Last night seemed too warm to sleep well and we haven’t put in the window air-conditioner yet. So, yawn, yawn, yawn, I feel groggy this morning and I remember hot summer nights when I was a kid in North Camden and here in Cramer Hill.
Do you remember how a window fan in your childhood bedroom was a treat? The hum of the fan and the relief from the heat?
But, it didn’t seem to help much on those really hot city nights. I’d get up in the middle of the night, get a drink from the red aluminum bathroom cup and put a little of my mom’s Jean Nate talcum powder on the sheet. Then, I’d get up again, get another drink and wash my face. The water tasted delicious and cold, but also a little metallic. Hmm. Did that metallic water do anything to my brain? I am getting forgetful.
Sometimes I’d take a wet washcloth and put it on my pillow. I couldn’t wait for the morning. The hot nights seemed to be the longest nights of the year.
What I loved on hot summer days was to go to Lit Brothers Department Store in downtown Camden with my mom and brother and to have a hot fudge sundae in the basement restaurant. Talk about air-conditioning? I felt that I was inside a glacier. Well, what I imagined it was like inside a glacier, to tell the truth. The temperature of the air and the ice cream seemed to be the same. I still shiver in delight when I think of those occasional cold hours in Lits restaurant.
And homemade iced tea? It made the summer heat worth it. I remember my mom putting the glass pitcher on the table and how the pitcher would “sweat.” My mother made it sweet, but there were always wedges of lemon to cut the sweetness and to make it extra good.
It’s not summer yet, but waking up this morning not refreshed from a warm night made me remember how summers felt and still can feel here in Camden. Where’s the iced tea?