It has been hot and humid lately. Really sticky. Today, most of us have air conditioners to help manage the days when it feels too uncomfortable to move, like walking through pea soup, but I remember, fondly, the days when a good fan was all you had at your disposal.
One summer, I was spending time at my aunt’s house and I remember, quite vividly sharing both a sofa and fan with my cousin Joy. My aunt had one of those large L shaped couches, and we slept, toe to toe, each taking a section of the couch. We also had a single oscillating fan, powered on to it’s highest position.
I can remember laying on the couch, not sleeping much because of how warm my entire body was, and waiting, for what felt like an eternity for the fan to swing my way. It had one of those knobs you could pop up so the movement would stop and the fan would deliver all it’s wind in one direction, but since there were two of us, we had to share the wealth.
The other memory I have from that night is before falling asleep and when we woke up, both my cousin and I took turns sitting with our faces directly in front of the fan and talked, giving ourselves robot voices and fits of giggles. The heat was oppressive, but the fan gave momentary relapses of respite.
Today, my air conditioner takes over when the mercury rises to unbearable levels. No waiting fo for the fan to hit me. No robot voices. I’m grateful to have the technology to control my immediate environment, but I’m also thankful for the time in my youth, with my cousin and a fan.