July 5th, 2007


Hot Summer

Ashland's temperatures hit 100 yesterday. First time for their summer. They're a bit behind us, but I was happy for the reprieve of the 70's and even 60's in Seaside.

Here, they note that summer really begins on July 4th, and, this year, they were certainly right.

Ashland's Fourth of July parade reminded me of the Longmont Christmas parade, where half the town is in the parade and the other half lines the streets to see the first half because they know of someone who is in the parade. But Ashland is a big tourist town, too, and the streets were lined for much further. They even set things up the day before, blankets and chairs staking out Their Bit Of Ground. And everyone respected those markings, and the chairs and blankets marked the spot until the parade itself.

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What Is Simple?

We're involved in a voluntary simplicity class... but it really made me think about "What is simple?"

I mean... it's pretty simple to just toss my wet from the washing machine laundry into the clothes dryer with the sensor to tell when things are dry enough and let it heat and toss my clothing until they're dry.

A lot simpler than having to put it all into a hamper, go outside, hang it all up while it drips all over me by using clothes pins on the line, spacing them all out so that they don't overlap too much, and then wait for an hour or two until the 100° heat has cooked it dry and stiff. Then I still have to test it to see if it's dry enough, and then take it all down again and put back up the things that were wet but I hadn't noticed when I was taking it down... and then I still have to sort and fold.

Not really simple at all. Just like using cotton diapers when Jet was a baby wasn't really as *simple* for us as life might have been if we'd just used disposables. Just like using washable feminine protection is definitely a lot more work and mess for me than disposables... just like sorting out all our recyclables and compost from the garbage is a pretty tricky job, sometimes.

But I guess if I look at it on a world view... where that dryer was run on electricity that came from the Longmont plant (which provides some of the cheapest kilowatt hours in the country due to...) that burns coal to heat millions of gallons of water to make steam to drive the turbines that provides that electricity. And then I peer at the amount of hot house gases and other things that come out of that plant as well, and it's starting to look a lot simpler for the world when I just hang my laundry up to dry by the power of the sun that seems to be expending a whole lot of energy now, for free. A little work for me, a bit of energy saved for the world and a bit less pollution...

I'm happily inspired by the clothesline here. :-) I think I'll make life just a little more complex for me, and keep things a little simpler for the world.