history weather

Last day of February – 2007

The last full month of winter is ending and here where I call home, its ending like spring. The morning temperature is already 65 degrees outside. Windows are thrown wide and doors are open in hopes of a breeze…None blows. The winter bird residents are talking outside my door this morning. Mockingbirds in the distance, robins up closer to the house. There is even a undertone of finch-i-ness in the morning air here under the leafing oaks. I really hope this isn’t a sign of things to come this summer…

I saw a report yesterday that El Nina is rearing her head in the Pacific. That usually means (so they said) that hurricanes are more prevalent on the Atlantic side (which I assume includes the Gulf) of America with a lessening of Pacific storms. Happy news to start the new Hurricane season.

The morning forecast email is foretelling a beautiful day in the mountains of the Blue Ridge. Wish I were there to enjoy it…Some day in the not to distant future. All ya’ll with the chance, get out and enjoy that sun today, it’s a sure cure for the mid-winter blahs.

The squirrels have joined the chorus outside. They must be scolding one of our cats…

History Lesson

It was on this day in 1854 that about 50 opponents of slavery gathered in Ripon, Wisconsin, to found the Republican Party. The group was made up of Northern Democrats, Whigs, and a small antislavery party called the Free Soil Party. And they were remarkably successful for a brand-new party. In 1856, after just two years in existence, they elected 92 representatives and 20 senators, and they came close to capturing the presidency with their candidate John C. Freemont. And just four years after that, they did win the presidency with their candidate Abraham Lincoln. No new political party since then has won the presidency of the United Sates.

You really have to wonder at the changes time has wrought in the party of Lincoln…

Source: The Writer’s Almanac

Looks like it’s time to move…catch you down the road…

coffee_muses HDR nature photography sustainable_living writing_of_place

Home Politics or Politics of Home

Susan Albert had a post yesterday that really spoke to me. I keep going back and re-reading what she had to say about Terry Tempest Williams and her book Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.

In an interview titled “The Politics of Place,” Williams talks about the importance of staying home–or at least, staying in one place long enough to learn its seasons, its inhabitants, the names of things. Here’s a paragraph (the longer interview is definitely worth reading)

I believe that to stay home, to learn the names of things, to realize who we live among… The notion that we can extend our sense of community, our idea of community, to include all life forms — plants, animals, rocks, rivers and human beings — then I believe a politics of place emerges where we are deeply accountable to our communities, to our neighborhoods, to our home. Otherwise, who is there to chart the changes? If we are not home, if we are not rooted deeply in place, making that commitment to dig in and stay put … if we don’t know the names of things, if don’t know pronghorn antelope, if we don’t know blacktail jackrabbit, if we don’t know sage, pinyon, juniper, then I think we are living a life without specificity, and then our lives become abstractions. Then we enter a place of true desolation.

Staying at home, learning a place well enough so that we can chart the changes–that’s a significant, meaningful commitment. Among all the other things we must do to protect this earth and the places we love, that’s right at the top.

As I read the above I find myself saying yea, that’s obvious. Then I realize that until I read it, It wasn’t. Then it starts me to thinking about what it means to those of us who feel the pull of a different place than the one we were raised in and call home. I have spent 53 years figuring out that the Texas Gulf coast, no matter how long I stay, lacks something that my nature calls out for. I never realized what it was until a few years ago driving back from the San Antonio area I felt the growing depression as the land flattened out towards home.

Since I find I agree with Terry Williams on the central part of her thesis, and I have spent my lifetime doing what she says, what does it say about me that I now find the need to do it all over again in a new/old place. Is it, as I think, that ancestral pull to the even older home? Or, is it just looking for the new experiences to reawaken the old wonder of the new?

Source: Lifescapes

Enough introspection so early in the morning. Let’s see if there is anything in the mornings email…

I see that the Floyd area is still having some fun with the below freezing temperatures this morning, though it looks like Boone and Valle Crucis are in the above freezing side of the thermometer.

Reading the Washington Post this morning I see that Richard Cohen has some good things to say about Al Gore.

Gore — the son of a senator himself — was raised for the presidency. But for the moment at least, he is showing all the irritating signs of a man at peace with himself. He abandoned Washington for Nashville. He has made a bundle in his investments, and he has set out to show that there is life after a failed candidacy, a purposeful life in which a man can do some good. His movie and his speeches are — to paraphrase what Clausewitz said about war — a continuation of politics by other means. He cannot make war but he can still make a difference.

If he runs are not, my hats off to Al Gore. He is making a difference by making a difference and in the long run that’s what matters.

Just to show how spring is trying to push on in this year, here’s a photo of the leaves popping out on the oaks in my yard.

Here is another…

coffee_muses politics writers

Monday Morning Reading

I see from the weather forecast that the Blue Ridge should get a reprieve from the ice box. SE Texas is feeling a lot like a early mountain summer. Foggy morning, low 70’s by afternoon.

Leon Hale had a pretty good column yesterday. A look back at the end of the world 70 or so years ago. On his blog this weekend they were discussing the “barred owl concert” at his country place.

Looking through my emails I found this story in the Washington Post. I am surprised that more in the President’s Party haven’t broken their necks trying to speak out of both sides of there mouths at the same time. E J Dionne makes some good points about the reasons for this administrations fall from “grace” with the American people. And as much as anything that has happened in the past decade this quote is about a succinct as it gets to summing up the disparity in what they say and what they do.

But it’s certainly amusing that so many who were eager to throw Clinton out of office for perjury and obstruction of justice when he lied about sex are now livid at Fitzgerald for bringing comparable charges in a controversy over the rationale for war. Do they think sex is more important than war?

Source: E. J. Dionne Jr. – Smearing Like It’s 2003 –

Time to start that morning commute…fogs a rising and so am I…later