As I sit in glorious air conditioning, I had an image of the summers when I was a little girl. I looked it up and they weren’t nearly as hot as today, but hot enough. Glad they invented air conditioning before global warming!

Our first air conditioners were window units and we only had one to begin with. It was in our den, so we spent a lot of time there playing board games and card games in the summer. But sleeping was another matter. Houses were built for circulation and we had fans and attic fans, so we opened the windows at night and laid on top of the covers spread eagle, waiting for a breeze. Sometimes there was no breeze at all and it could get miserable. Or the fans made it too cold and you had to cover up eventually. I don’t remember anybody I know having allergies so we just breathed in whatever the air brought and were grateful for anything that cooled us off.

In the house where I grew up, at least until I was about 10, we had a screened-in porch right off of my bedroom. Sometimes we made our beds out there in the summer or we slept under the stars. Anything to keep cool.

2501 S. Birmingham Pl.  Tulsa OK

We wore shortie pajamas in the summer and I can picture us sneaking outside to run in the dark yard at night, feeling the dewy grass between our toes, or playing cards on the bed.


I loved that house with its big side yard for playing softball or running through the sprinklers. I don’t see as many kids playing in sprinklers today, but there are great splash pads in the parks.

We also waited for Jack the Milkman to come by because he would chip ice for us to suck and sometimes let us ride in his truck for a block or so. The ice cream truck would come by with popcicles and ice cream bars for about a dime. We’d run to get our change when we heard the bell announcing his presence in the area.

We also traveled to Oklahoma City just about every weekend to see my grandparents and aunts, uncles, cousins there. We didn’t have air conditioning in our car or even the turnpike, so we drove old Route 66 with the windows down, arriving sticky at the least.

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When I went to my grandmother’s house in southern Oklahoma, Ardmore to be exact, we couldn’t wait to get there in the summer. She would make “squares” for us, which were Kool-Aid (just the powder mixed with lots of sugar & water) poured into ice trays and frozen. I’m not going to explain ice trays. We would get a bowl of squares and sit on her front porch, swinging on her porch swing, sucking on our cherry or grape squares (my favorites). Here’s a picture of my mother as a teenager in front of the house with the porch swing.

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It was hotter down south so we would walk to the ice plant and get chips of ice from them. Then we would try to catch the horned toads (or horny toads, as we called them) in the dusty yard.

Sometimes I feel like I grew up centuries ago with all the technology that has developed over my 67+ years. Hard to imagine how much has been invented in my lifetime and how much more comfortable our lives are.

But, sometimes, I’d like to swing on the porch swing with my bowl of squares and just enjoy the summer breeze, swinging as high as I could go.