by Katie McCamant
Sounds of summer...
Sitting on the deck on a summer evening, listening to the pitter patter of my village, Nevada City Cohousing. The three tweens who have known each other all their lives, chatting on the sidewalk below. Kids taking their last dip in the pool in the twilight. The sounds of little Ramon resisting going to bed. Neighbors doing the dishes. Scottish fiddle music spilling out of someone’s house (Is that Carlyle or Regine or a recording?). Sometimes I come home to my harpist neighbor practicing on her porch, or the other neighbor with the most fabulous voice practicing somewhere across the community. I especially appreciate having this music in my life because it is not something I do. I love to dance: can’t create music in tune for the life of me.
This reminds me of other places that live in warm climates without air conditioning, where neighbors come out into streets in the evening to cool down and catch up.
At Nevada City Cohousing, we don’t have air conditioning. Located in the Sierra Foothills, most new homebuilders here would always install air conditioning in this region. But AC is a huge contributor to climate change. We are dry climate, in the 90’s on summer days, generally only a week a year where we hit 100. Cools to the high 60’s-low 70’s in the evening. So we cool passively, opening all the windows at night. I couldn’t live in a hot, humid climate without AC, so this is not meant as judgement. I just so enjoy the side benefits of our energy efficient approach. Because we deliberately made the decision not to have air conditioning when we were planning our community in order to try to live more lightly on our planet, I get to sit on my deck on a summer evening, and appreciate the pitter patter of my village around me.