Grandma was cool

Grandma never had any type of air conditioning until she sold her home and moved into a seniors’ high rise when she was about 90. Even then the temperature had to be higher than her age before she’d turn the air conditioner on.

Growing up, we never had air conditioning either, so thankfully Grandma taught us a lot of tricks for  keeping the house cool. With a record breaking 98-degrees recorded by 2:00 this afternoon and a broken air conditioner, I’m putting all of Grandma’s common sense cooling tricks to good use this weekend.

In no specific order:

  • Only open windows if the outside temperature is close to or lower than it is inside the house.
  • Only open windows at night and early morning and use fans to pump in the cooler air.
  • Close the curtains and drapes during the day to keep the sun out.
  • Position fans to keep the air moving through the house.
  • Drink plenty of cool water (she never used ice, but I do).
  • Don’t use the stove, oven or anything that generates heat.
  • Avoid heavy meals.
  • Slow down.
  • If it starts feeling hot in the house, step outside in the real heat for a moment and the house will feel much cooler when you go back inside.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.
  • And Grandma’s favorite: Always have ice cream in the freezer.

My own tip? On a really hot day, there’s not much more refreshing than some watermelon slush. It’s delicious and healthy, too!

What are some of your best tips for beating the heat?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on May 27, 2012, in Family, heat, summer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love what we can learn from the older generation when we take time to listen

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Very true! Well before sunscreen or any evidence that the sun can damage skin, Gram avoided direct sunlight whenever possible. Even at 95 she has smooth skin and barely any wrinkles. A great role model.

  2. I like the one about step outside and then go back inside. How true, both of hot and cold weather!

  3. Temps were cooler back then, don’t forget. Global warming and all…

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Don’t forget, Gram survived the summer of 1936 (I think) that had one of the hottest protracted heatwaves on record. With no AC, swimming pool, and no automatic ice maker.

      Not only was Grandma cool, she was tough.

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