We filed our taxes: we are looking at a decent sized refund this year.
So when I broached the issue of "what to do with the money" to Joni, I had visions of taking a trip. Lots of vistas to view that I haven't been able to see in my lifetime. Lots of beaches to lie on, museums to peruse, mountains to marvel at. Since we have been living oh so frugally for many, many years--my thoughts were to blow half of the loot on a trip. Wanderlust.
Joni had other ideas.
Seems she is getting sick of living without hot water. I live part of the time in a Monastic Dorm at the hospital. The accommodations are plush by my standards; subpar by others who stay there. When I stay at the Dorm, I always marvel at this nifty invention of hot water on demand. Seems wasteful to have all that hot water sitting around in a tank, just waiting for me to want to take a shower or wash my face.
Joni sees things differently. In June it will be two years since she has had hot water on demand. She has been living, full time, by leaving a few water filled shower bags or a garden hose in the sun for part of the year and heating the water on the stove during the cloudy months.
We have satellite internet; we have satellite TV---but no hot running water. A person needs to have some priorities in life.
When Joni told her sister (who lives in a vaulted ceilinged McMansion) what she does to provide hot water for her family, well, the sister did not think that was acceptable. The sister looked at Joni like she is a member of the Ted Koczinski fan club.
Joni would like to take the money and put in a hot water system. Solar, of course. We have decided to skip putting in a propane back up; we hope to coil the water through the wood stove somehow. Or we will just boil the water on the cooking stove in the winter.
Both of us have gotten to the space that using fossil fuels to keep a perpetual pot of hot water available is just too darned wasteful. Decadent really.