Sunday, July 22, 2012

They did not have central air in the 1830s

Central air is a good thing.  This is our first summer in our new home.  The last time we had central air conditioning was two houses ago, 6 summers ago.  For the last 6 years we had window units.  Very loud window units.  Very ineffective and very loud window units.  So I am appreciating the silent beauty of central air.

But now that I've lived a month into my first summer in Massachusetts, I can see why many of my neighbors opt not to have it.  Right now, at 8 am on July 21st, it is, I kid you not, 65 degrees outside.  Ahhhh, so lovely, after the heatwave we just endured here.  Scorching heat, highs of 93, with bazillion percent humidity.  But then yesterday was cool and overcast.  My daughter even wore a light sweater.  We were able to have the windows open all day.  I really like that.  I keep saying "Wow, in the 12 summers I lived in New Jersey, it never once cooled down, between Memorial Day and Labor Day."  I found that very draining.  Am I getting to be an ol' granny?  Probably.  (Not that there is anything wrong with being an ol' granny.  Ol' grannies are awesome!)  Another thing I love about Massachusetts: it sometimes cools down in summer.  (Yes, I absolutely already realize that bitter winter is mere moments away already! haha!)  It kind of reminds me of what is so neat about visiting the beach, how it cools down at night, and after feeling (happily) so hot all day, your body says ahhh, and you wear a light sweatshirt, and smile at your luck at having both hot summer day and cool summer night.

Fireflies.  Yes, they have them here.  This was a large question for my children and me.  We love fireflies.  I did not grow up with fireflies, what with them not exisiting in California, where I spent all my childhood summers.  I am equally as fascinated by them as my children have been every summer since they were aware of the yard and its inhabitants.  We had many happy nights of them chasing the fireflies around with their bug boxes, catching some, oohing and aahing at them, and then releasing them back into the warm humid night.  We have only seen a few so far here.  Read above paragraph for explanation.  From what I saw in New Jersey, not that I'm a lightning bug expert!, they seem to come out the most on the hottest and most humid nights.  When 9 year old Aidan was looking forward to summer vacation beginning, he said "If it were summer already, my only homework would be watching fireflies and eating smores."  That made me smile.  And made me feel we are providing him, and his sister, with good summer memories.

And one of our new Summer 2012 memories is our first trip to Old Sturbridge Village!  And we chose the hottest day of summer to go there! hee hee, not the hottest, but man, it gave me new appreciation and respect for those pioneer men and women (and children!), who lived during those New England summers in very hot homes, wearing very many layers of clothes.  It is a wonderful place, reminded us of Greenfield Village in Michigan, with recreations, and originals, of residences and business buildings from the 1830s.  The kids got a kick out of the photos showing one of the original houses being transported down the highway.  History, history, history.  That is one of the elements of living in New England that I had been looking forward to so much.  The funny thing is, I am not usually a history buff.  Just another thing about Massachusetts that brings out the love in me!

Okay, seriously?!
Massachusetts, you are gonna need to stop being such a show off!

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