These days it’s fashionable to throw around WINTER IS COMING, as Game of Thrones lumbers bloodily forward and its enthusiasts meme it out on to every ironic doom scenario under the sun. But here in New England, that feeling is very real, each and every year around this time. Sarah and make our list, as the house and grounds need to be prepared before the first snowstorm flash freezes everything in to place. Gaps must be filled, insulation rammed, and the whole house must shimmer in a fresh layer of caulk that forever entombs untold numbers of insects within the walls.
Of course, that’s all for the humans. For the chickens (our darling girls Shirley, Shirley, Red, and The Other One) winter means irritable molting and retiring from the open field to an enclosed run. This will be especially loathsome to Shirley #1, who has recently taken to escaping the fence to follow us around the yard like a pet.
I’m sitting in the middle of a field, alone but for a Ford F150 hitched to a cart holding 200 neatly stacked bales of hay. Rolf had finally rolled his ancient tractor out of earshot down the hill and the field fell silent.
For most of the afternoon, the sounds of the field had been overwhelmed by the grunting of that tractor, the irregular clanking of the baling machine, and the squeaking of the laden hay cart I sat atop. But now the wind’s rustle returned, and crows argued at the treeline beyond the rock wall. The hum of insects.
In that moment, with grimy forehead and muscles sore from the repeated impact of airborne hay bales, it hit me just how different my life had become. I came to help with haying as a favor to a friend of mine on the hill. That commitment was stealing time from my construction of a DIY solar dehydrator to help us process the neverending apples falling off our trees. Earlier I set up a crude roadside table from which to sell those apples, five for $1.
I mean, whose life is this?
It was all enough to jolt me a little bit, to realize that things really are changing. Wars are escalating. Weather is killing people. And in what seems like the blink of an eye my cubicle-inhabiting city kid existence has been transformed into a symphony of rural life.
That’s significant, because if I want to effect any change of my own in this world, it has to be with that life. I have to remind myself that no one gives a shit about what I have to say on Greece, #BlackLivesMatter, or all the rest. What people give a shit about is the kids, the chickens, and if I’m lucky, what’s growing in the backyard. It’s those things that matter, those things of universal good in my life that I need to amplify. And that amplification only happens when I roll out of my rut and start documenting this new life I’ve started.
Two years ago, I quit a good job for a strange reason: climate change.
Concerned that we are leaving a ruined, hostile planet for future generations, I began writing about the climate and hosting dinners with friends and family to talk about what climate change means for everyday people. And while this article goes out to the world (thanks, internet!), its main target is still those same friends and family, who I care deeply about and want to be ready for what’s coming.
Yes, I’m talking to you–the generic douchey-looking white guy in slacks standing at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway shouting at the marchers at this weekend’s People’s Climate March, which brought 400,000 activists to NYC to voice their demands that the UN pass strong regulations at the Climate Summit on Tuesday.
You, whose total lack of understanding of everything that was happening led you to shout “get a job” over and over at the protesters (your lack of understanding apparently extends to the concept of what a “weekend” is, as we were there on a Sunday, and I can assure you the majority of us have 9-5 jobs).
Then when everyone around continued to ignore you, you turned to no one in particular and, looking for validation I suppose, said, “Seriously, how many of these people actually pay taxes?”
Since we didn’t get to have an in-depth conversation that I know would have been nuanced and intellectual and enriched both our lives, I have a few things to say.
As promised here is my next article (albeit a bit late)…
I want to start you off with something positive, an example of what we can accomplish when we all work together.
The construction industry is the problem. Wait, didn’t you just say the construction industry to the rescue? Why yes I did. But the construction industry is also the problem, indirectly. Overall unemployment is around 10%, however construction unemployment is at ~25%. That is the largest of all industries. When the building sector (i.e. construction) suffers all U.S. sectors and industries suffer.
<OpenInternet@fcc.gov> 11:16PM (11 hours ago)
Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We’re hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I’m very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.
I’m a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.
Federal Communications Commission
It has been some time since our last post (especially mine) and I thought no better time than now to treat you all to my second article, on Science Pope. Eric has some crazy excuse for not posting in a while, some lame weak excuse like becoming a new dad to twins, and if you ask me it’s not that hard…
I kid, because I love. Eric and Sarah are having a great time with Briar and Grant; they are two of the cutest twins and a true joy to be around.
To be honest Eric has been diligently working on a very large, 3 part article and from what I have seen and read it is a game changer! (yep that’s right a perk of being an insider! I have seen and read it, so nah nah, nah nah) And let me tell you, it works on so many levels; it pulls at your heart strings, punches you in the gut and then tells everything will be alright, if we choose the correct adventure (the only catch is once we choose there is no going back and picking a new adventure like you know you all did reading the classic CYOA’s).
I can’t wait for you all to read it. So, until then you will just have to settle for my article which will be out in the next few days!