When I was growing up, we didn’t have air conditioning. It wasn’t that we lived somewhere that didn’t get hot, we just couldn’t afford it. My Mom was a full-time mom. My Dad was the sole supporter of our family of 6. There was no room in the family budget for something as expensive as air conditioning.
Back then, we really didn’t know what we were missing. Having the windows open was just our way of life. I often miss that in this air conditioned world.
I always want to have a lazy day when it is perfect spring weather and the windows are open. I hear neighbors mowing their lawns. I hear the children laughing and squealing while playing.
There’s something about those sounds that make me want to close my eyes and just remember. Remember my friends and the fun we had playing as kids. Remember my Dad and all the other dads mowing the small lawns in our neighborhood.
I remember tying a beach towel around my neck to play batman and always ending up with skinned knees; playing catch with my sisters on the sidewalk in front of the house; playing block ball in the middle of the street, drawing the blocks with chalk.
Playing hide & seek until dark; playing red rover and kickball; swimming in our backyard pool when it was finally warm enough.
My parents would allow us to get an ice cream from the Good Humor man occasionally, and it was a big a treat Being allowed to walk the few blocks to the corner store to buy penny candy or a coke was also a big treat.
Our lives back then seemed so carefree, unstructured. There was no soccer practice, no gymnastics, no dance class. There were no computers and Mom set limits on how much TV we could watch. Board games were for rainy days.
We left out of the house in the morning, stopped in for lunch and dinner, and stayed out until it got dark, when all through the neighborhood you could hear the parents calling their kids home. As long as my Mom knew where we were and who we were with, it was pretty much okay.
The world felt much safer and simpler then.