It’s been hot enough lately here in Iowa to fry an egg on the sidewalk.
The recent hot weather spell reminds me of my growing up days in Tulsa. Summers in Oklahoma were always hot and humid. On average, a summer day in Tulsa would be 8-10 degrees warmer than here in Iowa.
Most days were in the upper 90s and a number of days reached the 100-degree mark and beyond. The hottest I remember was 109. I remember one June in the early 1980s when it was 103 for several days in a row. Toss in the humidity and the heat index would be well into the 100s.
We didn’t have an air conditioner in our home in the early days. My folks bought a 400 BTU Frigidaire window unit sometime in 1968-69.
It was installed in the dining room for years. It was later moved to the living room after my folks added on to the house. We used box fans to help circulate the air. My mom had a rule that the air conditioner didn’t come on until it was 92 on the thermometer. I remember it running every summer day.
When I was a kid, I would come in from outside and lay on the dining room floor and soak up the cool air. I had a slip ‘n slide and spent many summers playing in the water. And there was McClure Pool a few miles away where I could swim or I would ride my bicycle to Florence Park and play in the sprinkler for fun!
At night, Mom turned the AC off and turned on the attic fan. Many old southern homes had attic fans. Ours was installed above my bedroom. It was basically a large box fan with a timer to set how long the fan would run. By morning, I was usually wrapped up in a blanket.
Many older homes in Tulsa had large screened windows and big porches. Back in the day, folks would open the windows and sit on the porch on a hot day and visit with the neighbors. Fans were used to circulate the air.
We didn’t have anything like that at our house, but we did have a lot of love and good memories. I always drive by my boyhood home when in Tulsa to jog my memories of growing up in a good, Bible-believing family where I was taught right from wrong.
When I erred in my ways, I was met at the front door by Mom with a belt or switch in hand. I remember one time going shopping with Mom and one the neighbor ladies. I don’t remember what I did, but Mom threatened me with the switch when I got home, which meant I was going to get a good backside whooping. Mom had a way of putting the fear in me.
We pulled into the neighbor’s drive and unloaded her groceries. I didn’t wait for Mom, opting to take off for the house and the security of my bedroom. On the way in the door, I picked up the large family Bible and carried it to my bedroom.
When Mom arrived home, she opened my bedroom door and had to chuckle, seeing me there reading the Bible. It was my saving grace!
It wasn’t always the case. If I got in trouble at school, and I did on occasion and got a spanking, I was sure to get one at home.
And I can’t forget about her paint paddle, which she used to keep me in line. I will always be thankful for what my parents did to steer me in the right direction in life.
And thinking about families and the importance of spending time together, it is good to see people out and about these days enjoying and celebrating life.
There was a nice turnout for the Brooklyn Flag Festival events earlier this month, which included a parade featuring an Iwo Jima float in honor of Harold “Pie” Keller, family events in Landes Park and the Brooklyn Ruritan Car Show on Sunday.
And coming up, the Montezuma Business Boosters will be holding the first of three Booster Bashes on Thursday, June 24 on the Courthouse Square. They are held the third Thursday of each month and feature music, games and a car show.
Grinnell hosts Music in the Park on Thursday evenings throughout the summer.
And Montezuma’s “Let Freedom Ring” Celebration will held on Saturday, July 3. There will be the famous Lions Chicken BBQ, a parade starting at 10 a.m., kids bouncy houses and fireworks at Lake Ponderosa that evening. And after a year layoff, Grinnell’s Fourth of July parade and fireworks return on Independence Day.
Grinnell Ag Days returns in late August and the Poweshiek County Fair returns in full force this year. Conference judging takes place on July 10 followed by open class judging on July 14. The main fair is held July 15-19. And of course, the Iowa State Fair is on the horizon, Aug. 12-22. And one of my favorites, the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion is back, Sept. 2-6.
Enjoy the summer and enjoy time with your family. It is time well spent.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.
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