Breland: Future hurricane tales may be different

Published 2:37 pm Friday, September 3, 2021

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Future hurricane tales may be different


I awoke in the black dark — a little confused as to where I was in the bed. I always have a light on somewhere and there was none. I felt a small cool breeze and sensed it was not blowing from the air conditioner. It was coming from the window, which is seldom ever opened.

It was a hot night during Hurricane Ida. There was no electricity even to move the ceiling fan. I had moved from my normal spot in the bed to be nearer the open window to feel cooler. For a few seconds, I felt a little breeze, drifted back to sleep and almost dreamed I had gone back in time.

I thought about our years as children when on hot nights we slept with our pillows placed at the foot of the bed, so we could feel an occasional little cool breeze through the open windows. The air was not frequent, but when we one blew through, it was such a good feeling.

Sometimes we would push our bedmate over because they got too close to us and added to the warmth of the night. Mother had earlier sprayed to keep the mosquitoes away.

There were nights when it was so warm, we would make pallets on the screened in porch floor to feel a little night coolness. The floor was hard, but the added coolness made up the difference. Being children, we hardly noticed those firm floors.

When the weather is so hot during the day and doesn’t cool off at night, it can produce miserable sleep. At our house at that time, there was no fan for coolness and the word air-conditioner had not been invented. Just open all the doors and windows.

Many residents have felt that way this week when electrical power was not (or still is not) there because of Hurricane Ida. Like the olden days, there was nothing to produce the coolness but to get hopeful night breezes through the bedroom windows.

There are a few ways to stay cool without electricity, but not everybody is so lucky. My daughter has a whole house generator that helped us some during the day … but the nights still came and the heat continued. Thankfully, the power was back on pretty soon.

So how did our grandparents of long ago manage when the “September Storms” came? They cooked on a wood stove, so as long as they had a pile of wood, they could cook those vegetables they had canned earlier and bake bread from the cornmeal they had stored. Water was drawn via buckets from the well, and fresh milk from the cow.

They seemingly had no worries like today of going to the store for bread and other food or getting gas, for which they had no use. Most had no way to go except with a horse and buggy.

When I was born, in most places there was no electricity. My grandparents had no electric power. I was born nearby in a little house with no electricity. The houses were located way away from the highway, where the electric power lines were found.

Later my parents built a home on the highway and electric power was ours! Dad put an electric pump in the well and there was running water in the house. Mom got her first electric refrigerator and washing machine. I was very small, but remember the move and the change.

Lamps were in my grandparents’ home and I have one in case it should be needed. Not sure where to get kerosene to keep it going, should the need arise! I had good flashlights for light in the house during Ida’s visit.

A lot of changes have happened in my lifetime. It would take a book to name all of them. I wonder how things will be when my great-grandchildren are adults and the hurricanes come? No doubt a different story will be told.

Bob Ann Breland can be reached by email at