How did we keep cool in the old days? We really didn't move much. On super hot days we would start with a light breakfast of fruit, juice, and maybe some cold cereal. We didn't clean the house that day...we pulled the shades or blinds and made the house really dark. Mom could be seen carrying a bottle of coke around with her. She would make pitchers of lemonade for us to drink. We wore very skimpy clothes...Mom's outfit was a cotton housedress from the Cotton Shop. She really took the day off...no big meals to prepare that day. In the early afternoon the wash tub would be put out in the backyard. She would fill it with the garden hose and I could sit in it and keep cool. She would drag an aluminum lawn chair over and sit with her feet in it. There we would be...sitting in the water and drinking our cold drinks. I remember how I hated to take naps. In the days of the polio scare, the late afternoon was spent in bed. I could read books and play with my paper dolls, but I had to rest. I had had polio as a very little girl, and my Mom and Dad were so scared that it would strike again. My neighbor's Mom lived her life in an iron lung just down the street. We had one big fan that was kept in the kitchen window, so Mom would be cooler while she cooked. It was so loud...sounded like a small plane taking off. There we would sit...eating our dinner with the loud fan right next to us. I swear, if we had used paper plates they would have been sucked into the fan. Salads were a specialty on a hot summer day. My favorite was a tomato, from Dad's garden, stuffed with tuna salad or cottage cheese. Dad had to have a piece of meat...after all he was a working man. A light dessert made with jello was often on our table. Iced tea was consumed by the gallons. The Good Humor Man was a special summer evening treat. It was expensive, but once in a while I was treated to my choice of ice cream treats. I would just stand and stare at his menu to make my decision. I'm sure he got tired of waiting for me to make up my mind, but he never hurried me. The evening couldn't come soon enough in those hot days. The sun went down and people started coming out to sit on their porches. Ours was a small stoop, but big enough for two metal chairs, painted yellow....to match the shutters on the house. We had brown cloth awnings on the house to keep the sun out. We would holler across the street..."Hot enough for ya?" Our pregnant neighbor, across the street ate popsicles all the time. She was teased about this...some of the women would make her popsicles with those little plastic forms...and take them across the street for her to eat. I remember one day...she threw the dishes out in the trash. She was so hot that she didn't want to do the dishes after supper...and out the door they went. Later her baby boy was born and my Mom and Dad called him the "Popsicle Kid" We would sit on our stoop until bedtime for me. I always had an early bedtime..polio you know....my Mom would sit out longer into the evening until the mosquitoes chased her in. I had a bedroom upstairs, after my brother was born. The bed had no blankets or spread in the summer. I just slept with a sheet in that hot bedroom. It never seemed to bother me, as I recollect. We were used to it...tougher people in those days. We spent our summer like this in the days before I could ride my bike to the swimming pool.