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Posts Tagged ‘cold house journal’

Cold, Creative, and Happy

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

With the exception of the location of Winter Olympics, many of us have been in a long, cold Winter. I like to think I’m a tough native Minnesotan. I know how to dress for the cold – inside and out – I keep my thermostat between 55 – 65 degrees most of the time. We also have a wood-burning stove and do our best to huddle around that when possible. But I’m beginning to see the light on this whole heat-cold/comfort thing through some really creative, enduring people of all ages and avocations.

I recently met someone in Vermont who is currently living in a tiny cabin w/o any heat and he shared this story of other cold lovers up North. “Chilled By Choice” profiles people embracing the cold both indoors and out, for reasons ranging from frugality, to environmentalism, to creative inclinations. We’re talking about full-on Winter here, and I admit I’m somewhat astounded and admiring, but also strangely, a little envious – I’m not sure I have what it takes to be in their shoes – or thermals.

I’m mostly drawn in by their matter-of-fact enthusiasm over the whole thing. No heroic claims in the bunch. There’s the 56yo sculptor in NY, who says he could insulate his roof for more warmth, but it would hinder the acoustics of the place and he listens to a lot of music. There’s the 21yo artist and his five roommates who love their unheated warehouse where they live and perform on their own stage. Then there’s the author in Pittsburgh who opened the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writer’s Co-op and retreat – heat not included. His house has a furnace, but it mostly stays off. Another 53yo woman lives in a stone house at 7,000ft, and embraces the seasonal temps by opening the windows year-round – and dressing right.

Cold House Journal follows the story – and the temps – day and night up in Maine, where a couple humans and a few cats live furnace-free and light the wood stove when necessary. Their thought-provoking and informational blog sheds light on the whole experience, while including a hard look at the cultural and political influences when it comes to heat. This curiously cold guy makes a case for adaptability, acknowledging our “heat addiction” and in general, looking for a way to “dismantle the Home Heating Industrial Complex”.

There seems to be an common thread here – I hear a creative and committed voice in these people – and a kind of detached contentment. Like when one of the roommates in the Baltimore warehouse admits that they sometimes miss a warm Winter house but, “Then we remember how wonderful it is to be living with five other best friends and making art and how it will get warm eventually.”

Can’t argue with that.

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