The drought here may be over — we’ve had above-normal rainfall for a month now. It’s not wiping out our deficit very fast, but maybe we’ll do OK anyway. I have this and another post lined up, so I hope the episode deficit is getting addressed too.
As I type this intro, I see a little moth at the window, the first of the year.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
It’s finally spring. The earth awakens from its restless winter slumber.
Mrs. Fetched’s mom and I have a few zillion tomato plants in starter trays, not to mention the peppers. The perennial herbs wintered over just fine, minus some deer attacks (flavored meat if we catch ’em at it), and we’ve got the annuals started. She’s happier than I’ve seen her in a while — she was asked to conduct some basic gardening seminars for the people in big subdivisions who are starting the community gardens last month, and they were all well-attended. As Mrs. Fetched said, “her idea of a ‘small garden’ is 5 acres,” and they’re scaling up from there. Her kind of gardening — including a couple passes with a tractor and plow, just to get the sod dug up. There’s some concern about pesticides and all, but the extension office says that most of the people who abandoned their houses had quit intensive lawn maintenance before giving up altogether. The bad stuff has had plenty of time to break down.
Not all the “planting” is crops, though. Time capsules are a fad at schools again, another “planting” activity this spring. They’re including photos and student-written essays about various aspects of life, along with the usual newspaper clippings and tokens. They use a small candle, lit just before sealing it, to get rid of most of the oxygen inside the capsule before burying it. It would be interesting to be around when they open the capsules in 100 years — will “they” have figured out how to deal with energy shortages by then? Or will there even be anyone to dig them up? I remember being a kid, and hearing about the moon bases (and Mars, etc.) and flying cars we’d have by now. Of course, the closest anyone came to dreaming up home computers or the Internet was this idea that you would get a tailored newspaper delivered via fax every morning. I remember incredulously asking my dad, “You didn’t have TV when you were a kid?” With my kids, it was “You didn’t have computers?” My grandkids, if I have any, probably won’t have cars and might not have computers — but they may have stuff we haven’t even thought of now.
Now that winter is giving way, they’re finding people who didn’t make it through the winter and were never checked on. In some cities, the cops started patrolling with dogs and marking the houses like they did in Miami after Kim a couple years back (or New Orleans after Katrina). Some of the larger metro departments had burglars sitting in jail, and brought them along to pick locks in exchange for a reduced sentence. One of the network news shows interviewed one of the latter (face blocked); he said, “There’s not much worth stealing anymore anyway — why not help? The smell is pretty bad sometimes, but they give me a mask and the cops don’t make me go inside anyway. I just get the doors open for ’em.”
Even in the salad days, though, people died. They died of diseases, starvation, cold, heat, accident, combat, and old age. There aren’t any new ways of dying, but more people are dying of the same stuff than before. Except for disease and old age, though, it was “them” who were dying, not “us.” People who didn’t have the basics weren’t “our” people, so it was easy to ignore what has always gone on. Now we’re “them,” or “they” are us… maybe both, and it’s not just nature that’s awakening.
I’ve got more to write about this, but there’s stuff to do.