When I was first dreaming of solar electricity, I imagined my life in three, simple, cartoon frames: solar panels in the first, an electric cord in the second, and a bright lightbulb at night in the third.

In any case, my mind wasn’t really on solar. It was dreaming of a front loading washer with king-size-comforter capacity brightening loads of linens, and outside in my yard, a chipper making mulch.

Then my electricity, heat and phone were shut off. I had thought the bill would be $189, but it was $298. I had only $200 in the bank. I asked for two days to transfer in the rest. At the time I had the lovely reality of money to transfer.

The young fellow who had power over my power, said no. It had to be all of it, then and there. With that, he shut off my power. They shut off my heat and lights with no warning ~ Read more.

That night when the outside temperature dropped into the 20s, I was shivering cold, my teeth literally chattered unless I kept my jaws tightly clamped shut. I had no way to provide heat for myself without my electric, oil filled radiators. (My furnace had broken years earlier.)


At the time I received a hot evening meal from Kitchen Angels because I had been very ill, so some hot food was not a problem. Coffee, on the other hand, made me wonder, How am I going to begin a day without hot coffee?

The reality of having my power shut off, and getting solar, was not as simple as a cartoon. On the contrary, it was filled with the detail of a digital camera image.

When I decided to get solar instead of a front loading washing machine, a chipper, or paying the utility company, which apparently didn’t want my money anyway, at least not as much as it wanted to show me how power-full it was, and how power-less I was, that was a big insight, and the cartoon image in my mind of having solar was jolted, just a little, toward animation.

It took me a few weeks to figure out what solar electric system I wanted, and what was the best size for me, but then I went ahead. I took pictures of my solar electric system being installed. Take a look.



2 thoughts on “Off Grid Insights”

  1. Hi, you probably remember me from the wordpress.org forum where I’ve tried to help you. I’m going to propose you something that I’ve never done before. I like the passion you put in these websites you’re trying to build, so if you want I offer you my help for free for these two websites. It’s something I don’t usually do because I make websites for a living but as I told you, I like your passion and your desire to get something beautiful. As a form of payment (so we can say it’s not really free!!!) I ask you only to give my name if you hear someone like a local business in your area that wants to make a website.
    And, I also ask you to be patient with me as I’m quite busy but I ‘ll do my best.
    Just write back to the email I left you to get in contact.

  2. Hi Giulio – What a kind offer.
    I almost never go out. I’m housebound, though I am getting MUCH better and am hopeful. Basically, I don’t see people and haven’t an opportunity to tell them about you.
    I hope things are going really well for you.
    Thank you for your kind offer.

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