Every once and a while, it’s a good idea to look around and see what you take for granted and give thanks.  Today I’m really happy for air conditioning.  Almost every place you go in Texas is cooled:  houses, schools, stores, government buildings, and cars.  Why?  Because on a typical summer day like today, the temperature on the ranch is 92° with a heat index of 102°.   

 I was recently reminded of the unpleasantness of the oppressive Texas heat when I visited the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site.  The outing included a tour of the Sauer-Beckmann Living History

Farm, designed to depict rural Texas life in the late 1800s to early 1900s.  The staff and volunteers wear historical clothing and do farm chores such as slopping hogs, gathering eggs, weeding the garden, and seasonally, canning and butchering.

A man was making curds and whey in the kitchen.  Although I knew the nursery rhyme, I really didn’t know what they were.  Basically, he was making cheese by heating raw milk that had soured.  Clumps formed as he stirred the pot on the wood stove, and soon, the odor of cheese permeated the room.

 My first sensation was that it was blasted hot in that kitchen!  The air was not moving despite it being a reasonably cool July day.  I thought about women wearing long skirts and the fact that making and canning your own food was not optional.  The cook explained that, when they canned, the stove had to produce high heat; they had recorded a temperature of 120° in the kitchen that day.    

This experience brought back memories of being a small child living in an un-air-conditioned house.  The heat would prey on you, causing fatigue.  Even with an attic fan rumbling, bedtime was unpleasant, and I’d lay in bed, damp and sticky.    The day my parents purchased a window unit for the living room was cause for celebration.  

 What do you take for granted?

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