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159 Still at Sixty 2009-12-04

one cold office

I awoke this morning and quickly dressed. It was very cold. With fumbling fingers I put on a fleece pullover, Schoeller Talus pants, a ski hat, Western Mountaineer down jacket, and fingerless gloves. I am not in a tent in some remote wilderness area. I am instead at home in Nashville, TN. I am not preparing to go for a walk, hike, or ride - I am just going down to make breakfast and start the day.

So why do I dress this way? It finally is winter In Tennessee and it is cold in the house and ...

We still keep our thermostat at sixty degrees.

It is amazing how cold I can get at sixty degrees. As I sit and type, the cold creeps beneath my clothing and chills my bones. Now, I could adjust the thermostat to warm the house, but I won’t.

My wife and I made a commitment that even though I worked at home and we would both get chilled from time to time, we would lower the thermostat and keep it low. Last year the news agencies reported on households who were shocked by their monstrous utility bills. We were not one of them. After all of our conservation efforts, we were giddy with excitement and looked forward to seeing the utility bills. Our house was not warm, but we learned to live with the cold, by wearing extra layers.

Our friends and family learned to wear jackets when they came to visit us. If they did not, we keep a few generic jackets hanging on a nearby coat rack for them to use. To compliment the garments we also left old synthetic sleeping bags around the house just to help if someone got really cold.

Then when the bills came, we celebrated. Our bills were lower. But it was not just about saving money, even though that was good, it was more about not polluting and not using. It was about living in the present and giving to the future. It was about life.

This year, our commitment is unchanged. Sixty is not that bad and I can even lower it more when I am by myself. Lowering the thermostat is just one of the many things we try in order to live a greener life. We choose that path of life because we want to give to our daughter, Rose, and to all of the rest of our family and their children, and to all of our friends and their children, and to the small planet where we live.

It is a happy cool trail to our house, but you are welcome to come and share a coat and a blanket with us.

Happy cool trails.


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