I grew up without air conditioning, but the houses and commercial buildings were built differently. They had huge windows, several feet of roof overhang, floors raised up off the ground, high ceilings, screened porches, you didn’t turn on the lights during the day unless you needed them for a certain task or safety, and on the hottest days we had fans.
None of the schools I went to had air conditioning until my senior year in high school when they built a new library and put air conditioning in the library to protect the books. The students’ comfort was not even considered.
Now we live, work and shop in air conditioned comfort. It is unusual to be in a house or building that is not air conditioned. If I ever get the chance to build a cabin or small house, I hope to make it as energy independent as possible and not have to depend on air conditioning to be comfortable most days.
Not that I am any kind of geezer who complains about the “Good Old Days,” but it bothers me a little that today’s kids go to school on a totally different schedule than what I had to observe when I was in school. Around here, they start back to school the first week of August, which is more than a month earlier than when we started back the day after Labor Day, and that ends their “Summer Break.”
Then, the kids here get off two weeks for what they call “Fall Break,” then they get “Winter Break” and then “Spring Break.” Notice the pattern? They have removed references to holidays. Also, they have shortened what we called summer Vacation to just 2 months, instead of three. That is because they spread that other 4 weeks out during the year to give them longer “breaks.”
Maybe the kids like to have “Fall Break,” but what on earth do all the parents who work do with their kids being home for two weeks in October? I don’t know many employers who are going to happily let the moms stay home for two weeks, especially no one who works in retail when they are ramping up for the Christmas shopping season. There is not much to do in October – it’s too cold to go swimming or fishing and there are no festivals or fairs or anything fun to do with kids.
I think the school administrators are trying to gradually force year-round school on everyone and by sneaking in a few days here and there they are hoping that nobody notices. That annoys me greatly. I don’t agree with year-round school and I LIKE having the kids out of school for three months in the summer. And I like having time for the kids to play sports, go visit family, and just have fun being kids. What do you think about year-round school?
Yesterday was obviously Monday, but since it was Labor Day and most of us with good jobs had the day off from work, today is our work weeks Monday. I had a hard time all day remembering that it is Tuesday, as it really did feel like a Monday.
Here in Nashville, Labor Day means little. There are no parades, it is not the end of summer as we have at least another month of warm weather, and school started back in August. It is just a day to go to the Lake and fish or swim, or a few lucky ones go out of town for the 3 day weekend.
Back in the Northern Virginia area, Labor Day is a big deal. It means the end of summer. Swimming pools close the day after Labor Day. School starts the day after Labor Day. People with beach houses have to go for the last long weekend with nice weather and pack up everything to shut down the house for the winter. And we do have parades and festivals all over town.
What does Labor Day mean for you? I was glad to have a day off and got a lot of yard work done, washed and waxed the car, and then grilled some steaks for my friend Eric and his girl, Wanda. Only thing that would have made it better was if I had a nice boat and could have spent a few hours sailing on Percy Priest Lake.