Tag Archives: rain


Not Chasing 75 degrees


It’s 40 below, raining, and we’re thriving. Not 40 below zero, 40 degrees below our vaunted (and often achievable) outdoor temperature target of 75 degrees. We’re glad to see the rain, have opportunities for walking and other exercise on our land, and consider improvements we might do someday.

Our Airstream is keeping us warm and dry, as always. The furnace was running upon our return from a nice 45-minute walk in the rain. That’s unusual. We normally turn the furnace down to 45, the minimum, after we warm the trailer’s interior in the morning. Then we’ll use the catalytic heater and the portable Pelonis electric heater to maintain 66-68 degrees inside. For our walk we left only the catalytic on. The interior temp fell below 64 and we’d forgotten to turn the furnace down so it was trying to keep up

Our central heat, if we ever build a house, will be very quiet. We’re weary of noisy heat, even if grateful for warmth. The Pelonis ceramic heater is the quietest of our mechanical heaters, followed by the gas furnace, followed by the electric strip heat in the roof a/c unit.

Our Olympian Wave6 catalytic heater is silent, radiates great warmth, and we can focus it in the direction we wish. Nearly ideal, except it adds moisture to our space (a bad/good thing.) The moisture wants to condense on cold surfaces and our many single thickness windows are happy cold sinks. The mechanical heat sources help dry the air more. But they’re so darned noisy. We prefer the silent radiant heat when we’re awake and indoors (we NEVER leave the catalytic heater operating when we’re napping or sleeping.)

And we love the coziness of our 25′ Airstream trailer in the rain. Even freezing rain.

See You Down The Road

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamrs, still chasing 75 degrees
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It’s 75 After All

Look what we found yesterday.  75 degrees!  Just right. And all from passive solar gain on a very beautiful sunny day in NC’s mountains. Kind of makes everything good again. We were ready for it.


Sunday rained all day. We both already felt terrible, fighting head colds (probably exacerbated by the Wx changes). We never stepped foot outside the camper, not once.  I thought of our readers whom I’ve told, “The camper is large enough because Debbie lets me know when I should find something to do outside. ”

We stayed in all day. And we got along famously.  Granted, we neither one felt well enough to start any horseplay. Still, plenty of room for each to do what they wanted.  We stayed dry, consumed pots of green tea, caught up on reading, planned work days, and rested.

We still find the 25′ camper plenty big enough for both of us, even when one of us can’t get outta here. Luckily, it’s a rare day we’re confined to indoors. It wasn’t 75 degrees outside, but felt good enough to stay outside all day yesterday.

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™, Chasing 75 (again)
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Henry M and Mary Lily Kenan Flagler

This morning we were in the waning hours of a night-long downpour. Rain chased me indoors last night from grilling our steaks. We ate supper, played cards, and went to bed listening to a steady and much-needed rain beating on our roof and skylights. We awoke to rain drops pattering on the aluminum roof and the leaves outside our window. After breakfast we had some intense showers and several nearby lightning strikes.

Park's post-storm puddles

Park's post-storm puddles

The skies are brightening now, and we might find a rainbow when we take our afternoon walk. We welcomed the rain and wouldn’t mind if it continued all day. The region is parched and fire risks have been elevated for over a month. Conditions in this state park were extremely dry when we arrived yesterday. Gusty winds drove fine dust throughout our Airstream’s interior. Not today. Everything is well-soaked for the day.

Henry Flagler and his three wives onstage

Henry Flagler and his three wives onstage

We enjoyed a nice visit Saturday evening from Henry Flagler and his three wives. A local man, his wife, and two friends portray Henry Flagler and his three wives, Mary Harkness, Ida Alice, and Mary Lily Kenan. Mr. Flagler transformed the Florida wilderness into an accessible seasonal retreat (for the rich) with the railroad, grand hotels, churches and politics. His three wives, in turn, take the stage and describe life with Henry.

The presentation was our second on Henry Morrison Flagler and his wives, and we left pondering the connections between Mary Lily Kenan Flagler and several Chapel Hill, NC, institutions. There are Kenan-Flagler Graduate School of Business, Kenan Dormitory, Kenan Stadium, and Kenan Oil Company, among others. What would have brought Henry’s and Mary’s money to Chapel Hill to the oldest public university in the United States?

Old East UNC CH

Old East UNC CH

James Kenan, a member of NC General Assembly and of the University’s first Board of Trustees, in 1790 contributed $50 to the construction of the first dormitory, Old East. In the following 220 years the Kenan family apparently has contributed more than $165 million to the University, more than any other private donor. [source info]

Additionally Frank Kenan, one of Mary Lily’s nephews, founded Kenan Oil Company, a $50 million/year oil transport business. Mary Lily’s brother, William Rand Kenan, Jr, discovered acetylene gas while a student at the University of NC. Both of these men maintained a close and generous lifetime relationship with their alma mater.

Who would have thought we would end up learning so much about our alma mater from watching a small stage production in St Augustine about Henry M. Flagler’s life? Another plug for the “unintended consequences” rule, I think.

Some references, in case you’d like to read more about Kenan fortunes and patronage: