We recently had solar panels installed on the roof. Living in sunny Arizona, it seems a waste to not have the sun working for you. With the new tax incentives, my spouse, CB and I, decided to take action. As of March, we were connected to Salt River Project’s energy grid. Last month we generated enough excess electricity to receive an energy credit (we made more electricity than we used). Of course we didn’t have to use the air conditioning until a few days ago, so we may not see an energy credit until things cool down, but at least our bills will be significantly lower.
One of the interesting things about having the system is the two meters that operate like a bank account. One shows when the system is making energy (our gross). The other shows whether or not we are generating enough power on our own, or whether or not we have to rely on our backup system (our net). When we generate more than we use, there is a little dial that rotates counter clockwise. I love to go outside and see that little puppy running in reverse. I sing a little song to the tune of my high school fight song, “Go Westwood Go.”
Go solar go
The sun is bright and light is right for powering
Go solar go
Our spirits high, not gonna fry, we’re on our way.
Go solar go.
Our true blue hearts now forever green.
Onward please roooooolllll,
Oh mighty solar panels goooo, go!
Okay, maybe it’s a little corny, but it makes me laugh. And yes, I make up silly songs for a lot of things. When my children were little I had songs for encouraging them to pick up their clothes, finding the hair brush (affectionately named Brushy), getting them to eat their vegetables (especially the green ones) and not picking their noses (also green, but let’s not go there). Now that I am older, I am making up new songs for my granddaughter, Rosannah. Many are recycled songs that I made up for my kids. And yes, they do remember. And sometimes they sing along.
Interestingly enough, I attended a Buddhist meeting the other day. Via satellite, the leader of the organization, Daisako Ikeda, talked about the importance of singing. We have songs about love, peace, going into battle, soothing a cranky baby – any number of things. But for some reason, when many of us get older, we don’t sing anymore. Some would say we don’t have that much to sing about. Of course I disagree.
Singing is an interesting trigger for the emotions. It can lighten our hearts, make us laugh, and bring about a tear. Because I’m a writer, I find it fun to just make up silly lyrics. I remember one year we received a notice from our HOA to remove our weeds or face a fine. The “weeds” were actually wildflowers. CB was very distressed about the notice as we had been very excited about all the wildflowers we were going to have that spring. Each sprout was a celebration in CB’s eyes. I married a real nature lover who sees every tree, every plant and every flower as a gift.
After receiving this notice, CB and I set off for our evening stroll. As we ambled around our neighborhood I made up a silly song that started out something like, “Don’t be a stooping to diss our lupin…” As we walked, we made up additional puns and lyrics about not “picking” on us or our wildflowers. Not all of our lyrics were charitable, but it certainly created a shift in our moods. Before long, we were laughing hysterically. Now mind you, I did not send our song, or sing it, to the Home Owner’s Association. But we eventually had a dialogue with the HOA representative and the matter has been settled amicably.
That was three years ago. Now, during the spring time, our house is known as the “lupin house.” Many neighbors tell us they enjoy the natural beauty of the wildflowers that mirror the County park behind our development. Our lupin song will never be nominated for a Grammy. I doubt anyone will ever ask me to sing a tune (except maybe my grandkids). But, a heart filled with song can go a long way in lifting one’s spirits. And that alone, is worth singing about.