Summer in the city this year has had plenty of ups and downs for Tom. My presence has provided the loving companionship he missed for 35 years but at the same time it brought concerns for him that he wasn't meeting my needs - thermally speaking.
Living and working in Toronto during the summer is something Tom has done for many of his 63 years. Air conditioning is not common in structures greater than 25 years old and is thought by many to be necessary only where there are heavy heat producing objects since really hot humid days rarely occur more than 4 in succession. Needless to say, our 50 year old apartment building is not air conditioned.
While I lived and worked in air conditioning in Arizona for the 12 years prior to joining Tom, I "survived" the previous 12 years in a house with only a "swamp cooler", which cools air by adding moisture.
I find that if there is air movement in a room in some direct proportion to the temperature and humidity, I am comfortable. To increase the air flow in our apartment living room beyond that obtained with 2 windows open and a floor fan operating, I would frequently open the balcony door. This drew Tom's ire with the first sighting of a fly in his space. Now I'm no fan of flies either and heartily agree that "the only good fly is a dead fly". The only solution, Tom moaned, was to get an air conditioner with all the inherent problems of installation for only a relatively few day a year. In my view the solution was to screen the balcony door.
The requirements for screening the door were considered:
I recalled a catalog item I'd seen years before in the US and we utilized the main material - flexible nylon screen. To this we added magnetic tape which clings to steel square rod bolted to the aluminum door frame. About 14 inches at the bottom is free at the edges for Moose passage.
While Tom wasn't enthusiastic about the idea as I initially outlined it. He joined in making it a team project. In fact he takes as much pleasure as I do in the finished result which allows us to enjoy the additional breeze bug free; making the warm summer days pleasurable - and the hot humid ones tolerable. I survived the ending days of last summer when I arrived to join Tom. The balcony screen door (and bedroom ceiling fan - but that's another story) is going a long way towards getting me through the dog days of summer in this big city of the "foreign north land".
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