August 08, 2007

95 degrees and counting

It's 5 pm on a Wednesday afternoon and it's 95 degrees outside. When we're not in the dog days of summer, at 5 pm we begin to feel a cool down but not in August; not in New York City. Every year in August we experience hot humid weather for days and days at a time. We're coming to the end of a long spell which should break tonight with thunderstorms.

Or will it? This morning's thunderstorms brought not only flooding but a continuation of the hot humid weather many of us are starting to loathe. I'm so happy that Jon and I have air conditioning. I grew up in this area without air conditioning and for as long as I can remember, brutal weather has always come at the end of July and lasted through most of August.

When I was a kid, I would go for nights without sleeping because of the heat. I would just lie awake for hours in puddles of sweat until September came. There were many nights those summers when I'd sleep outside on my porch in a sleeping bag, waking up covered in mosquito bites. When the weather did finally cool down and I could get some sleep, school would start and I would be sad about how unfair that was.

When I got to living on my own in Astoria, I spent years without air conditioning because of the wiring in my building. I could never run an A/C without jumping a circuit. But finally, the landlord rewired the building and I've been living with an air conditioner ever since.

Is the A/C making me soft? I don't know. You may or may not remember the summer before 9/11 but that was a freaking hot summer. My apartment was so hot, it was like living inside an oven. And when I would go outside I would get absolutely no relief. Those were the days before the A/C. On those hot nights I would get some sleep, but not enough to be qualified as good sleep. The only relief would come from going to work where the rooms were cooler or when I could sleep at a relative's house - a relative that had A/C.

I never get used to this weather. Some people do. And would you believe that some people actually enjoy it.

All I have to say is thank goodness for air conditioning. It's a blessing. It's expensive but it's a blessing.

I look forward to the autumn when I can open my windows and air out my house and feel a natural cool breeze, because I really don't like how air conditioned air feels or smells. But I sure do like the way it feels. We live our indoor lives at 72 degrees - 75 if we're trying to be economical.

And it's an absolute blessing.

No comments: