with them during the summer.  They tell tales about how he wouldn't let them turn the air on during the day, until about an hour before I was due home.   Ahhhh the good old days.

So, how many remember not having air conditioning?  Maybe some don't have it now?  


Megan said...

I have only dealt with "no air conditioning" once- when I was doing a year of service in Detroit, our little row house had no air. I have sympathy for people who do not have air, it was rough!

Intense Guy said...

I guess I was spoiled. We nearly always had A/C but it was for medical purposes as my younger brother had terrible allergies and the only thing that would help was the whole house filtering system that came with the A/C. It was never set really low - but it did keep the humidity down to more comfortable levels!

Down the shore - in the sea air humidity, the house had no A/C and still has none. I think my folks keep it that way for nostalgia reasons more than anything!

I remember when it was really hot, the kids in the neighborhood would take a short walk into the nearby woods where there was a creek and we'd sit in the shade and throw rocks into the water (splashing ourselves with a bit of coolness).

Such an innocent time. I wish I could back some days!

martine said...

Have always been a little bemused by americans and air conditioning. Admittedly over here in the Uk we don't get extremes of temperature so if it's hot you just open the window. I had always been under the impression that it is very healthy to sleep with the window open and breath fresh air (that's not been dried out by heating), not sure where your parents got the idea it was bad for you.

aleasa nicole said...

I grew up near San Francisco and we never had AC, and we spent three years in San Diego near the ocean...also no AC. It sucked on hot days but its not something I grew up with at all. I can't imagine not having AC in the south though (we live in FL and the hubby is from AR). It seems dangerous to not have air when the temp easily passes 100 F with humidity. So, I'm spoiled by mild climate and not so much air conditioning!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Oh I remember the days with no a/c! I think back now and often wonder how my mother managed to do all that cooking and baking without a/c. I would have melted! As a kid, it didn't bother me until bedtime and it was too hot to sleep. We were all happy to get that a/c installed sometime when I was in my teens.

Anne Mackle said...

In Scotland we don't need air conditioning only heaters sometimes even in summer. When I go on holiday to Europe air conditioning is a must can't sleep without it.

spacegirl60 said...

Grew up in the South Bay area of Northern California. Where we lived it was cool enough we didn't need a/c very often (and we didn't have it either). I couldn't believe it when my grandparents had a/c put into their house in the '80's. Why? I asked. Then I moved to the Sacramento area. You HAVE to have a/c because of the extreme heat. Then I found out my sister-in-law didn't have a/c in her house and she lives in the Sacramento area too. Finally they had a/c put in. After that, they didn't go into their pool as often. It was funny. Not all parts of California need a/c.

AliceKay said...

We didn't have air conditioning when we were kids, and it got pretty hot in my parents' cinder block house. It gets mighty humid in Pennsylvania in the summer, and I remember a lot of very hot nights with fans running in the hallway to move the air around.

I wished I had central air. The room where I have my computer is the hottest room in the place, and you know I've posted how hot it's been in here before. :\

Queenie Jeannie said...

What a funny song! I've never heard of that before!!! Sounds like you really had a wonderful and blessed childhood. So lucky!!

Have a great day!

loverofwords said...

We did not have air conditioning in our cars, either. Road trips were taken with the big bag of cool water hanging from the window. I remember hot days in New York city where I grew up (until I was 7), we slept on the fire escapes outside our windows. New York is very hot in the summer. Then, the move to Colorado. Bliss. . .cool nights every night