No, that is not her truck in the photo, but today’s post is by Stefanie Naifeh, who is a professional singer and trapeze artist and writes at the site “Breakfast at Stefanie’s“. Sometimes it does seem like aerial acrobatics are needed to keep up with all the conflicting advice on living a healthy lifestyle, but that is not her connection to this site. Stefanie just happened to mention in a comment that she was putting a small, homemade solar setup on the motor home used when performing. She agreed to summarize her experience here. Enjoy her story!
In corresponding with my blog colleague, Will Taft, regarding corn ethanol, I happened to mention that I was attempting my first solar project. I work as a performer in the circus and I live in a motor home when I am working. We do not move often or far, so I actually use less gas than when I have my economical Honda at my disposal. But power to run the motor home’s amenities has been a problem lately. For the last month, the two locations we have worked did not provide us with power. We were dependent on generators, and let me tell you, aside from the pollutive aspect, generators are not cost effective. This situation got me thinking about having a solar source of energy available when performing.
Arriving in my home town, I needed to get in touch with my mechanic, Patrick, about a few car issues. He encouraged me to let him install some small, unused solar panels he had sitting around. Patrick, besides being mechanical, is very clever with all sorts of things electrical. His ingenuity has been invaluable in saving me from spending hundreds or more on fancy mechanics. His expertise came in handy with my power set up, and although it turned out that I didn’t “need” to use it while at home, I cannot describe the feeling of joy when I plug in my computer, turn on my fan, listen to the radio, and know that all this power is coming from the sun.
I wonder if I could find a way to use my new solar set up when I move back into my apartment…I mean, why not? People have satellites and antennae hooked up in their dwellings, so maybe I can use this small solar setup at home also.
Going off the power grid is delightful and addicting. Since this is only the first day and the set up was not complete until late afternoon, I now find myself low on power. But I joyfully lit some candles and read a book with my little book light. I might have felt put out about such a thing in earlier days, or if it wasn’t by choice. Funny thing about choice, that. If someone else deprived me of my “basic right to electricity”, (quotation marks indicating sarcasm), I would be miffed, but in making the choice myself, I was happy. I have a feeling this may indicate the plight of many modern civilized people.
Thanks Stefanie! And Please, after you have done a few performing road trips let us know how this new power set-up works out.