Sunday, September 16, 2007

59 degrees brings back memories

Our house has two AC units - one for upstairs and one for downstairs. Every night, I turn off the downstairs unit to help save some money on our electricity bill. When I come downstairs in the morning, it's always warm down here. Not uncomfortable, but noticeably warmer than upstairs where the air conditioning has been running all night.

This morning, however, was different. It was noticeably cooler downstairs than upstairs! I checked and found that it's 59 degrees out with a high in the low 70's today.

As I pulled juice out of the fridge for my son, I realized why I was smiling and feeling so content this morning. My house feels just like my grandparent's house on the farm when I was growing up. I was suddenly flooded with memories that brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart at the same time. Here are a few....

  • Even though summers consisted of 100 degree weather with almost 100% humidity, my grandparents didn't have air conditioning. They had wide-open windows, screen doors and ceiling fans. We left the windows open all night so mornings were cool and damp from the morning dew.
  • As small kids, every morning we'd all crawl into bed with Grandma and Grandpa. We'd all lay between them and smell the coffee brewing on the nightstand. Having 3 or 4 grandkids squeezed between them seemed the best way for my grandparents to start their day.
  • Breakfast around the little bistro table in the kitchen - always cereal and always, without fail, Grandma would try to get us to eat some of her Grape Nuts cereal.
  • We children (my two siblings, one cousin and myself) had the upstairs all to ourselves with Grandma and Grandpa. Our mothers (our fathers usually had to work and couldn't join us for these three-week long excursions to southern Illinois) slept downstairs and usually took their time coming upstairs. As a mother now, I can understand why they took their time!
  • We would aimlessly wander around the upstairs, waiting to find out Grandpa's agenda for the day. Would we be bush-hogging? Baling hay? There was always a tinge of excitement in the air as we waited to hear Grandpa speak. Without a doubt, an adventure was in the offing if we joined him.
  • The morning was finally underway as we all - or those of us who didn't go with Grandpa - climbed into the El Camacho (El Camino) and headed down the big hill to the garden to help Grandma.

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