* I got a little birthday money recently and I’m doing it. I’m finally getting that screen door for my kitchen (my daughters will verify for you that I have been talking about this for years–here’s a post in which I included it from last December). I want the cheap one, the one that slaps against the door frame, like when I was a child at the cabin on the lake for a week each summer (sort of like the one pictured here). That sound, the rare times I hear it now, reminds me of how I knew Mom was coming down to the beach with the BLTs or my brother was looking for me to go frog-catching with him. I want to hear that sound again and know, this time, that my younger daughter is out there catching butterflies or my older one’s foot is soon to be dangling from the hammock as she reads a book. Some people feel sentimental about a porch or a pool or a basketball court. I feel that way about a screen door. (Well, I have good basketball-hoop-on-the-garage memories, too.)
* Dream screen door aside, I have other daydreams about my house, mostly about going increasingly more “green” with it as I fix and replace things that have worn out. The announcement yesterday about HGTV’s Green Home 2012, however, took my imagination to a new level. Turns out that the next green home they give away will be at Serenbe, a conservation community just about an hour from where I live and where I have visited (see “Make Your Farm Fantasy Come True, Stylishly” here). I had been a member of its weekly farm box subscription program its very first year, as a matter of fact. This community is gorgeous and the thought of being the winner of that house and relocating there is something I could totally wrap my head around. (I’d bring my screen door with me.)
* Want a fun way to figure out what green features you want in your home? Oh, sure, we all know about Energy Star appliances and no-VOC paints, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty here about the other ins and outs. I’ve taken to visiting sites for eco-condos and communities and seeing what specifics they have listed. Here is the site for new luxury green condos in downtown Manhattan (not that I’m daydreaming about being walking distance to the new urban farm in Battery Park or anything). They feature sustainably-harvested hardwood flooring, custom bamboo cabinetry, digital programmable thermostat controls, fresh air and filtration systems to reduce allergens, and recycled glass mosaic tiles in the bathroom. I may not be moving to that condo anytime soon, but I can certainly put recycled glass tiles (I particularly like these glass tiles, in a pattern named “Joy”) on my possibility list for when I do a kitchen remodel where I live now.
* Eco-living doesn’t just mean being kind to the environment. It can also mean loving the environment you create, and enjoying and appreciating it. Slowing down. Connecting with friends and family. And appreciating and sharing what you have. Makes you want to put a pizza in the oven (get your fill of pizza here), toss a salad (fresh from the garden would be nice) and have some friends over, doesn’t it? (An outdoor pizza oven would come in handy, but certainly isn’t necessary!) Being surrounded by loved ones and sharing good food will make you feel rich, whether or not you have a fancy LEED-certified condo or the HGTV Green Home. And that’s worth the sound of a slamming screen door.
Go to Kudzu to find service companies who can help you add green features to your home, a pizza oven to your yard, or a screen door that will take you back to your childhood. (Hey, Bobby, want to catch frogs with me?)