I met a friend while the kids were in preschool (Harry attends, Catherine works) and she took me to the house of a friend of hers. She had mentioned something about solar power and I had an idea that maybe she meant solar panels so I was interested. And then we pulled up to house.
It was my dream house. It was bermed with earth on two sides. It had windows along it's South-east side and a HUGE wall of windows that went to the roof line facing south. By solar she had meant the whole house was heated by passive solar power which was pumped through the house via duct work. It also had a wall of cinder block in the central living room where a wood stove would be for cold, cloudy days. The water would be partially heated by solar panels. The bedrooms were compact and cozy (there's some imagination involved there as the inside walls were framed but not drywalled) and the main living space open and bright. It was big, 1900 sq. feet, but not a monster house.
I have the name of her designer and builder, Don Roscoe, tucked away now. The man doesn't know it but he and his solar house have just stepped into my daydreams.