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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 11:02 AM

Pseudacris crucifer

I'm lucky that I'm enjoying the “spring peepers” in the late evening -to- early nighttime in recent days. I also like to listen to the birds during the day-time. Twice I day, I get to see both deer and wild turkey on my lawn, making their rounds. The pond has come back to life, and there has been enough rain so that plants are turning green on the ground.

It was tempting, as I wrote that last line, to think of a joke about the president refer to the floor in the woods when he visited the site of a western fire after it had been put out. Now there is a human being who is one with nature, surely more so than Chief Joseph, who said, “The Earth and I are of one mind.” I recognize that for me, watching Trump is as bad as drinking a glass of water polluted with industrial waste.

There have been other crises that have threatened large portions of this country before. From among these, I've been thinking about “The Blizzard of 1949.” Probably some here are unfamiliar with that episode, so let me give a brief description. Four states in particular were hit the hardest: Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The first wave hit between January 2nd and lasted, at full blast, until the 5th. The ability to forecast the weather accurately had left this region unprepared for the high winds, bitter cold, and 30-foot snow drifts that followed. Towns and cities were virtually shut down, and in an isolation made worse by the inability to clear roads or railroads. Then a series of blizzards would continue for the next two months.

Stores ran out of groceries. Bars ran out of liquor. People on passenger trains were stuck. Plows were frequently not able to plow roads, and even when they could, the snow quickly drifted back in place. It was difficult-to-impossible for ranchers to feed their herds of cattle and sheep. Wild animals, with the lone exception of elk, suffered and died in large numbers.

This is obviously distinct from the current crisis in many ways. It wasn't a threat invisible to the eye, for example. But there were other differences that stand out, at least in my opinion. Every community, from the smallest town to the largest city, had active crises-response plans, that coordinated with state and federal agencies remarkably well. For people did not have a “it can't happen here” attitude. On the local level, the passengers on the trapped trains were welcome to stay in local homes, since hotels were full of the stranded.

President Truman called upon the military to assist in everything from delivering food and fuel, to clearing roads and railroad tracks when possible, to assisting in the feeding of domestic and wild animals. This included delivering supplies to Native American families, many of whom lived in canvas tents, rather than buffalo skin teepees. As horrible as those months were, there was a community spirit that included coordination with all levels of government.

It's getting later, as it always is, and the peepers have become quiet. Sam and I head inside. I begin taking phone calls from family and friends, all of whom need to vent anxieties and frustrations. All of those who have watched Trump's daily press conference express outrage at Trump's most recent tedious babbling. I listen to their stories about themselves and others at different degrees of separation who are struggling, including examples of people losing their temper over otherwise trivial things, and even one example of an assault that landed an area man in county jail. As harsh as it may sound, it is exactly where he needs to be right now.

John Donne was correct in that no man is an island, although we all wish we could deliver Trump to a solitary one far from civilization. Yet we are becoming a cluster of homes that are islands throughout the nation. We are all taking conscious steps to avoid contact with the corona virus. We need to take conscious steps to avoid contamination from other social toxins, including all of the negatives that are accurately associated with Trump and his ilk. Do not drink from that cup.

I'll end with a quote from the last interview I did with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman:

“Live. Don't be afraid to live. We can live through this time.

“I did reburials at the Penn Site.Germ warfare killed them. At the Bloody Hill Site, it was small pox. Some of the burials were of parents and their children. They were holding hands. This seems to happen when germ warfare kills families.

“But we are here today. It's our turn to live now. And if you're reading this, it's your turn as well. Make the most of it. Enjoy your family.”

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pseudacris crucifer (Original post)
H2O Man Apr 2020 OP
7wo7rees Apr 2020 #1
H2O Man Apr 2020 #2
Celerity Apr 2020 #3
H2O Man Apr 2020 #4
Celerity Apr 2020 #5
malaise Apr 2020 #6
H2O Man Apr 2020 #7
PETRUS Apr 2020 #8
H2O Man Apr 2020 #9
bluescribbler Apr 2020 #10

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 02:28 PM

1. Thank you H20.

Your words are full of wisdom and being great peace.

We've taken your advice and tune Trump and his daily show out. He is toxic.
Thank you again!!
Ms. 7wo7rees

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Response to 7wo7rees (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 03:39 PM

2. Thanks, Ms. 7wo7rees!

I just got in from a walk with Sam, who tends to prefer shorter strolls around the property. His brother Kelly is "on loan" to a family friend, a single mother with two teenaged daughters who has the need of a good guard dog at her rural home. Kelly is enjoying the attention he is getting from the three, and they feel much safer with him there.

One of my relatives has called me every day, to ask, "Can you believe what that shit-smear just said?" I'm always happy to talk with him, though I have begun asking, "Is it distinct in any meaningful way from yesterday's lies and insults? Or the day before's ?" It isn't, of course, because Trump lacks the intellectual or ethical capacity to communicate in any form other than by lies and insults. I can't honestly say that I haven't watched clips of his nonsense on news shows, but that is highlights, or lowlights to be more accurate.

The water in the pond is crystal clear now, and I'm able to see all types of life in it. This is by far more helpful, in terms of dealing with the level of social stress all around, than listening to Trump. For there is absolutely nothing he can say that I'm interested in hearing.

I hope that you & yours are safe, and as comfortable as possible. And again, thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 03:48 PM

3. ...

No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde;

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.


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Response to Celerity (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 03:53 PM

4. Thank you!

Very nice!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 03:54 PM

5. Yw! Keep up the good posts.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 04:00 PM

6. Lovely - as usual

It's a lovely time of year to walk - trees in bloom and the birds singing sweetly in the trees. We watched the wild parrots as they made their way noisily from one end of the reservoir to the other. Funny they always fly through or over the trees, never over the water.

And yes we've been talking to family - letting know how important they have been in our lives. This afternoon I asked my one and only brother what I did to deserve him.

Life has been very good to me.

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Response to malaise (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 04:39 PM

7. That sounds so nice!

I had to leave my home to drop things off at businesses in two area towns this morning. My boys were both asking if I actually had to, as they worry that I will be exposed to the virus. I was able to complete both errands without any contact with people, or with anything else. I try assuring them that I'm not as dumb as I look, for if I was, I'd have never made it alive this long.

When I got home, I saw that a package had been delivered for one of them. It was two 25 lb weights, fairly large and flat, and colored red, white, and blue. I noted that they looked like shields. A short time later, he had found an old "Captain America" Halloween mask, and had dressed for the part. This lead to his running about with the weights, yelling, "America needs a hero!" In a sense, it's not that different than 30+ years ago, when the three of us had our daily adventures.

I love the sound of birds singing, especially at this time of year.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 05:12 PM

8. The peepers aren't awake here yet.

Once the season kicks in, it's loud (in a pleasant way) on my back porch. I have noticed more wildlife in general, though. Perhaps fewer cars on the road, and fewer people out and about in general, are making their lives easier? Peepers aren't the only thing I'm not hearing from my back porch - my house is a mile or two from an interstate highway, and there's usually a steady hum coming from that direction. It's so much quieter now with everyone sheltering in place; for me, that's one of this situation's silver linings.

Thanks for your post!

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 08:10 PM

9. Every so often,

I can hear a train, though the nearest railroad is 12 miles away. But there have been very few automobiles in recent days, which is nice. Very few planes, too.

I've been outside twice since the sun went down. There were some peepers, but it is a bit colder tonight, so not as many.

There are some good things -- though not for everyone -- with people sheltering in place. I concentrate on them for several hours per day, which makes the rest easier.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Apr 2, 2020, 11:49 AM

10. thank you for the John Donne reference.

My GF and I are taking a virtual class in songwriting. This week's assignment is to take an existing piece of writing, prose or poetry, and to set it to music. I suggested this poem to her and she loves it. So appropriate for these times.

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