Sleeping in Satan’s Hut

Back in the day, I was in the Peace Corps.  I lived in the south of Thailand where monsoons, scorpions and hot air was the norm.  Air conditioning was something you only enjoyed in the capital city bank lobbies.  After the Peace Corps in the early to mid 90s, I moved to Chicago and as you may remember, nearly 1000 people died from heat one summer.  During this time, I was still accustomed to the Peace Corps heat and would cuddle up under a down comforter, in my bedroom on the 3rd floor of a non-airconditioned building.  Fast forward to today.  Post 2 kids and many years and pounds, I live in a modest bungalow in Oak Park, Illinois.  We have radiator heat with no central air.  We operate window units, except in my bedroom where we have a portable air conditioner.  This serves as our air in the summer and our heat in the winter.  It has been a lifesaver the past couple of years.  In early June, however, Danby, as I call him, died.  No longer did he pump refreshing cool breezes into our chamber of heat on the 2nd floor of our house.  We have had a VERY hot summer.  For those of you who think Chicago is like Alaska it is not, it gets frigging hot and on the 2nd floor, it is like an oven, or as I like to call it…Satan’s little hut.  Given that we are saving for a European trip this year, I decided, “We don’t need an air conditioner” My husband, who happens to be from Africa and should be able to handle the heat protested and resolved to sleep in the kids’ bedroom!   But, I have decided to stick it out for the summer.  One night recently, when the humidity was 100% and the temps were in the 90s I fell asleep and at some point woke up delusional and convinced it was raining on my pillow.  There was a pool of water on the pillowcase.  I guess I didn’t mind too much, because I flipped the sucker over and went right back to sleep.  Don’t call me sister sustainability, ask anyone, I am a sweaty pig who would live in front of an ac vent if I could.  But, to save the money I am going to withstand this summer of heat in hopes that they’ll finally make a window unit small enough for my bedroom window next year.   Suggestions for a 10″ verticle window opening?



  1. Sister Sustainability, who in all honesty is contemplating renovating her own attic, wishes to point out that that area wasn’t really meant to be inhabited. Your ceilings in that third floor apartment were higher and windows larger. But as I said I am contemplating renovating my even smaller attic.

    On the other hand, and on a slightly cooler note, it is less warm without Samir up there than it would be with him sweating next to you. Our AC is out and I, angry with my husband for not attending my birthday celebration, took Niamh in the other room to sleep. Much more comfortable.

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