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Playing House

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I remember playing house a lot when I was little. Not so much with my friends, but when I played alone.

We had this little miniature cardboard kitchen with a red sink and a window that looked out onto a backyard with a tree. I would prepare brightly-colored plastic meals for my Cabbage Patch kids and would talk to them as if we were a family. I folded and refolded their clothes  — infant onesies leftover from when my sister and I were tiny — and mimicked chores my mom did around the house.

I never imagined what this house actually looked like. Everything revolved around the kitchen though. The doll bunk beds were in the kitchen. We drove to the store in the kitchen. The kitchen was basically the only room in that world of pretend.

Maybe my earliest imaginings about a home are why Mr. Pirate and I do not have a deadline for fixing up the Jade House. Perhaps, I am still not yet sure what this house looks like either.

That’s why I drool a little bit when I read articles in the newspaper like this one about a family who built their dream home with repurposed materials. Their home seems so funky and thought out. They knew what they wanted and they made it happen with hard work and dedication.

Here at the Jade House, we have moments of inspired progress. This winter we worked on the baby’s room in large part because with three weeks left, the baby’s room just needed to happen. The walls are still a little bare, but all the furniture is in place. Or at least, in place until we figure out how this space is going to be used and we end up rearranging to make it better.

There are even fewer rules with your own house than there are with the pretend house of my childhood games. I feel embarrassed at times by the clutter and overall state of work-in-progress-affairs. And then my cousin just randomly stops by and we stand around in the kitchen and talk about books and life in general and it’s all good.

There’s no stress about making our home neat and tidy in that moment. Just laughter and an overall moment of peace.

When you get right down to it, I think that’s the home that I want the Jade House to be. That’s the house I want this little person to grow up in.




Car park going green

As a die-hard muck rucker I can’t help but read our local paper.

So this article in the Denver Post about a private company that breaks ground in February on a 4,200-space parking facility particularly caught my attention:

‘Green’ parking for DIA

Since I first flew into Denver International Airport as a middle school student this airport has fascinated me. It’s circus tent-esque design and crazy decorations on the tram tunnel walls make it hard to take the establishment seriously. Now, as a resident of the Rockies it’s my primary means of flying and I can’t help but giggle and sing the “Bad Horse Chorus” whenever driving in to it.

But this self-proclaimed green parking alternative for DIA is absurd.

To be located 7 miles from the airport and fueled partially by solar panels and wind-turbines hardly qualifies as a green measure. It’s a step in the right direction, sure. But you’ll still need a ride to the airport. Green Park DIA says it will provide shuttle service with vans powered by natural gas. So they’re reducing emissions, but drivers are still producing emissions to reach their site. Details. Right?

Partially funded by Greenscape Capital out of Vancouver, Green Park DIA will also partner with Frontier Airlines and provide express check-in perks for Frontier passengers. Their proposed charging station for electric vehicles has promise, but dear Canada. Your neighbors to the south aren’t there yet. Such a feature, although novel, will probably not be used extensively for at least another five years. I guess they’re looking toward the future, which is what more companies need to do.

It’s interesting that in proposing a green option to airport transportation it still boils down to a matter of energy consumption. Even if parts of the climate-controlled parking facility will be fueled by green energy alternatives, it’s still a climate-controlled parking facility. For cars. If you use renewable energy for something unnecessary, is it really green? Sure, sweeping the snow off my car is a pain, and the black steering wheel and dash are hot in the summer, but really folks.

It’s the bananas that really get me. Bananas from their banana tree. Because bananas naturally grow in Colorado. I can’t even get parsley to grow in this state…but maybe that’s more of a reflection on my talents as a gardener than on growing conditions. I am still very doubtful of tree-fresh bananas.

Marketing ploy: check.
Actual reality: 0_o This is my skeptical face.

As an editorial aside, the article reads like a reporter-typed press release. It seems that asking questions of sources is passe. Questions such as: “Okay, but why is a climate-controlled parking garage really necessary?” or “If your goal is to provide airport users with a green alternative, did you consider promoting ride share programs or improving bus lines?” Such a shame really.