Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Canary's "Cage"

Well, I kinda dropped the ball, but here i am again. Wanted to tell you about my little home in the boonies. It was built around 25 years ago, out of a recycled barn frame, used windows and any materials that I could find that I wasn't allergic to, and that I could afford. That was a real challenge. But it paid off. Unlike some "canaries" I know, I was able to create a relatively safe haven where I could begin the long road to recovery from severe Environmental Illness (EI), or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities" (MCS).

The house contains no particle board, (which at that time contained formaldehyde glue). The walls are plaster, the framing is Hemlock boards- no plywood. No carpets- floors are birch. Cabinets are vintage Sears metal-heat was Intertherm baseboard electric- no "outgassing"...but very expensive! Now we have 2 gas direct vent heaters. They are very nice, but not perfect- some fumes are evident outdoors and occasionally seep in to the house. This can be a serious problem if it gets too bad. Solar, of course, would be perfect...but not affordable and not practical where I live.

I am very grateful for my little house and the beautiful woods I live in. However, they have been both my haven and my "cage" . When I was very ill, there was no other place I could go without getting reactions to something "out there". I could also not really go outdoors because of pollen/mold allergies. At present, I am able to be outdoors more, which I love, though there are still some limitations- those allergens, and in the winter, other people's woodsmoke.

Well, what is the answer for Canaries like me? I would love to see a special housing project that could accommodate people with MCS- it is very badly needed. People are living in their cars, travelling around in endless pursuit of a safe place to land. I know just the piece of land- down the road from me- a lovely hill with no other houses around, and room for cluster housing that would not be too intrusive in the woodlands here. A nice Solar location...

Ah, well, when I win the lottery...

So that is my blurb of the moment. I really think humans are rarely counting themselves among the endangered species, and some of us are most certainly already endangered with more, I fear, to follow. I AM very encouraged to see the level of awareness and concern in the community where I live- it is extraordinary.