I wrote this to answer a friend on a forum while discussing childhoods and the weather.
My dad had built our house, and it was two stories with a split level at the bottom. In the winter we huddled around a wood burning stove to stay warm. It was next to the kitchen, so we baked a lot of pot roasts to add to the heat. My bed room was upstairs, and it took many blankets to stay warm. I don’t remember ice cycles ever being inside the house, but if we didn’t restoke the fire it would get mighty cold.
Now in the summer it was different. This big house my dad built had one window unit on the other side of upstairs. This house was built with lofts in the upper part. The lofts had half walls so us kids couldn’t fall off and a walkway between. My parents slept down stairs. Well, that window unit never turned off in the summer. It never got the house below about 80, but when my dad finally allowed us to get a black and white tv it went in that room. At night we could sit there with the window unit blowing over us making the heat of the day go away.
I didn’t need an open window to hear the crickets or barking dogs. We lived in the middle of Davy Crockett National Forest, 20 miles from a grocery store and 2 miles from the black top. At night it would get so loud the buzzing in my ears never seemed to go away. I remember watching the lightning bugs light up the field in front of the house in the summer and the bright moon illuminate our property in the winter after the leaves had fallen giving it all an eerie glow.
On a dark night without any moon, it would be so pitch black that you could stub your toe on a stump when taking the compost out back, even if you knew where you were. That was no short walk either, and imagine carrying the day’s left over food. Sometimes if we had bones, and the dogs could smell them they’d circle round and trip us on the way. I remember being afraid of bears back then and wolfs. Those dark nights carrying the compost out kept me alert as you can imagine.