Is it hot where you live? Cool? Just right?
In May our part of the world experienced hotter than normal temps. We are used to high 90s in northeast Florida, but usually not this early.
May 27 100 degrees
May 28 99 degrees
May 29 98 degrees
Excerpts from Aunt Ruthie’s 1945 diary
As I leafed through Aunt Ruthie’s 1945 diary, four consecutive entries beginning with the word HOT! caught my eye.
An elementary school principal during for nine months of the year, Ruthie spent summers helping my dad at the shop, making something from wood (a shelf? a bookcase?) and for two weeks of the summer, she taught Bible school at Bossler Mennonite Church.
Ruthie wrote a letter to Naomi, the way most people kept friendships alive with people they didn’t see often. She mowed her lawn of almost an acre. Power mowers had just become available in the mid-1940s, but she probably used a push mower. Well-manicured green grass was the only respectable thing Ruthie permitted in her front yard, her pride and chore.
On the 14th, I’m surmising Grandma helped her can some cherries she bought at the Masonic Homes and Orchard.
Born in 1918, Aunt Ruthie was in her 20s when she wrote these diary entries. She looked like this:
I have an image of her walking around the house, with the yellow Dixon-Ticonderoga pencil slotted at an angle between her ear and hair. It’s often baffling and sometimes infuriating that she wrote mostly in pencil, a wood-encased core of graphite and clay. But with magnification, her cursive penmanship is readable. Did you notice? She wore a sweater on July 11, a day she labeled as Hot!
* * *
Last week I read some gripping statistics:
The world population in 1945 registered just over 2 billion. In 2019, the population on the planet hovers around 7.3 billion, nearly four times greater.
The impact on our planet is huge: more people, more factories, more cars ~ overall, a larger carbon footprint. Could this be part of the reason for extreme weather conditions we are experiencing?
- Is it hot where you live?
- How do you explain weather patterns in your area?
- How do you cope with extremes in temperature?
Good morning, Marian! I did notice that about the hot day and wearing a sweater. I was thinking we have different definitions of hot. 🙂 We’ve had two beautiful days, low 70s in the day and cooler at night. Today we’re going back to hot, sticky, and thunderstorms. If it gets too hot and sticky, I’ll turn the a/c on. When our girls were little, we belonged to a pool, and that’s how we coped when it was very hot.
Even in pencil, you are fortunate to have Ruthie’s words.
It seems as though your weather is dancing a jig. Maybe it’s leveled out since Wednesday.
Yes, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful: I AM lucky to have Ruthie’s words . . . and in her unique left-handed, right flow.
Sorry you have it so hot so early. Yesterday morning we had low 40s and I was chilly–wore longer sleeves all day. Ruthie’s diary entries remind me of my mother’s letters. I’m sure she has often begun her letters with a single word and exclamation point like that. 🙂 With her hearing problems, we get more satisfaction writing letters and I’m glad to have them. I’ll end with this: Need rain!
Have a good day, Marian!
You amused me with your comment about your mother’s letters with exclamatory beginnings. Ruthie had strong opinions, which the tone of her diary reflects. Though I suspected as much, I never saw my aunt write in the diaries we found at the bottom of her cedar chest.
We had several weeks without significant rain, but yesterday a welcome downpour came. I’ll pray the same for you.
I did notice Aunt Ruthie wore a sweater on a day she labeled as hot. I’m always freezing, so I can be seen in a sweater or jacket when it’s hot outside. We had unusually hot weather over the Memorial Holiday, but now it’s back to normal temperatures. At the day job, it always feels like winter! Thank you again for the beautiful hummingbird card. Derek and I loved it!
Sharp eyes, Jill!
I often wonder why so many businesses and offices keep their thermostats set so LOW in summer. I have the same experience when I go to the gym. The room for group sessions is freezing, unlike other spaces in the complex. When we mention it, the people behind the desk say, “We can’t change it.” ??
About the card: You’re welcome. I wonder if you noticed the puzzle at the end. (I tried the first two but skipped the configuration of 42 pieces – way beyond my pay grade!) 😀
That’s true for our building. The thermostats throughout are merely a tease…they don’t control anything. YES! Of course I did those puzzles, Marian. 🙂 That’s the first time I’ve seen something like that.
When I saw the hummingbird card, it had your name written all over it. Seeing the puzzle, I went over the top! 😀
LOL! So did I! Thank you for thinking of me. <3
Yes, I did notice that she was wearing a sweater and a winter dress even though she said it was hot: were Menonite women not allowed to expose their arms and legs then?
The world is definitely experiencing more and more extreme weather everywhere. Only yesterday, I heard on the news that it was snowing in north east Australia after record high temperatures in the summer!
We ought to be thinking about reducing the world’s birth rate and try to limit it to just 2 children per couple. Children are not dying now due to sickness or malnutrition in most parts of the world and people are living longer, so there is no need to have so many.
Mennonite women were more covered up than most, but I don’t think that’s the reason for Aunt Ruthie’s observation. Her definition of hot/cold is a lot different from mine, I guess.
Thanks too for including your thoughts about population, Fatima!
We all feel the cold differently. I was always amazed at some of our old students who would walk around in t-shirts when it was snowing, whilst I would be wearing at least 3 layers and one of them would be a thick coat!
Ha! When it comes to students, especially males, I think it is a macho thing., “cool.” I’m guessing they’re trying to say: I’m strong: The cold weather does not affect me.
I noticed that reaction with my students too. They didn’t fool me! The guys also didn’t want to use umbrellas either, even in a downpour! %-)
Yes, I agree: I am sure there was a big element of macho bravado. Boys, eh?
We have had the exact opposite – it feels like summer will never get here! Our flood plains are still full of water and our temperatures are cool. We’re all getting a bit grumpy, to be honest. Definite need for sweaters – and jackets – here.
I think you are speaking about Canada, Arlene. Both times we visited during the summer, (Quebec and Ontario) we relished the cooler temps. My hope: You can shed your sweaters very soon in June!
I wondered what a garden meeting consists of? Have any idea, Marian?
Climate change is real and coming faster than predicted even a decade ago. Population growth is a significant part of the problem, but fossil fuels, fracking, bee population collapse, tornadoes in places that never had them before, floods, droughts, forest fires, and plastics clogging our oceans. These environmental issues are a terrible legacy to leave our grandchidren.
Virginia where I live is having a lovely spring. Weather is in the 70s all week. I could forget all of the above is true. But I never do. A friend described this awareness as a “low hum.”
Thanks for extending the conversation about the causes and other effects of climate change, Shirley. My son, in particular, is doing something about the collapse of the bee population. Also, we are teaching the grand-children the benefits of re-cycling. Still, it’s not enough: Major change has to come from people in power as well.
Good question: I have no idea what Ruthie’s meant about a garden meeting: I didn’t see her diaries until after she died. 🙁
Thank you, Shirley. Yes! And sometimes it’s louder than a low hum. I also feel/hear a note of desperation in my belly.
Thanks for extending the conversation with Shirley. Our ecosystem is so fragile and worth preserving, a value I can attribute to my rural, Mennonite upbringing. Now, what to do next, that’s the BIG question!
It is getting hot here in Spain. Today it will be 30C / 86F. But there is a breeze so it is nice. We came here for the warm weather so I never complain. I thought it was funny that she still wore a sweater even though she wrote it was hot! Keep cool and carry on!!
My Aunt R. was the brainy type, so I guess she got a little mixed up between the reality and her choice of words – ha! Spain is a wonderful place to move for warm temps . . . and bright colors. After several years, I assume you and hubby have completely acclimated. Thanks for posting your perspective, Darlene!
Poor Aunt Ruthie! She must have roasted in her winter clothes. I hope she found some shade.
The temperature is 71F/21.6C. Supposed to get up to 83 today. ☀️
Your temps sound ideal to me, L. Marie. Thanks!
Good weather is such a subjective thing, your Aunt Ruthie’s diary has reminded me. But climate change is no longer a topic for opinion. Shirley hit that nail quite squarely on the head. The science is clear. But the consequences so devastating, many prefer denial (I guess; that’s certainly an opinion). I’m glad you’ve raised the issue here Marian. It’s vitally important. And yes, we’re still running our wood stove in the early mornings. No a.c. for us, ever, btw. It just makes the outside hotter.
A wood stove would unthinkable here. As you, say, weather is a subjective thing. I like your reminder that AC makes the outside hotter. What did we learn in physics? “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thanks for affirming Shirley’s reply here. Our planet has a fragile ecosystem; we need to protect it!
Hot! The lovely photograph of Aunt Ruthie – in modern parlance. I know a few people who wear sweaters even though others are sweating because of the heat.
Here it’s cold right now and it’s dusk. Warm sunny days, but cold at night. Soon, on with the warm jacket and socks, and heater.
I have no doubt of the impact of modernisation, population, deforestation and the like and the large carbon footprint that is left behind and stares us in the face. It’s so gloomy. What’s left behind can hopefully be a way of looking forward. I’ll end right now Marian, before my blood pressure goes through (my insulated) roof. But thank you for the lovely smiling photograph of Aunt Ruthie 🙂 and your post …
Your mentioning that some wear sweaters when others are perspiring underlines the fact that our thermostats are set differently.
Yes, I realize you are heading into winters where you live. And I agree that we must do what we can to raise awareness of the impact of modernisation without raising our blood pressure.
I’m glad you enjoyed the translation and the photo, Susan!
Ha ha I couldn’t remember the word ‘perspiring’ as I was typing my earlier response – no doubt due to increase of bp and not feeling very lady like 😀
On our drive to the province of Ontario the past two weeks we had only two days of sunshine! Mostly rain and coolish weather. Here in Manitoba it keeps alternating between cool and rainy to sunny and hot. Everything is starting to bloom a couple of weeks later than usual. I’m just now putting up my baskets of annuals. I remember when I was a teenager how many seniors claimed that “the world is going to hell in a hand-basket” and I vowed never to do that, but . . .just sayin’!
I wonder if the elders you heard as a youngster were referring to weather or morals. Maybe both! :-O
Basket of annuals are so lovely. I remember the geraniums and impatiens hanging from Mother’s porch. What are you growing now, Elfrieda?
I think the weather has become the new morality! We’re changing it by our wasteful behavior!
My baskets contain whatever suits my fancy. I love pansies so I always have a few off those. Impatiens go in the shady spots and geraniums in the sunny ones. And I love the smell of alyssum so it goes everywhere!
Beautiful, Elfrieda! Pansies have pretty faces, geraniums are fresh-smelling. And, oh, the alyssum, so cheery with lacy heads bobbing around. I like your take on the topic of weather and wasteful behavior. God have mercy on us!
I’m on the other side of climate change in Western NY–the cold wet side. It’s been the soggiest spring with March-like mud in June and only a few hours of sunshine here and there. The butterflies like sunshine and warmth, so they hide most of the time. Birds are still trying to work out housing which is late. I say to myself, at least we’re not having a drought or fires, but a changing climate is in the air.
Sounds like Aunt Ruthie got nasty heat but didn’t dress for it. Do you think that was about modesty, too, or just not caring about her body’s comfort? I remember oppressive pre-airconditioning heat when I was a kid in Missouri. We huddled around a big noisy fan with glasses of iced tea, heavy on the ice. My grandma still wore her corsets. Yikes!
Yes, a changing climate is in the air, has been for a while now. Though I feel sorry for the birds, I like how you phrased it: “still trying to work out housing which is late.”
About Aunt Ruthie’s odd reaction: I doubt that it was modesty alone, because we bent the church rules at home. I can only speculate, but maybe she was surprised by the quick change in temperature on at least one of the days. Still, puzzling!
I’m glad her exclamations generated some meaningful discussion. Thanks, always, for your contribution here, Elaine.
“Miss Ruth Longenecker” was my first and sixth grade teacher at Rheems Elementary School. I enjoy your weekly posts. Thanks for sharing your memories. I grew up on the farm across from Bossler’s Cemetery. Every summer we attended Vacation Bible School at Bossler’s Mennonite. My favorite memory was the continued stories.
My family discovered your blog several years ago when you posted about Mennonite weddings. Hiram Aungst was my father who married Anna Mae Longenecker. After she died he married my mother.
I now live in South Alabama serving in a year round camping ministry, Children’s Bible Ministries/Camp Victory. My daughter lives in Jacksonville, FL teaching high school math. It is always interesting to see how the Lord uses all of our backgrounds leading us to different geographical locations. I am thankful for my heritage in Lancaster County, PA. I look forward to reading your blog every week. Thank you!
Welcome! What a pleasure to find you here, Janice. You may know that I have a sister with that name.
I thrilled that you have revealed yourself as a reader for several years now. You probably know that last year we buried my brother Mark next to our parents in the Bossler’s cemetery. Here is Mennonite weddings blog post you referred to: https://marianbeaman.com/2014/06/21/anna-mae-and-hiram-a-mennonite-wedding/ I also did one about Bible School you referred to: https://marianbeaman.com/2018/07/11/come-bible-school-every-evening/ You have probably read this one too.
Thank you too for sharing a snapshot of your life after leaving Pennsylvania. Alabama is definitely more conducive to a year-round camping ministry than your home state. Like you, I value my heritage and am revealing some more of my former life as I launch my memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl very soon.
Again, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I will contact you via email soon. Blessings to you and your family, Janice!
I was surprised as well to read that Ruthie wore a sweater and winter dress during those hot summer days in 1945! It would be killing me.
I agree with you, Marian, that these weird weather patterns have to do with how the human race – consciously and unconsciously – is ruining our planet. If everyone would do their best on a micro level, things would certainly improve. But, my observation is that most people are either oblivious, selfish, or don’t think long-term, unfortunately. Of course, there are amazing people and amazing initiatives to turn our issue of global warming around as well. But, we need everyone and every country onboard.
Mark and I spent most of May in Southern Utah, where the average temperature is usually upper seventies with two days of rain that time of the year. This year, we had rain, snow and/or sleet for two weeks and the temperatures were in the 40s or 50s during the day and close to freezing at night. Unheard of! We ran our heater the entire two weeks in the morning and evening. This was the end of May!!
“Amen!” to all you have mentioned in your second paragraph, a statement of the dangers of the status quo and how to move forward.
Your diary notes of May in southern Utah only underscores the capriciousness of weather in this century. Here’s to a more temperate June for you, Mark, and Zesty!
The sweater like everyone I noticed…Here is it always hot but many Thais cover themselves from head to toe and don’t seem to feel the heat I would if I ever attempted to do that…I think the population increase would most certainly have an impact on the climate. My concern now is while looking for alternative means for production of goods I hope by utilising eucalyptus for example to weave material that the koala population who only eat eucalyptus leaves is not affected.. I think you are so lucky to have your aunts diaries to look back on…I always keep a dairy something one of my aunts encouraged me to do so one day somebody may find them interesting.:)
You did a lot of research for your post on threats to our delicate balance in nature and culture. Well done!
Yes, I do enjoy Aunt Ruthie’s diary entries, even if they are borderline illegible and sometimes puzzling. She was good to keep a record of daily life nevertheless. Thanks for reading and commenting here, Carol! 🙂
Thank you, Marian ad yes I spend a lot of time researching but I enjoy it…My diaries are in pen so hopefully no one will have a problem…:) x
I live in eastern New Mexico, where the high plains and high desert meet. So far this year, we have had two bomb cyclones hit our area, numerous thunderstorms, dozens of tornado watches, and two “Imminent extreme alert take shelter now” tornado warnings: one on March 12, the other on May 26.
Yesterday at 3:17pm, my stepdaughter called me from her job at a military base, which is located about 60 miles away from where her dad and I live.
“Mom, how’s your weather?” she asked in a shaky voice.
I told her it was stormy.
“We have a tornado!” she said. “They just announced it over the speakers. A tornado has been spotted twelve miles west of us and it’s heading this way.”
I stayed on the phone and prayed with her.
That’s the one good thing about all this extreme weather — it encourages you to do a lot of praying!
Linda Lee, thanks for sharing your weather story, complete with dialogue! Sending prayers for good weather for you ~ other blessings too. 🙂
Thank you! I just said a prayer for special blessings for you, too. 😊
I thank you, Linda Lee. Feeling weary these days but grateful for your responding to a nudge to 🙏!
Too bad Aunt Ruthie isn’t around. She is certainly someone I would have loved to have met. You have such a great women in your family, Marian.
The extreme weather we are having is certainly of great concern and I find it horrible that so many don’t believe in climate change and do nothing to change their ways of living. Years ago I took part in an Orca count in Puget sound. They are beautiful creatures and I loved being there with them. Unfortunately they are all starving to death because their food supply is gone due to climate change. Soon they will be gone, too.
I hope we are spared a difficult hurricane season this year and that more people will wake up and hear the call to action.
I just heard on the weather channel that engineers are planning to “re-direct” the course of the Mississippi River in some areas to mitigate flooding. Now the shrimpers are upset. Oh, my!
And sorry about the orca. 🙁
Yes, Aunt Ruthie was a can-do woman, and you would enjoyed her company. She was definitely a feminist, though I didn’t have the word to describe her as such back then.
So that’s where all the warm weather went, lol. first of of June and today was the first time this year I went out without a coat! 10000% Climate change = global warming. 🙂
Fingers crossed for sweeter weather in Ontario, Debby!
Thanks. And it worked today. Actual sun! 🙂
Golly! Do you see me doing the Happy Dance with you!?
Oh, was that you? Lol 🙂 x
Yes – a growing population means more cars, production, agriculture and human activity and that is definitely affecting the climate!
How right you are, Fiona!
Marian — Two days ago (in Boise, ID) it was 90-degrees and I was outside washing my car in short and t-shirt. Today, I’m in jeans and long-sleeves and I just cranked on the geo-thermal heating register in the writing studio.
I’m good with any weather as long as there’s no snow on the ground. I don’t mind seeing it in the foothills that surround us, but I’m not of fan of living in it. Been there. Done that.
Geo-thermal is a great way to go for regulating house temps. I remember you happily leaving behind Chicago winters for the more clement clime of Boise. (Yes, I saw your sparkly red car on Facebook, I believe.)
Happy writing. Relaxing weekend, Laurie.
By the way, I’m using your advanced copy of The Business of Being as a template of sorts for my ARC design. Thank you!
This is West Wales , Marian , we have what gets chucked at us🤭😂. Yesterday ( June the something ) was cold, pouring down with rain and almost gale force winds ( may be I’m slightly exaggerating) but definitely NOT summer as we know it …but all could change .
It is quite amusing to see Aunty Ruthie in a jumper on a hot day but in those days I suppose summer clothes hadn’t been invented 😂well at least how we know them .
Ha, Ha! Amusing and true: ” we have what gets chucked at us.” We can’t control the weather, just contend with it.” Mum used to say, “We’ll take what the good Lord gives,” as if we had a choice.
As to Aunt Ruthie, summer clothes had been invented; I guess she couldn’t cope too well with drastic changes in temps. I
It’s always good to hear from you, Cherry! 😉
This was so fun and interesting to read. I have a five year diary of my grandmother Williamson, my dad’s mother. It includes 1938, the very year I was born! I looked, with anticipation, to see what she wrote about her new granddaughter! ‘Anita Gail Williamson.’ That’s all! What a disappointment to me! The rest of the diary is quite interesting. They went to the show on Saturdays often. I’d like to know what movies they went to, but no, she only wrote ‘went to the show.’ There are lots of family and friends mentioned but no intimate details! Thanks, Marian, for another interesting post for you to share with us, your friends and readers.