Open Windows by Deb Tish

I have a theory. There are air conditioning people and there are open window people. I’m into open windows. To me, there’s nothing more irritating than waiting for the warmth of summer, only to return to shivery temperatures in overly air conditioned stores, banks, movie theaters.

Thankfully, my husband is an open window guy. We open up the house as soon as it’s warm enough in May and keep it open until September. In every room, we’ve got wind blowing, birds chirping–good solid summer action. The only time we turn on the air is during the very worst of heat waves.

Yesterday was the start of a mini heat wave in Toronto. Temperatures in the high nineties, humidity, water bans. Sunday night had been a hot one for sleeping, so Monday morning we decided to shut the windows, turn on the AC and cool the house down.

I hated it.

Even with the thermostat set to 77, the house felt too cold. I wandered from room to room, looking for a warm spot to park my laptop and wandered right out into the backyard. Into the searing heat. Set up my computer, brought out a cup of coffee, and sat down.

But something wasn’t right. Writing outside during a heat wave demanded more than a dirty wooden table and an umbrella crawling with bugs. I went inside and found a cotton tablecloth, set it up under my laptop. Now we were getting somewhere. Working outside in the smog and humidity was becoming an occasion. I clipped a few roses from a wild rose bush out front, plopped them into a vintage milk bottle and placed them on my tablecloth. I could almost imagine I was in a Hemingway scene, though I highly doubt he’d have written in the faded pink tablecloth. Austen, maybe?

By the time I sat down I was the envy of, well, the backyard.

I was also hotter than hell. For the tinest speck of a moment, I thought the heat might have beaten me and contemplated hauling my little scene into the kitchen. But I didn’t. And as the day grew hotter, I grew more and more acclimatized. I worked outside for about nine hours, through lunch, through the five boys swimming in the pool, through dinner. Until dusk, really. But even then I stayed outside to swim with my youngest son, Lucas.

Lucas and I finally went inside around 9:30 to watch a movie of his choice. It was nice in the house, cool. As much as I adored my day in the heat, the air conditioning felt great. Just as I sank into the couch, back in my sweatpants, sleepy with the perfect temperature of the house, the phone rang. My other son needed a ride home.

Back out into the heat for me.

Today will be even hotter, but I’m up for it. My scene outside is still set. As soon as I finish this post, find the right pajama bottoms, pour my coffee, I’m out of this closed-up house.

What about you guys–are you a/c or open window? 

P.S. Stop by GalleyCat and vote for the Town House trailer… GalleyCat –  

13 Replies to “Open Windows by Deb Tish”

  1. Definitely an opne window person. I adore hazy, hot and humid, though I worry for my children and pets. Central a/c makes me a little anxious because unless the air ducts are cleaned properly and regularly — and who does? — there’s no telling what bacteria is festering there. Just the thought of it makes me gasp.

  2. My body has always had a low tolerance for humidity so AC is a lifesaver in the summer; however, the brisk air of autumn and cold winds of winter completely energize me.

  3. I would love to say I’m an an open window person, just like I’d like to say I’m an athlete, a great cook and a person who grows my own herbs. I would love to be, but I’m not. I’m ashamed to say it, but I am in my chilly Toronto living room right now, happily wearing a sweatshirt. My husband also works from home though, and will want to turn the AC off the second he gets back, so I’m soaking it up while I can. (He usually wins the arguement because he has environmental and financial concerns on his side.)

  4. I’m a fair skinned redhead so spending my day outside is almost impossible even with a great sunblock. I’d burn to a blistered crisp! My husband works outdoors and will be out in the hotest weather. I’d love to be an outdoor, open window woman but mother nature seemes to have different plans for me.

  5. I adjust rapidly to summer temperatures, although I’m kind of a wuss about the cold. Right now I’m wearing a hoody in my A/C-chilled office, wishing I could stay outside where it’s sunny and 90 F. I’d rather be outside, because the sunshine feels so good and the heat and humidity aren’t that bad to me.

  6. I am definitely an open-window person. My husband is too. Like you, we like to hear the outside action after a long winter of being cooped up inside. Also, I hate paying high utility bills in the summer!Fortunately AND unfortunately we have wind every day, which allows us to go without air conditioning most of the summer. Fortunately because it keeps the air moving in the house and keeps us cool, but unforntunately because I would LOVE to work outdoors! I just need to figure out a way to keep my papers under control while I’m working :).

  7. I’m an open window person which is a good thing since I don’t have ac. Yes it is stinking hot right now. Luckily we don’t get too many of these nasty days in

    But people think I’m strange because if I had to choose one over the other I’ll take -20 over +30. I like the cold and I suppose my Viking blood comes through. Not that I want to be cold, it is that I can take it and I can always get warm. I can’t get cool enough in this heat unless I can find AC and that isn’t always possible or comfortable beyond the temperature. Cool is nice but stuffy high pressure zones I usually find is less to my taste. I’d rather throw on a coat and go into a snowstorm.

    As to the duct cleaning, I think you’re better off not over doing it. In fact you’ll likely blow more crap into the house by cleaning it. If the crud is stuck to the ducts than that is where they stay. It is propaganda that you must clean them every year. Safer to let it be for several years at least. or…… open a window.. 🙂

  8. I’m an open window person unless it’s very hot, but Scott likes to keep the house cold enough to hang meat in all year round! In truth, I have horrible allergies so it’s better I don’t breathe the outside air all the time (although I’m allergic to dogs and I have one of those ;)). He works downstairs where it’s coolest and I work up and hope that heat really does rise. I had the ducts cleaned when I moved into this house last year — the house was built in 1979 and they’d never been cleaned before. There was still construction debris, lots of dust and a dessicated critter or two in there so every few years, it’s not a bad idea.

  9. I’m a hybrid, I think. I have my windows open whenever possible. Much prefer it to air con… But I have to say, anything over 30 degrees and my air con goes on. I only have it set at about 27, but that keeps my third floor, where my office is, bearable, barely.

    Yesterday was crazy though. You were brave to work outside. On the other hand, I think because it was the first hot day in a while, everyone cranked their air con. I tried to work in a starbucks for a while but was so cold I was shaking and it took me ages to warm up again, even in the heat.
    Today I’m happily in an airconditioned cafe though, typing away…

  10. I live in Hawaii and we don’t have A/C, but I have to admit that I am a total A/C kind of gal. The worst kind, in fact — one of my weaknesses is riding in a convertible with the top down and the A/C on (note: we don’t have a convertible and this happened one time when it was extremely muggy and we were on vacation and I wanted to have my “hair in the wind” convertible experience). I’m not good with humidity and I like things comfortable and dry, which I’ve found can best be controlled by A/C. Plus I’ve lived in a lot of muggy climates where you would take A/C over cash or chocolate any day. And you know it takes a lot for me to give up chocolate …

Comments are closed.