My folks had a fan and they knew how to use it.
Many times Dad put the box fan in a window, lowered the sill to brace it, raised or lowerd other windows to fist width, and instantly cooled the atmosphere within those hot, sticky walls. It was magic that I didn’t totally figure out till I had my own hot, sticky rooms to cool. Then I realized there was science behind his magic. Factors considered included time of day, room being used and for what, where the shade was outside and the decision to pull air in or blow it out. He always seemed to know without much fuss.
Mom made magic, too, with a box fan. Sultry city summers didn’t keep us kids from running to the park or the neighbors to run some more in games of tag or hide and seek, or from biking through the heat waves visible over concrete sidewalks. We could get hot, sticky, stinky and cranky by mid-afternoon. After quick baths we welcomed the cool comfort of naps in our underwear on top of the spreads, curtains pulled and rippling from the fan sitting in the floor or on a chair, neverminding the rattles that didn’t completely drown out the low tunes from the radio.
These summer days in the country are just as sultry; after all, this is Missouri, and you know what they say about our sizzling temps. My activity might require nothing more than standing outside watering flowers in a barrel – no running or biking involved – and the remedy for my sweaty body and cranky mood still includes a fan.
A quick cool shower, donning an oversized tee and stretching out on a patchwork quilt in an air-conditioned house doesn’t quite do the trick. But, add the gentle breeze and hum from an old box fan stabilized on a braided rug, rattles from the knobs quieted, please, and low tunes from 99.1 and nap time seems luxurious.
Perfect preparation for the next summer adventure.
“It is good people who make good places.” (Anna Sewell) My folks were good people.
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