So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Right size for two
A friend was complaining about having a teenager living in his house. There's his 20 minute showers, standing in front of an open refrigerator door unable to make a decision, and never turning off lights.
The poor kid would be suffering at my house. His shower would run cold and he'd probably drain the house batteries down to nothing, to be left shivering in the dark.
My lovely wife and I are living with a pretty small energy budget, but we aren't suffering. In fact I think we are living extremely well. We try and get by with what the sun provides. That doesn't always work out, but our generator usage is still less expensive than grid power.
We were always pretty frugal with our energy usage, at least by American standards. However, after living on a small sailboat for a while, we've cut our usage even more. It doesn't take all that much to be comfortable, but it does take some awareness.
I'm thinking it's not the teenager's fault. Unless taught otherwise, electric power comes from those plugs in the wall, hot water comes out faucets, and food comes from refrigerators. Few really have a handle on how all those things are provided. Maybe they have vague ideas, but since it's usually someone else doing the providing, they don't really get it.
Growing up I spent a lot of time at my dad's hunting camp. How comfortable the camp got was a function on how good a job I did filling the woodshed. I could use all the water I wanted. There was 5 gallon jug and a trail down to the stream. There was no electricity at all. The big luxury items were the propane stove and two propane gas lights. When the propane ran out we cooked on the stove and used an antique kerosene lamp for light. I loved life at that camp.
Now I've got a well pump, electric lights, and the Internet. I'm living large and don't take it for granted.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.