04 May 2010

Cooking in a Tin Can

I was reminded today why so often while living in the desert we have chosen a night schedule. There was a cold front that had passed through last week, that had us looking for the heaters, socks, and sweaters. We pulled open the curtains, and raised the shades to let the sun shine in to each room to warm it up. And somewhere during that short cold spell, we had already forgotten the heat we normally have this time of year.

As the hours of today passed, the house started to warm up. This afternoon it became enough that we thought to turn on the fans. As it continued toward evening, the heat continued to rise inside becoming quite unbearable.. at one point it was 95F/35C inside. That is a far cry from needing the heater 2 days ago! That prompted me to look around at what I could do to cool the house down.. other than turning on the air conditioner. It IS only May, and the summer will get a lot hotter before it is over. We will have to acclimate to it at some point.

That was when I realized that the windows were all still closed. Getting a nice breeze going is one of the best ways to cool down anywhere, but in the desert it is an extreme way. Add a tiny mist to a breeze and you drop the temperature almost 20F/11C instantly. It is a beautiful way to cool down! So I started opening the windows a bit to get a breeze going. About halfway through the house I realized that I was not having to move shades out of the way to open those windows.. hmmmm. Geesh!

You would think at some point earlier I would have thought to block that wonderful hot sun out of the house! With that done, the house finally stopped heating up. And now as I write this at 10:30pm, it is finally starting to cool off enough to start thinking straight again. The problem is.. now it is bed time.

I suddenly remember why we gravitated to a night time schedule the last couple of years while we have been in the desert. It was out of simple practicality. How could I have forgotten that. When it is not possible to keep the house at a wool enough temperature to work at comfortably, and everyone spends the days to worn out to move, it makes sense to rest in the heat. Then we have full lives after dark, full of work, and learning, and playing.. the only thing they lack is the ease of going to the stores. Not many stores here are open at night.

But it would seem that we will be spending the summer in a different sardine can that heats well in the sun, albeit a nicer one than the last two years...

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