This is an interesting subject for me because I have always loved fresh air. When I lived in New England, even in winter, I would have the bedroom window opened a little so I could have cool air. When I moved to Florida 16 years ago because I wanted to be warm, I was startled at how cold restaurants, movie theatres, etc. were kept. Unless I wore a sweater, I almost froze! Despite my advanced age (60 at the time!), I insisted on buying a two story home so I could open my windows during the cooler winter months, particularly at night for sleeping, without concerns for security. I was cautioned that when I was old, I wouldn't want stairs. My response: maybe with the extra exercies of stairs I would last longer! I've been astonished at how most people here in Florida live all year in closed up houses with air conditioning going all the time. You never see people in my neighborhood outdoors; you never see children playing outdoors. I moved to Florida so I could be outdoors more than in New England in the winter and yet I see so many people here who have lost all contact with the outside world around them. It seems strange to me. I must add that I don't have allergies or breathing problems which some people seem to have. At this moment, I am staying in my son's small home in Panama. The windows and doors are all open, the birds are whistling and singing, as people walk by their voices are heard, children call to one another. I enjoy the sound of life around me. I have even learned to tune out the dog barking and the rooster crowing, or, at least, it's just part of the background. My son is a surfer and a snowboarder. He is a great lover of the outdoors. I have always been a person who preferred doing almost anything as long as it's outdoors. Here in Panama, while I use the a/c at night for sleeping, I sweat during out tropical days and it seems to be doing me no harm. All the Panamanians seem not to perspire even while working hard, and there is no body odor with anyone. I am told that this is because they are acclimated to these tropical temperatures, and that if I went without a/c for six months I would be acclimated too. I do use fans in the rooms when I am in them, shutting it off when I'm not. Because of the heat, I find I will take an afternoon siesta, if I'm lying down reading; otherwise I just keep going. And we're not talking just a little perspiration here, but rivers of sweat! My skin is great, and I've lost 5 pounds because of it. I've come to believe that the more we lose touch with the outside world, the more we lose touch with ourselves.
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