Driving the residents around in the summer in the little Honda Accord was different than in the winter. I worried more about them in the summer in case we had car trouble than I did in the winter. I always had blankets in the trunk in the winter to keep them warm if we had to wait for help by the side of the road.
But in the summer there would have been no way to protect them from the heat. I always had bottles of water but no way to keep the residents cool. I am not a mechanic nor would I have been able to change a tire. We would have had to wait for the maintenance man to bring me a different car to drive them to the clinic or home.
I am pretty cold blooded so in the summer I rarely (unless it was 100 degrees) had the AC turned on on my side of the car, but always had it on for the residents. I tried to keep the seat covered on the passenger side so it didn’t get hot in the sun when I was running errands, so it didn’t scald them when I picked them up.
The little gold Honda had seat warmers but it only heated the part you sit on. I hate the feel of the seat warmers. So I never had the driver’s side seat warmer on in the winter. I know the residents loved the feel of the warm seat when I picked them up in the winter so the passenger seat warmer was always on in the winter.
I took a man to the doctor one summer afternoon when it was 90+ degrees. He had on shorts and a short sleeve shirt when he came out of the building but complained all the way to the clinic that he was freezing.
I turned off the air conditioner on his side of the car and that didn’t seem to help so then I turned off my side too but he still complained all the way to the clinic that he was freezing. By the time we arrived at the clinic I was sweating because it was so hot in the car.
I was glad to be able to turn the air conditioning back on when I left the clinic and headed to the bank to make the deposit. Then I drove back to work to pick up a resident and take her to the doctor. An hour later I received a call from the man saying he was ready to come home and I knew he was the only one waiting to be picked up.
When I stopped at Monroe I decided he wouldn’t be cold coming home; if he really had been before. I turned off the AC on the passenger side of the car so it was blowing the outside hot air but left the AC going on my side. I also turned on the seat heater on the passenger seat.
When I swung into the clinic 10 minutes later he came bounding out and jumped in the car. I asked him how he was doing and he said they thought he was doing good and he felt great. That confirmed my suspicion that he was fine and hadn’t been cold on the way over and he was just pulling my chain.
So we left the clinic and headed back to the Towers. We drove from the clinic to 30th and on north to 43rd. There I turned west and headed for Plum. Between Lorraine and Plum he began to squirm and move around in the seat.
When we stopped at Plum Street he was really having trouble sitting still. I looked over at him and asked sweetly: “What is the matter, you have been squirming for the last mile?”He said to me: “I am hot, I am so hot!” “Oh, you are hot? I thought you were cold today.” I said sweetly. “No! I am HOT!” he replied.
I just chuckled, reached down and turned off the seat heater. He watched me shut it off and then turn the air conditioning on his side to cool. He then looked at me and narrowed his eyes and gave me a look that told me that he knew exactly what I had been up to.
I just gave him a big smile and said: “Don’t tell me you are cold in this car because I can fix that!” He shook his head, laughed and said; “You got me; that was a good one”. I’d been pretty sure he wasn’t cold on the way to the clinic but made sure he wasn’t cold on the way home. He told everyone about me turning on the seat heater on a 90+ degree day.
I drove him to the doctor in the little Honda for several more years, until I retired from driving the medical car, and he never forgot about the seat heater in the summer. He loved to tease me and found a way to get me good on the trip over to the clinic that day. But he found out that I can give as good as I get. To contact Sandy: [email protected]