Friday, August 10, 2007

I Can't Take the Heat!

Okay. So a week of blistering heat and humidity so thick it nearly chokes you when you merely open the door has me wondering, as I've wondered often in the past, just how did the pioneers survive without air-conditioning?

I like air-conditioning. I mean, I REALLY like it. But unfortunately, my line of work means working in other people's homes, and it is absolutely appalling to me how many people there are in this world who do not have air-conditioning!

I've been working 12-14 hour days lately, and approximately 80% of the homes I've visited have been devoid of a/c. Fans are nice in some weather, but they didn't do a thing in this heat and this humidity except blow more stifling heavy air around.

Now, I am well educated about hydration and such, and yet, I spent so much time out in this heat this week that no matter how much I drank (and it probably didn't help that the water was boiling hot after about 11 am anyway, so while it would still hydrate my body, it certainly wouldn't help in lowering body temperature at all), it wasn't enough. I don't typically sweat... well, I sure did this week. I was sticky and wet all day long, as I went from a hot stuffy house to a hot stuffy car to another hot stuffy house hour after hour.

The final straw was when I had to stand outside in the blistering sun for thirty minutes attempting to confine an extremely hyperactive wet sandy toddler to a small unfenced area in the hopes of preventing him from being charged by an angry horse, while his mother and older brother argued back and forth about who was going to be the one to get that horse back in the barn where it belonged. It was the longest thirty minutes of my life, and it certainly pushed me over the edge from hot and miserable into true heat exhaustion.

And that's what got me wondering -- how on earth did the pioneers survive, truly? I'm not talking, how were they not hot and miserable, because I'm sure they were, but how did they prevent themselves from suffering from heat stroke! I guess I could have used some ginger water. ;)

1 comment:

kittyhox said...

I hope you get some relief from the heat soon.

I often wonder what people from the past did without modern day conveniences. Air conditioning. Indoor plumbing. Diet Coke. Just kidding (sort of).

I read a book that was a collection of journal entries from women on the Oregon trail. It was amazing. Women set out on the journey seven or eight months pregnant and gave birth on the way. Dealt with menstrual issues and illnesses and diarrhea (spelling). Crying babies, discipline, sibling rivalry. Buried children and husbands along the way. Endured the occasional robbery or scuffle with Native Americans.

I even wonder how my grandmother got through life with five children (plus an infant who died) in seven years.

People must have been a lot tougher in those days. I know I am positively spoiled! We live in Seattle and I still use air conditioning!