November 5, 2007
The Road to Recovery
Tons and tons of mud and debris are cleared along the county road in front of our driveway.
Road crews have been incredibly busy over the past few months hauling away tons of mud and debris as well as rebuilding bridges and repairing roads in Houston County, Minnesota. Although progress is steady, it will take time to repair all the damage.
For about the past 5 weeks, road crews have traveled about 5 miles down our county road hauling away an amazing amount of sand, mud and trees that were washed down the hillsides. There is a constant procession of dump trucks driving down our county road, about one every two to three minutes on work days.
On a more personal note, I am quite pleased that the driveway leading up to the house has been fully repaired and the hillside adjacent to the driveway has been stabilized and seeded—that is a big load off of my mind. Although local contractors have done the work, FEMA was there to help.
I was pleasantly surprised one day in late September, when I got a knock on the door from a FEMA representative. I had assumed based on what I had read that FEMA was only giving financial aid to those with house damage. (Our house was okay. Our problem was the driveway leading up to the house.) The FEMA representative suggested that I at least apply for assistance since FEMA might cover some of our road damage.
After placing a call to FEMA, an assessor was at my door in less than 24 hours and within just a few days I had cash in hand to help pay for reconstruction of our road. I couldn't be happier with the response received from FEMA—THANK YOU!
With the road completed, there isn't too much else I can do. The front horse pasture is still under more than a foot of muck and it is too unstable to attempt to do anything to it. I tried and promptly got the Bobcat stuck in the silt and had to pull it out with the pickup truck. I'm really not too sure what to do. I think that the end result will be to let nature run its course and see what happens. It may end up turning into a marsh.
Happy Birthday Honda Insight
Can you believe it has been three years since I purchased the Honda Insight? The car originally had a little over 8,000 miles on it and since then I have put on over 90,000 miles and averaged...drum roll please... 66.2 MPG. Needless to say, I am incredibly happy I bought this car. The sad news is that Honda stopped production on this car in 2005. Why? My guess is that it didn't conform to the average consumer. Being just a two passenger vehicle, it just wasn't big enough. Of course, the average American consumer spends most of their time driving to and from work with just the driver in the vehicle! Car pool? Who are you kidding?
Since I am on the subject of fuel efficiency vehicles and most everyone is complaining about high gas prices, it still ceases to amaze me how many of our fellow citizens in America are driving on the highway doing 75 MPH or higher!!! When will people ever get the message to SLOW DOWN? Without slowing down and conserving energy all you are doing is giving away your paycheck to the oil companies and Arabs. Not only that, but you are adding to global warming.
Our local and federal governments should be telling America to CONSERVE, CONSERVE, CONSERVE! But of course that will never happen since our politicians have their hands in the pockets of corporate America who say SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!
The limitless hunger for greed seems to have taken over all rational behavior. As it has been pointed out to me by a reader of this journal, the phrase "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" comes from the New Testament (Timothy, 6:10). It certainly is a phrase that has been around for a long time, yet how many people heed this phrase?
Bird Photography Update
I am totally addicted to bird photography. If the sun is out, I am usually out somewhere photographing birds. I have no idea if this will ever lead to anything, but I figure the more I do it, the better I will get at this art. All I can say is that I am enjoying what I do and I hope I can continue to share my photographs with you! Please be sure to check out my other web site: www.iwishicouldfly.com for more information and photographs.
You may also want to check out Adele Porter's book: Wild About Minnesota Birds - A Youth's Guide to the Birds of Minnesota. Her book features many of my photographs.
A Sandhill Crane takes to flight in a field near Medaryville, Indiana.