A little over a week ago, my wife and I had occasion to take a road trip across our home state of Wisconsin. We were struck by the barren main streets. It seemed entire towns were deserted. No people walked the sidewalks. No cars were staging for parking spaces or driving the roadways. As we passed through each town it felt like a post-apocalyptic movie; it appeared as if human life had been eradicated from the earth.
After the several hours of driving, we decided to stop at a well-known fast food chain for a famous custard and cold water. We were surprised to find this particular parking lot packed with cars. When we stepped inside, we learned the restaurant-goers were self-medicating against the summer’s first heat wave with generous servings of ice cream.
My wife and I began chatting with the other patrons. Conversations centered on how to keep cool against the stifling heat. Several jaws dropped when we explained that we don’t have air conditioning in our 165 year old home. We explained that we have made adjustments to the house – and to our behavior – to ensure it stays cool and comfortable inside. Later it occurred to me that many Americans would benefit from the same advice.
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