The garage seemed so big … and to think it was one-car (we currently have a four-car garage). The split-level look now seems to scream Brady Bunch and 1970s, but I was fascinated by it. We had stairs – about 6 steps to upstairs, and 6 to down.
What I’m really thinking about today, however, is the heat. We seem so spoiled today, with almost everyone having central air. When I was growing up, we didn’t have it – and I don’t think anybody did that I knew of. Sometimes people would have “window unit” air conditioners in one room (incidentally, when I taught school, our 100+-year-old building had window units in just the teacher’s lounge and the principal’s office).
We had a ceiling fan, but not the kind people have now. Upstairs, in the hall, there was a switch to flip and then vents would come open in the ceiling and a fan in the attic would turn on. We used it at night to try circulating that humid southern Indiana summer air.
I remember on really hot nights, the whole family would sleep on the living room floor on the house’s main level. We left only the screen door shut, hoping for a breeze.
A related “heat” memory: when I went to Indiana University, there was no air conditioning in the dorms (you were allowed to bring a window fan). Believe me, dorm rooms on the 13th floor got pretty darn hot in August. And, the heat was turned on for all the buildings at once – on November 1st. No matter the weather, that date didn’t vary – and it sometimes got pretty cold! When I think of some of the helicopter parents out there today, coupled with the fact of apparently half the kids having allergies of some type, I’m assuming that things are different now.
What do you remember about the heat – or cold – of your childhood?