Monday, July 26, 2021

Hot! Hot! Hot! ~ Ruthie Manier

 Record breaking heat is spreading across much of the USA and many of us are not prepared for these high temperatures. Where I live in the PNW a large percent of us don’t have air conditioning because it’s usually not needed. 

One of the genres I write in is western romance set in the nineteenth century and so I started wondering how people of that era kept cool. Of course I googled it. Found many options that were new to me. Some we still use today, others that surprised me. Here’s what I found:

* Construction of homes were built to beat the heat with higher ceilings and thicker walls on the side of the house which would receive more sun. 

* Big covered porches help keep the sun out of the house during the daylight and the long hot evenings they kept cool by sitting out on them probably drinking a cool drink like ice tea or lemonade. They would visit with their neighbors that lived close while the children played. Now days most of us have a patio or decks built on the back of the house. In the 21st century I believe we’ve become less social in some ways. Most social life is done through social media. Not face to face. When I was a child we lived in Union Gap, Washington which is a suburb of Yakima. Raised by my southern grand parents and my father we were always outside in the evening visiting with neighbors drinking cool drinks and eating watermelon or ice cream. Us kids would have watermelon seeds spitting contests. Lol!

* Window coverings made of wood so they could be closed tight to keep the sun out. I imagine they’d keep out the cold weather in the winter months as well.

* Water fountains in the middle of town’s. These were nothing like the beautiful fountains you see today. Oh no the ones from the past were more like bigger than usual troughs like they’d use for their horses. People used them for drinking water and for dunking their heads in to cool off. And that’s not all, they also let their horses and other animals drink it! Can you imagine the germs and diseases that were probably spread? 

* Iced over lakes is where they got their ice. People would cut large pieces of ice from the frozen lakes and then store it under ground or in ice houses. Then they would have ice for the summer.

* If you've got any kind of water access, lake, creek, river etc., swimming has always been one of my favorite ways to cool off! A sprinkler or baby pool in the back yard works as well.

Great news! I’m happy to announce the old version of Tombstone Ghost Cowboy series, MARISSA is with my editor and will soon be changed to Chasing Time series, Marissa. All newly edited and new scenes. Watch for it! The cover might change. Thanks for reading and I hope you join me again next month. Find me on Amazon author page, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or email me at

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

I remember summer days as a child, when all we had at night to keep cool was a box fan we put in the window. Today, I have A/C and am thankful for that, though at night I still put the fan in the window. My current pup doesn't care for the window fan, but my Nova loved it. Hugs Ruthie, and I couldn't imagine sharing a trough with animals, lol.