At this time of year in Wisconsin, the weather is fickle. One day, we need sweaters and contemplate putting that extra blanket back on the bed. The next day, the temperatures soar and I'm wondering if it's time to close up all of the windows and succumb to air conditioning.
A few months ago, my husband and I attended an interesting lecture about climate change delivered by a university professor who specializes in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. He showed us diagrams and charts that helped confirm that the warmer temperatures we thought we’d been experiencing for years have actually been happening. Compared to the days of my childhood, we have indeed experienced more days that have been warmer than the norm, including during the winter months.
In this month when we anticipate summer’s official arrival, we can experience some hot, hot, hot days—blistering hot days with temperatures in the 90s and high humidity. By contrast, we can also experience cold, dreary, rainy days that make you contemplate turning back on the furnace.
We wait so long to be able to open windows in the northern Midwest that I sometimes let myself sweat for as long as I can before forcing myself to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning. I sit quietly, down lots of water and let the warm breezes blow in. Eventually, the air conditioning gets turned on—especially if we want to sleep with any degree of comfort.
I think back to the days when I was a child. Our homes and cars didn't have central air back then. We didn’t even know what that was. We didn’t have a window air conditioning unit at our house either. We planted trees. We bought box fans and we drank lemonade. We went swimming. We ate picnic-style meals that didn’t require turning on the oven. We simply adjusted our activity to the weather and accepted that hot, humid days and nights were part of summer.
I’ve become a softy as I’ve gotten older, relying on the increasing creature comforts to become my standard. But, for this month, I’m going to revert to my childhood and revel as long as I can in those warm days of old, when welcoming breezes through open windows were some of the loveliest signs of the season.