Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting on the Road

As usual I am a reluctant traveler until I get on the road; I miss Mr Lee, Katrina, Bilbo, my bed, my hollar and most of all the blue house dwellers. I am just happily ensconced with limited horizons! I sit in a bowl. I listen to NPR and wonder how I can make a difference - is this a version of contemplating my navel? I practice qigong.
But I am looking forward to seeing my son and his wife in Houston; talking and laughing with my friend (his godmother) on the way. I've got a book on tape for my drive from here to Ocean Springs and I'm thinking of side trips off of the interstates.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Earthquakes and hurricanes and a funeral

Apparently my 111 year old farm house is either earthquake loose or secure on bedrock OR I am too spacey to have noticed that there was an earthquake on August 23. Baldwin and Mindy had vivid shaking experiences while Pearl slept thru it. Now there is a humongous hurricane, Irene, in the Atlantic hours away from crossing, at least partially, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and continuing up the East Coast. The forecast is ominous.
But for my heart, the unannounced furious power of Nature was not as dramatic as earthquake and hurricane but nonetheless devastating. I attended a small funeral in a wooded clearing for a too small person in a casket that no one ever wants to see. It is small comfort to know that around the world on any morning a hurricane of too small deaths occur - the earth convulses under the feet of hundreds of families. But I am sad.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Breaking up

I remember my sister and I coming home from school one afternoon to find my mother on our porch trying to fire the house cleaner, the vacuum cleaner between them. The woman whom we had never seen before as this was her first and last day, was not leaving easily - she wanted another day. My mother couldn't seem to get it across that she didn't have the energy or inclination (my mother soon after the birth of our brother developed pericarditis and was not supposed to be out of the bed) to train someone to use the vacuum, let alone anything else. It was a stand off which resolved soon after the two women took note of the two teenagers coming up the front steps.
I have, no doubt, inherited my mother's difficulty. I know other women who share this handicap. I know someone who says that it is particular to southern women, who avoid confrontation. She feels that it is dishonest and inauthentic. I think she has a point. However, relationships are way more intricate than vacuum cleaners. Although, there are relationships which can suck energy from one. And that is the way I was feeling about a certain relationship which I managed to take an hiatus from yesterday. I just finally realized that I didn't have the energy to be with the person - maybe it is the cancer thing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Livability Initiative

Two friends and I, excited by tales of "tea party" disruptions at local government meetings, felt propelled to attend the Livability Initiative "kick-off" meeting at Claytor Lake yesterday. As it turned out, I apparently hit the jack pot: table four with 5 supporters of property rights and no federal government intervention in local affairs. There was the moderator (pregnant from Philadelphia with no knowledge of the New River Valley), a retired man from Pearisburg and myself completing the eight. Before the cacophony in the room roared into discussion, a former boss of mine came over to whisper in my ear, "You got the perfect table!" I sensed that he was being sarcastic. I looked again at my table mates: a corpulent retired man from Draper with a "Promise Keeper" golf shirt, a young Floyd-hippy mother, an angular couple also from Floyd already upset that their paper work wasn't like everyone else's, and a late arrival woman who joked, "i was looking for a wedding but couldn't find one" (also from Pulaski). At short introductions, I was surprised to find that I was the old timer having lived on the Little River for 48 years - even the combined years by the others didn't come to half! This fact did not however earn me any respect. Not even with my quickly revised view of the future: Passenger rail service returns to Pulaski, Radford and Cambria providing job opportunities! Of course, the unwavering 5 dismissed my future of a ban on all artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides! I threw that one in just to be ornery. As the only representative from Montgomery County, albeit from the outback and largely Republican section of the county, I mentioned that I had worked in both Floyd and Pulaski. All of us did agree that the natural beauty of this area was its greatest strength; they wanted to add "God made not man made."
As we moved further into the discussion, it became them and us. The no government five vetoed all but their own suggestions: they wanted a future which insured property rights, with no gov't intervention, a self-reliant self-sustainable valley. They wanted jobs, but they failed to offer any ideas for attracting them. The Pulaski duo were convinced that gov't grants had done nothing for the county; I agreed with them that Pulaski was a very different place than Montgomery county as far as opportunities went. But when I suggest a clean up of Peak Creek which runs thru the town and a return of the passenger train, they poo-pooed the idea. The "wedding" crasher said that the "gov't" had stopped the rail service because of low use. The Pearisburg man offered that at that time gas was 25 cents a gallon! The angular couple from Floyd complained bitterly of the town council in Floyd. It was so noisy in the room and the technology crashed at one point - I began to sit back and to just observe the property rights folks. They were beginning to get angry that my suggestion for more trails connecting the counties, along with rail service was being considered as one of our three top views for the future. ah! I was way in the minority; but I had faith that the majority of the room was from Montgomery county!
My next table was totally different. At a "natural resource" table we all agreed on the need for clean water and air. We were unanimously pro-regulation; we wanted all the help we could get to clean up the New River' Valleys air and water.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August river

Mr. Lee sat on a rock opposite me perched on a larger rock further off the shore. He did not bark and actually explored almost up to his ears. We played with the long strands of neon green weed - from, i suppose excess nitrogen fertilizer in the river, too little rain and the warmer temperatures. I'd like to dream up a use for the green; i'd love to stop all sales of chemical lawn fertilizer. WHY ARE PEOPLE SO IGNORANT OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS? And if not ignorant, why so uncaring? Mr. Lee and I plan to investigate, possibly picket; now that we know were Morgan Griffith's office is we could add it to our winter agenda.