Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I am so very glad that I closed the windows on the sun porch before I went to bed last night. I am not an early riser, and while the weather prognosticators were saying that it wouldn't rain until noon, they are rarely correct, so I decided I'd better shut the place up. Well, this morning, I was an early riser -- 6:45 a.m. And guess what, it was raining! Well, the weather forecasters really missed the boat on that one.

I recall three things about Runnemede and rain.

First, in the Spring, if the weather outside was warm enough, the windows were open. There was no air conditioning, EVER. And, even when it was rainy outside the windows were still open. That house have great eaves -- they really overhang a lot, and it didn't rain in. The only time we shut the windows (on the west side of the house) was during a thunderstorm because, eaves or no eaves, wind blew the rain right in on that side of the house.

Regarding the air conditioning -- my father wouldn't have it. He had six or seven fans going in various parts of the house, but never a/c. He tried it once, but it was too cold for him -- the rest of us suffered each summer because it is really hot and humid in South Jersey, especially as close to the ocean as we were. And, dad thought the old was better and just wouldn't permit A/C in the house.

The second thing I recall is moving outdoors and basically living on the front porch when it rained. I don't recall that we had a rainy season, like here in Northern Kentucky. It seems that it rains all Spring, and we have a few hours of sunshine each week. Whereas, in NJ we had a few hours of rain, and the rest was sunshine.

I recall setting up a TV tray (that's what they called those little portable tables) on the porch, and using it for working my homework, or setting a lunch upon. In those days, the only TV tables you could get were metal, and if you put too much weight on them, they collapsed. Now they have really nice wooden ones. I wonder if they still make the metal kind.

The third thing I remember is weather forecasts. I recall more accuracy without all the radar, gidgets, and gadgets the weather people have these days. Maybe it is just that in NJ it's easier to predict the weather than it is in Northern Kentucky. It just seems to me that the weather forecasts are rarely accurate out here and so I depend on my sight rather than the local weather channel for accuracy. Even radar is often wrong. The radar scopes say it's raining or snowing, and it isn't reaching the ground. The stories I could tell about dependence on radar and it being entirely wrong.

In NJ we knew it was going to rain based on the smell. The wind always blew from west to east. The Delaware River was about 4 miles as the crow flies west of us, and the wind blew an odor our way so that we knew it would be raining soon.

So, today is a rainy day, and the prediction for this neck of the woods, or should I say part of our country, is rain for the rest of the week. Bummer.


1 comment:

Rose said...

:-) I wondered where I got my dislike of air conditioning. Weird, because I do not like to be hot and sticky- but ac just feels so fakey and it seems to hurt my bones. I don't like the shut up feel of the house either- even in winter I open my windows. Especially when it's bedtime- even if it's just a little bit.