Friday, December 25, 2009

In the Land of Gnomes

Here we are in the land of
gnomes, fairies, and trolls for Christmas.

Spending the holiday with my 5 and 6 year-old nieces, who are full of wonder, laughter and play, makes everyone feel younger. We skated on the fire pond, swung on the new community swing-set, walked the paths that wind through the open space, tossed a squishy ball into the basketball hoop, and zipped along the zip line. The latter is strung between two pines, in the woods where the barred owl hooted on Christmas Eve.

We are in Charlotte, Vermont at my sister's cohousing community (read more about the Champlain Valley Cohousing here and here). Their energy efficient house, completed last winter, has a total electric bill for the year of - $150. That is minus $150. They are feeding energy back into the grid from their rooftop photovoltaic panels. The walls are a foot thick and the heat is solely from wood (a masonry fireplace), so you really can hear a pin drop. How nice not to have an oil burner furnace kicking on every hour and the radiators ticking and knocking, as in our house.

A Merry Christmas from the land of gnomes tucked into the woods and fields above Lake Champlain.

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