Trying to stay cool has a complete different meaning from our teenage years to our older years.
"Cool" may not be a word teenagers use anymore. It is a word from my generations' past. Everything was always "cool." We all secretly wanted to come across as a cool teenager at about 13 or 14.
I think most of us, as we got older, not only want to be cool, we demand it. Of course I am not talking about our cool personality, dress or look -- I am referring to lower temperatures.
We go from our air conditioned homes to our air conditioned cars to our air conditioned offices and back to our homes with very little time spent in the heat.
I started to dread the heat before June even arrived when the temperatures reached the 90's.
How did we survive in the good old days? We didn't grow up with air conditioning. We had a fan blowing a little hot air around the room. The fan would keep the mosquitoes blown off most of the time. Many times we traveled at night because it was just too hot in the daytime. When the sun went down we would take off, roll those windows down and drive all night.
I guess you can't miss what you have never had. We just did not know the luxury of being cool during the summer months.
The subject matter for this column came to me as I listened to a family talking about their air conditioner going out last week. She was not happy, and I could certainly relate to her misery.
We look forward to the end of a long winter only to start dreading the hot summer. If I didn't like to complain so well, I would move to a place where the temperature remains around 75 degrees year round.
I know it is hard to believe, but I was once an outside person. I loved the sun and water.
On a serious note, with the summer heat, we should take precautions and not overdo it. I have heard of several people who have gotten too hot already this year -- and summer is just now arriving.
People who have to work outside should make sure to drink plenty of liquids and take breaks. We should not take heat-related illness lightly. It can be very serious.
Other precautions include wearing loose-fitting clothing, wearing hats, performing outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the evening when possible, and do not drink beverages containing too much caffeine.
Seek medical advice immediately if feeling unwell from the heat. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include giddiness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath and mental confusion.
There are jobs that can only be done outside, so again, I caution those outside workers to be careful. Some people just enjoy working in their yards and gardens, participating in sports activities and being out in the sunshine, but they need to use common sense and not overdo.