Sleep­less Sum­mer Nights

Country - - FRESH AIR - KATIE MARTIN Dan­bury, North Carolina

PEO­PLE HAVE FOR­GOT­TEN about life be­fore air con­di­tion­ing. On those very hot sum­mer days and al­most un­bear­able muggy nights, it was hard to keep cool. Whole fam­i­lies of­ten gath­ered on the porch to drink tea. As the ice melted, droplets of wa­ter formed on the glass. There was noth­ing like a cold drink on a very hot day. Sleep­ing was dif­fer­ent, too. Peo­ple would rou­tinely move their beds close to a win­dow so they could feel the evening cool down. In ru­ral ar­eas, win­dows didn’t al­ways have screens, mak­ing them invit­ing to some very in­ter­est­ing vis­i­tors. Our friend told this story about what hap­pened to her brother as he slept on a hot night. A re­fresh­ing breeze be­gan to blow when she and her brother went to bed. He slept soundly next to the open win­dow. Sud­denly, some­thing woke him up. When the brother opened his eyes, he was eye­ball to eye­ball with the neigh­bor’s mule. He screamed, wak­ing his sis­ter. The mule had seen the open win­dow and put his head through to in­ves­ti­gate. Her brother never re­cov­ered from this faceto-face awak­en­ing with the mule. He still re­mem­bers it as if it has just hap­pened!

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