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When I was younger, my parents had some fairly unorthodox ways to beat the heat during the summer. I grew up in the deep south mind you, so it wasn’t like we were just trying to find some shade on an eighty-degree day. More often than not, we were seeking shelter from hundred-degree weather and beaming sunlight that would burn your skin in less than fifteen minutes! One of my dad’s favored methods for cooling us all down was a trip to the local ice cream parlor. We all loved going simply because it was a chance to get some ice cream, but over time I also realized why my dad liked going to the parlor so much. While other little fast food joints, restaurants and shops would have a moderate temperature set on their thermostats, the ice cream parlor was always kept cold! I remember seeing an old dial thermostat on the wall in this parlor, and observing the placement of the dial at sixty-five degrees. Combined with a scoop of ice cream, the excellent air conditioning in the parlor ensured the air quality was unbeatable and that any occupants would rapidly cool down after stepping in from the heat outside. For a while, my dad even convinced my mom to join us, even though she passionately hates being too cold! Unlike the rest of us, she loves the southern heat and embraces it. While she may have always preferred a hot day in July to a cold day in January, even she had her limits for how hot she was willing to be from the weather. Anyway, with the entire family present, our trips to the ice cream parlor every couple days was a real treat for me as I grew up. Now as an adult with kids of my own, I think I might try to recreate that tradition and bring my dad along for the trip!

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