“It Was Just Right”

The weather around the world has confounded the best of us with either too much or too little rain and too much or too little heat. But in the early part of this summer I found myself basking in moderate temperatures, unusual for New England. The humidity never rose to an unpleasant degree. The thermometer often hovered between 70 and 75 degrees F and it felt very familiar and very comforting. I kept saying ” this feels like Oregon summer weather.” Except by this point the Pacific Northwest was experiencing record breaking and literally fatal heat. So maybe I was casting that rosy glow of nostalgia over my childhood summers.

Then I found the chart pictured above. I spent the 1950’s as a child aged 3 to 13. I loved being outdoors: swimming, walking to see friends, biking, camping and going to camp. And I hadn’t been idealizing that time; it really was much cooler than the following decades. Although it was atypical weather over time, it was the summer of my memory.

I am grateful that for a couple of months in 2021 I was transported by my senses back to the 1950’s. No humidity. No need for air conditioning(which we never had when I was a child anyway.) A gentle breeze. Walking without effort. Sitting outside. Knowing that I hadn’t imagined those years in the 1950’s. Summer 2021 really was “just like the good old days.”

28 thoughts on ““It Was Just Right”

  1. When I think back to my 1950s childhood in New Jersey I remember steamy summers but also much colder winters with more snow than we get now and frozen lakes ponds to skate on. Who knows whether I am right but your memory being validated encourages me to believe mine might be too.


  2. I think the summers of our youth were the best regardless of the weather. I remember endless days of playing and swimming and listening to the radio in the sunshine! How nice to have those memories brought back to you in 2021. As you mentioned, here in the Northwest we’ve had record breaking heat and almost no rain. You can barely survive here anymore without A/C.


  3. As a child I remember our seering hot summer days in the mid west of NSW here in Australia.
    But it was a dry heat not humid. So much more pleasant.
    Humidity really does zap the energy.


  4. My nephew lives in Portland, and he says it has been miserably hot this summer. Wildfires are raging all over the west. We could use some cooler temperatures, but mostly a lot of rain.


  5. Glad to see some evidence of my own memories of childhood summers in London in the late 1950s. Rarely too hot for comfort, not much rain at all in July and August, and being able to play outside for the whole of the six-week school holiday. When I wrote about that on my blog, I was accused of looking back with ‘rose-tinted glasses’.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  6. Also being from the Pacific Northwest, I recall idyllic memories.

    The smells of pine forest on a hot summer day

    The peace of a foggy meadow in the morning when it is filled with grazing elk

    No place I have found that compares


  7. Childhood summer nostalgia is a good thing! I remember hot and steamy, but no matter the weather, summers were delightful. I’m glad you were transported back to your childhood.


  8. My memory of 50s and 60s summers here in England is that they were rarely too hot, cold or wet – just right as you say. I agree that as children we don’t really notice the weather, and am thankful that it was the done thing then to be outdoors when we could. The weather has definitely changed now – cold or wet when i t should be warm, too hot when it should be mild. It’s awful to think where these changes will lead, although we probably won’t be here to see the worst of it.


  9. I wonder why anyone doubts climate change. I was in Southern California as a kid. I still am, as a retired senior citizen. We never had air conditioning, nor did we need it. We had rainy days, unlike now. The over 100 temperatures were nonexistent when I grew up. It has changed for the worse over the years. Fires everywhere down here. No wasting water for me, which means no lawns anymore. Rainy days here are few and far between. I am thrilled on the rare occasion I see a small bit of rain.


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