Saturday, August 05, 2006

OLD BLOGS (from defunked blog)

Monday, July 04, 2005THE KIDEATER

My sister lived on the west edge of town, nearly in the country. Twenty First Street was the last named street and also the city limits. Her house was what we now call “cracker box”. The walls were thin, by today’s standards, and covered on the inside with wallpaper that was hand glued to the wall with homemade paste made from flour or starch and boric acid, if I remember correctly. On windy days the paper on the ceiling in the corner of the bedroom, that had become loose, would move up and down as though something in the attic was breathing. My sister told us that a “kid eater” lived in the attic and would eat anyone that didn’t do as they were told. I can’t tell you how well this worked. What more could you want than a babysitter that will eat children that don’t mind.
My parents owned the place and they also had a couple acres of land, with the house, that the whole family used as a vegetable garden. Corn, squash, okra, beans; all kinds of good stuff to eat. Nearly all our food came from that garden along with the chickens and eggs that were there too. I was the youngest by twelve years, with three older sisters that were more like extra moms than sisters. The two older sisters had children that were more like sister and brothers than niece and nephews.
All of us kids would play around the house while our parents took care of the garden, hoeing and weeding. We would hide and play in the tall weeds around the chicken pens and the edges of the property. Most of the time the games involved hiding and “pretend shooting” at each other. There were no televisions, so most of what we knew of the world we learned at the movie theaters, news reels of the wars and cowboy and indian movies. The theater was air conditioned , a real luxury. Our house only had a water cooler in the window and anyone walking past it would turn toward it, raise the tail of their shirt to allow the cool air in and make a sighing noise.
I guess it was the late ’40’s or early 50‘s, after WW2 and Korean “Police action“. My brother-in-law was a Navy veteran and I guess a role model and hero to me. He was now a cabinet maker and worked as a civilian, at the airbase in “The City”. We would go fishing or, in season hunting nearly every weekend and holiday. In those days we considered these activities, along with gardening, as “survival skills“. Gun safety and hunting ethics were also considered survival skills. “Every gun is loaded” and “Never point a gun at anybody, unless your intend to kill them” , “Never kill an animal you're not going to eat”, were common “sayings“ that seem to hold the high ground. No one could imagine there would be a time when there would be no place to hunt and the water would be so polluted you can’t drink it or eat the fish. The American countryside seemed so vast and the opportunities so great that humans could only scratch the surface of its resources. Survival skills would take on new context that we could not imagine, at that time.
Today “survival skills” are somewhat more complicated. Saving yourself means saving your neighbors as well. It’s all for one and one for all, like the Three Musketeers. Conserving energy has taken on a new meaning. It means that most of the energy that we use, no matter what form, starts with the burning of carbon fuels and contribute to global pollution. It‘s the electrical plants that burn coal or fuel oil to supply us with lights and air conditioning. It‘s the fuel our cars and trucks burn to get us to work, and get our other life essentials to market. The very things that sustain our lives are taking our lives. The arts of growing your own food and “doing for ones-self” are buried in the past. The very things that support our lives have become the “kid-eaters” in the attic. The unseen menace that threatens life as we know it.
I know that, as I sit here at my computers keyboard in my well lighted air conditioned house, I am adding to the problem. But, I tell myself , “I am one person and there is nothing I can do”. I can’t change the politics of the world, I can’t change the cars to fuel cells or switch my house to solar or wind power. These things are to expensive and will require high technology and many years to develop.
In the meantime, there is something I can do. I can remove the pollution that I’m responsible for putting in the ecosphere. By planting enough trees, I can remove the CO2 greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and replace it with my favorite gas, oxygen. I can counteract the damage I do and become “Carbon Neutral”.MAKE A DIFFERENCE...PLANT A TREE.

posted by WO7 at 5:56 PM 0 comments

Monday, May 23, 2005


If the rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate, why isn’t anyone alarmed? Here in Oklahoma the rainforest is a mysterious fantasy place we see on television. What good is a place that has so many snakes and dangerous things? If you can’t farm or ranch or drill for oil, it is of no good to anyone. I guess it could be a good place to build a casino or some tourist hotels, maybe a zoo. Isn’t the rainforest where the pet stores get their bright colored birds and big lizards? But the truth is, most of us do not give it that much thought. If you can grow your grain for bread and cattle for beef, just add a little special sauce and a pickle, what more can you want? The answer to that is fresh water to drink and clean air to breathe, and that’s where the rainforest enters the picture. Over one third of the fresh water on earth comes directly from rainforests and wetlands of South America‘s Amazon River. We get all our oxygen from plants. The rainforest is made from plants! Duh! Plants also filter the carbon dioxide out of the air. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the one of the byproducts of animal respiration and also is produced by the burning of fossil fuels.
We have passed the point where the plants can keep up with our production of CO2. This extra CO2 in the air effects the way earth uses the energy from the sun. The heating and cooling, of the air and water, is responsible for the weather on earth. The weather is a kind of manager for the water. Cold weather freezes water and stores it in glaciers and ice caps. Weather also distributes water in the form of rain and snow. Life on earth depends on the weather to survive and that is why we should pay close attention to anything that affects it.
People can debate whether or not “Global Warming” really is happening or if there really is a hole in the o-zone, but I don’t think there is any doubt our environment is becoming to heavily polluted. The effects are becoming obvious. Young children are suffering from asthma and lung disorders and cancer is on the increase as global pollution increases. We are on the brink of a real disaster. The problem is that it will take years to slow the increase of pollutants in the atmosphere, reversing it may take decades maybe centuries. The time to start acting on this problem was twenty years ago, but the next best thing you or I can do is act now. Conservation is not something the government can do for us. We must be willing, active, participants. Even the smallest eco-act can make a big difference. You may not be able to change the world single handedly, but you can MAKE A DIFFERENCE… PLANT A TREE!

posted by WO7 at 6:39 AM 0 comments


Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Make my home in the sandy loamWith the tumble weeds and bleached cow bones
With the rusty nails and the raised-up grainWhere the ground cracks-up from the lack of rain
With the broken arrow and the broken bowThe forgotten trails of buffalo
Under the sun and unclouded skyWhere the scissor-tails and eagles fly
Where barbed wire fences sag and bendAnd the earth surrenders to the wind

posted by WO7 at 4:15 PM 0 comments


Monday, May 16, 2005


There was a pecan tree by the sidewalk that paralleled our house in Chickasha Oklahoma. Every autumn the pecans would ripen, fall and cover our yard, mixing with the leaves. Some would fall on the sidewalk and crack open, some broken, leaving the nut almost entirely exposed. Some were hidden among the colored leaves against the fence and curb. The squirrels and I would pass the time gathering and eating the broken, shelled pecans while setting on the sidewalk under the gray skies of November and December. The gusting Oklahoma winds would rattle the dead and dying leaves making a sound like a kind of music, an overture of the winter to come.As the years passed, each year, my parents, sisters, and their families and I would gather the pecans to make pies and nut breads for the holiday family meals. The pecan tree grew larger every year and began to lift a section of the sidewalk that was over the roots. It also grew through, up and against the fence, capturing and consuming it. It appeared as though the fence went straight through.Today, my home is in another place, half a century away from that Pecan tree in Chickasha. But I live in a house that has three pecan trees in the yard. Each year when the leaves turn and the wind plays its song, pecans are shed. Again onto the sidewalk to crack open and be eaten by the local squirrels and children.We still harvest the gift of the tree each year to make holiday pies and such.I love pecans. Every time I eat a pecan, whether it is in a candy bar, pie or directly off the sidewalk, I am taken back to the times I shared my pecans with the squirrels under the gray skies of autumn when the trees surrender their leaves to the Oklahoma wind. I am reminded of the role that these trees have played in my life. They are like part of my family standing quietly in the periphery.Some people say trees were placed on earth for man to use to build shelter and to burn for heat or to fashion tools and even weapons. Others say men were placed here to be caretakers of the trees and other life on earth. Perhaps both are valid hypothesis. One thing is sure, trees have the power of life and death over man the same as man has the same power over trees. Our survival is dependent upon each other.Plants change the energy from the sun and CO2 into simple sugars that are the genesis of the food chain. This chain of animals eating plants and then animals themselves are eaten by their predators all the way up the chain to humans, the top of the food chain. Plant-using photosynthesis, the same process that creates our food from the energy and carbon, also is responsible for making the oxygen we breathe.Being the top of the food chain and the caretakers of our planet it is up to us to do anything we can to make sure the plants and animals thrive, for our own survival. To use and consume and not replace our natural environment is a sign of greed and can lead us to extinction of human life. Remember, nature can survive without man, but man cannot survive without nature.The use of fossil fuels to power our civilization and the expanding of urban development has tipped the scales. The balance of nature and human consumption is essential for human survival. The problem is so large it’s hard to imagine how one person can do anything about it. There is something that each one of us can do to MAKE A DIFFERENCE…PLANT A TREE….I like Pecan.

posted by WO7 at 4:42 PM 1 comments


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