EARLY EASTER . . .
Lots of comments have been made about how early Mardi Gras and Easter are this year, and I came across an item pointing out that this year will mark the earliest Easter (March 23) that any of us will ever see for the rest of our lives!
And that doesn’t apply just to us senior citizens.
And only the oldest folks around (95 or above) have ever seen it this early. And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier.
The next time Easter will be this early will be in the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913, so there are not very many folks around to recall that.
The next time it will be a day earlier — March 22 — will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now), and the last time it fell on March 22 was in 1818.
EFFICIENT HOUSING . . .
Louisiana System Built Homes, operating out of the old Martin Mills plant (now called the International Trade Center) near St. Martinville, is developing a 110-home subdivision near Arnaudville and held an open house last week to show off a couple of its energy-efficient, storm resistant residences.
Last November the LASBH became the first Louisiana builder to earn the “Fortified ... for safer living” seal of approval from the home insurance industry, indicating that the homes are built above the most stringent storm safety standards in the nation.
One new owner said his homeowner’s insurance premium dropped from $1,500 per year to $610 when he moved into his new 1,650-square-foot home in the Ponderosa Subdivision, quite a substantial savings.
The houses are built in two pieces inside the ITC factory, then transported to the home site where contractors set them up. The units are designed for energy efficiency, with gap-free insulation, efficient lighting and water spigots, and the latest tankless water heaters. Company officials say that monthly electric bills on the under-2,000 square feet homes from last July to October didn’t go over $60
Current costs run $150,000 to $200,000 for homes up to 1,800 square feet, while the “executive-style” units of around 2,500 sq.ft. will be a bit pricier.
I can see a strong demand for such units in the coming years.
THIS & THAT
Quick Warm up – Spring is close but Saturday’s temperature spike up into the lower 80s doesn’t necessarily mean that Old Man Winter has given up the ghost. Old timers like to say that winter is not really done until the pecan trees begin spouting their leaves, and we haven’t quite reached that point yet.
My desk journal includes an entry from March 12, 1993, reminding me that on that date the mercury dipped to 25˚ with snow flurries reported in our area while the East Coast was ravaged by a blizzard.
So don’t put away those heavy coats quite yet!
But the nice weather over the weekend sure added to the enjoyment of the Acadian Festival here in St. Martinville and gave us the opportunity to get the party barge into the bayou for a leisurely cruise to Keystone Locks and Parks.
Higher Than Ever – Local gasoline prices had climbed to $3.24 per gallon when I wrote this Monday. Back in 2005 my journal noted the price in March hit $2.19. In March of 2006 it had climbed to $2.81, and a year ago it was $2.73.
And diesel fuel is currently running about 60¢ a gallon more than gasoline.
Some oil industry “experts” are predicting the climb of gasoline to continue to as much as $4 during the summer months.
Consumers are feeling a double whammy as wheat prices are also at an all-time high and corn prices are way up. The cost of those two basic ingredients of so much of our food products, along with soaring diesel that fuels the big rigs that haul virtually all of our food and other products, is making itself felt in the grocery stores and hitting family budgets hard.
I really think we’re finally getting to the point where fuel costs are starting to make an impact on how folks — families in particular — consider their vehicle purchases and travel plans.
To give you an idea of how far back I go, I can recall filling a six-gallon tank of gas for an outboard, along with a quart of oil, that provided me and several friends with an afternoon of waterskiing, for under $3. A five gallon container of gasoline for my party barge cost me $16 Sunday!