I grew up in a house with 16-inch stone walls surrounded by lots of shade trees. It was far too old for central air, and since my parents never even considered getting an air conditioner, both features were good things. We owned a small antique table fan, but most summers even that wasn’t hauled out. When the season heated up, we swam in the farm pond, splashed in the creek, or sipped cool drinks (or in my Dad’s case, hot tea, since he felt the added sweating it produced helped cool him). Mostly, we were pretty comfortable. The hottest place I remember was church, where paper fans (supplied by the local funeral home) were the only relief. (Here are 3 tasty drinks you’ve never tried but definitely should.) There is a good deal to be said for a paper fan once you learn to move it languidly, especially if you have no other options. I still prefer to be a bit warm for a few days in the summer rather than freeze my toes off in the sterile hum of air-conditioning all season. Though, when temps reach into the 90s and the humidity is so high you can squeeze droplets… Read full this story
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