Lists and News

i282600889610448669._szw1280h1280_As I prepare to do some traveling tomorrow I find myself being unfocused and filled with random thoughts. I suspect that I’m in checklist mode as I make certain that the the mail will stop, the bags are packed, and my plants are watered among a hundred other little details that have to be covered before we drive away. Going on a trip brings out my obsessive compulsive tendencies big time. 

I spent most of last evening cleaning my house from stem to stern. Mike doesn’t seem to think that this is something that everyone does before going away for a week or so. In my mind it is quite natural to put things in tip top shape. Now in the light of day I’m wondering how many others that I know insist on leaving everything in perfect order before embarking on an excursion.  

As I cleaned last night I listened to the news and that put my mind in overdrive. It seems that Fox News will announce the ten lucky winners of the coveted places on the stage for the big Republican debate that will air on Thursday, the one that I will miss thank God because I’ll be busy making my way to Colorado. I’m still quite stunned that Donald Trump holds the number one polling position. It makes me a bit afraid of the thinking of some of my fellow Americans. I’m also disappointed that a goofus like Mike Huckabee made the cut but a brilliant woman like Carly Fiorina did not. Go figure. I suspect that as I grow older I am more and more marching to my own drumbeat so I shouldn’t be surprised that I am not really in sync with the rest of the country.

My thoughts have been with the people in California who have been enduring wildfires. The images on the news were devastating. I had to pray for the brave fire fighter from South Dakota who went there to help and then perished. I truly wonder if California will ever get some kind of relief from the relentless drought that has plagued the state for far too long. I’ve traveled there a bit in the past few years and the changes in the landscape are frightening. I don’t know if it’s as noticeable to those who live there all of the time but for someone who just drops in once in awhile the before and after images are incredible. The greenery of a few years back now looks like dry kindling. I wish that we had some way of seeding the clouds. Surely our scientists, especially the brilliant ones out there, must know of some way to bring relief. California needs help and we should all be concerned.

I saw an interview with people in Oklahoma who vigorously object to the idea that climate change even exists. I can’t even imagine how any educated person, and that includes some of the politicians, can justify arguments that climate change is a hoax. It seems to be just common sense that all actions on the earth have an effect on the planet as a whole. We have only limited resources and lots of people using them, sometimes excessively. Our habits and desires have resulted in the loss of forests and changing weather patterns. In fact, I heard that the price of coffee will soon rise because growers in South America no longer have the ideal weather conditions that they once enjoyed. Instead of small daily showers they now endure long stretches of drought followed by flooding rains. Neither of those situations is good for the coffee crop and so the production is smaller than it has ever been while the demand is greater. 

Cecil the Lion remains in the headlines. I think that these canned safaris are ridiculous and I have to wonder how anyone would consider themselves to be a great hunter when the prey is all but delivered to them on a silver tray. Where is the adventure in that? It saddens me that a once proud animal was nothing more than a trophy to the dentist who shot him but I tend to worry more about the starving children in Africa, not to mention those who are being terrorized by warring groups. I wonder where the outrage is over their plight. We seem to look the other way all too often when confronted with images of babies with bloated bellies who are dying from starvation. It seems strange to me that my refrigerator is full and they don’t even have enough food to stay alive and healthy. 

The discussions about the nuclear deal with Iran continue. It’s difficult to read the crystal ball and gaze into the future. We can only hope that the treaty will work to the benefit of the world. The pros and cons and questions linger and yet so few of us seem to know all of the details or even to care about them. This is an historic moment of great import and only time will tell us if we got things right or if this will have been one of those huge blunders that will be the stuff of analysis for years to come. 

As I dusted furniture and swished out my toilets my thoughts wandered to my cousin’s wife whose nephew was killed in a motorcycle accident this past weekend. She had always spoken so warmly of her young nephew who was a kind young man. It never even occurred to anyone in the family that he would be here today and then suddenly gone tomorrow. Life is so very fragile and we sometimes get so carried away with work and our daily routines that we forget to cherish the people that we so love. If the daily news has taught us anything it is that life can change on a dime and we need to be prepared for anything. I’m sure that the family of the police officer who was shot and killed in Memphis thought that he would come home after his weekend shift but an unfortunate encounter in a routine traffic stop ended his promising life forever. 

These are the thoughts that ran through my head as I puttered away last night. I didn’t solve the world’s problems but my rooms are ready to sit alone for many days. There is nothing that will spoil in the refrigerator. The garbage will be hauled away today. The furniture is free of dust so that another coating may descend in our absence. My bags are packed and I only have a few more things to do. I will leave things in good order so that when I return all I will have to do is some laundry and grocery shopping. Life will go on at its own pace all around the world. There will be those who now have a clearer idea of which Republican candidate is the most presidential. The climate change deniers will continue to rail that whole thing is a hoax. Hopefully the fires in California will finally be under control. Cecil the Lion will only be a memory and a new sensational story will lead the headlines. The die may have been cast in the dealings with Iran. Many of my friends will be preparing to go back to school once again. I will be rested and relaxed after enjoying fun times with my grandchildren and communing with nature in the Rocky Mountains for a time. I will have put the world’s problems on hold for awhile. I’m sure that they will still be there to tackle when I return. Perhaps by then I will be more focused once again. There is nothing quite like getting away from it all to clear the mind. 

In the meantime I have to keep checking “to do” items off of my list and I will be listening to the news reports as I accomplish my tasks. Hopefully it will be a slow day in the world. The best times are when nothing really happens. 

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