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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Grandmother's Air Baths

         When I was a child, my mother would tell me that my grandmother used to take "air baths".   She would run around her bedroom naked.  I never had any reason to question this because, though it sounded a bit weird, it also seemed like a logical way to cool off.  This would have probably been in the 1930s or 40s.

           My grandmother was a very staid, conservative lady, a fact which makes the air bath image all the more humorous.  I used to picture her stark naked with arms outstretched running in a circle around her room while a ceiling fan turned above her.  I don't know that she had a ceiling fan, but it seemed like a logical accessory to an air bath.  The incongruity of my very proper grandmother prancing about naked as a jay bird was silly enough to delight my childish imagination.

         Recently I asked my mother about this and she said she didn't recall ever telling me this story.  She said it just didn't sound like anything her mother would do.  I then called my sister to see if she remembered hearing this story.  She said she didn't, but that didn't surprise me since there are a lot of things she doesn't seem to remember.  I know my mother told me this story because I heard it several times.  How would I make up such a thing?

         Out of curiosity I looked up "air bath" on Google.   I found several entries that talked about how Benjamin Franklin used to take air baths for his health.  There was even a blog entry about air baths.  This was enough to convince me that I didn't just make up this idea of air baths.   Actually, on some of these hot summer days an air bath doesn't sound half bad.

          Have you ever heard of air baths?    Do you ever take air baths?


  1. Air baths? Hmmm... (sorry I am giggling) the images in my head are not great :) Naked grandmothers having air baths.. giggle... sorry :)

    Um, no I don't believe I have ever had one. They sound like something that might get me unwanted attention :) (I'm just joking with ya :)

  2. Okay, this made me laugh out loud! This sounds exactly like something my grandmother would do. Now she settles for what she calls "Spit Baths." Spit and bath to me do not equal clean.

    Loved this. :)

    Hope your week is still going as planned.

  3. No Lee I have never heard of air baths and as for taking one I have enough spare tyres to be called the "Michelin Man" enough said.


  4. It's interesting the things we remember that others do not.

    Maybe when you were a child the term air bath held less salacious connotations, more for health as you suggest than sexually charged. Who knows?

    I believe your memories, even if others don't.

  5. Never heard of this, but that era had all kinds of social/spiritual experiments (much like the 60's-70's) but under the radar of "civilization."

  6. I have never heard of an air bath Arlee. But after doing a lot of yard work, I will lay on the couch under the ceiling fan, topless, until I cool off. I figure if my husband can do it, so can I! LOL!
    Love Di ♥

  7. I haven't ever heard of an air bath either. Very funny.

    Re: memories that no one will verify. I have had a few. Eventually, my family did figure them out except for one. As a child, we lived in a city in Illinois. I have this memory of a truck that backed up to one of our basement windows and poured coal down a chute. The problem with this is, we didn't heat with coal. Hmm. Maybe I read to much as a child. :)

  8. Never heard of it either - but it did make me laugh :)

  9. Wow Lee, this is a new one one me. I have never heard of an air bath. But thanks a lot for making think of my two dearly departed and saintly grandmothers running around their 1930's style houses naked as a jay bird.

    Do you have a fever or any other symptoms? When was the last time you had a vacation? Get some rest, take two aspirins and post in the morning.

  10. I'm glad there wasn't a more realistic picture to illustrate this post of yours :))))

  11. New to me. Old Ben Franklin, eh? I have such a mental image. . . .

  12. Tabitha -- Well, if you went running through town or the neighborhood it might get you some unwanted attention. On the other hand, they say any publicity is good publicity. Authors!-- maybe you can increase your book sales by taking an air bath through town. Or maybe nude book signings? That might draw a crowd.

    Jules-- Uh, spit baths do sound kind of disgusting. Week so far is going great, but will really swing into gear on Thursday when everyone gets here.

    Yvonne -- You are so funny. I am sensing a poem here.

    Elisabeth -- I know it's true. My mother told us some crazy stories when we were kids that she won't admit to know. And many people advocate nudity as a healthy lifestyle.

    Will -- You are right. Fads come and go. I'll bet there are many things people do today that people will scratch their heads at 50 years from now.

    Diana -- I certainly can't blame you--especially with all that heat and high humidity you've been having.

  13. Teresa -- I remember the truck with coal, but we never had coal either. I did see this on TV though. I think when parents are younger they will sometimes tell more silly and far out stories to their kids then when they get older and more conservative. My mother told me many stories that her mother never told me.

    Jemi -- I always happy to deliver some cheer.

    Gregg-- Yeah my mother thought I was imagining this as well, but I heard it enough times to know that I truly did hear it.

    Dezmond -- I looked through the old family albums and couldn't find any actual photos.

    Carol -- Yes, one of the venerable founders of our great nation ran around in his room stark naked shortly before signing the Declaration of Independence.

  14. Lee did you know that Ruby's husband (Gamps) passed away this morning, thought you may like to know as I knew you read her blogs.

  15. I would like to invite you to visit my blog. I would love to hear your thoughts on my recent posts.

    God Bless!

  16. Never heard of an air bath! And I might stand naked in front of our box fan after a shower, but I'm certainly not running around the room.

  17. I must say I've never heard of air baths and images of my grandmother taking one is not a welcome sight. But it did give me a chuckle.

  18. I have never heard of this, but it does sound funny! Why not if space is available, I

  19. Even thought summer in Australia gets mighty hot, I haven't had an air bath since I was a small child. I like the idea of it though.

  20. Yvonne -- Thank you for notifying me about this sad news. I have left Ruby a message on her blog.

    APP-- Thanks for the invite. I have stopped by and left a comment and am now following your blog.

    Alex -- If you're standing in front of the fan anyway, you might as well do a little dance or something.

    Wanda-- The story always made me laugh when my mother would tell it to me.

    Ellie-- Sure, it's exercise too.

    Lynda -- Kids love air baths. I remember chasing mine around after a bath trying to get them dressed.

    Note to all readers: My mother called today and told me that after she read my post and started thinking about it, the story is starting to come back to her and now she's starting to remember having told it to me.

  21. I read about this on Yvonnes blog, and had to stop by to read about your grandmas air baths...what tickles me is that no one else could remember this...I know how you feel, because this has happened to one seems to have the same mom told me little things about her childhood, and when I mentioned them to her sister (my aunt) she never heard that I'm sticking by what I remember my mom saying...the only one that seems to care is me anyway...LOL...thanks for sharing your story.... judy

  22. Judy -- Thank you for visiting!

  23. Nope, not heard of 'em. They sound more economical than the kind that use running water & usually require you to use soap.

    I think air baths would be great for the circulatory system...

  24. Never heard of "air baths" Arlee, but I did get a chuckle out of your post. ;-)

  25. nadir-- The running around part would certainly get the circulatory system going.

    Paula -- Glad to offer a bit of brightness to anyone's day.


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