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Saturday, May 23, 2009


Everywhere we go in our county beautiful sights make whatever drive we're taking easier. In fact, going out for a drive is a form of entertainment. Between my house and Sparta are three stopsigns. It's a fifteen minute drive. A drive to Independence is 30 minutes, to Jefferson is 30 minutes. It's about 3o minutes to all the towns around us. Four stopsigns between the house and Jefferson.

In a city, anyplace you want to go is at least 30 minutes of driving in what I think of as a bit of hell on earth. Start and stop. Start and stop. Like on a computer, click and wait, click and wait. We Americans like cars with 140 on the speedometer, something that will go like a race car. For what? In cities the foot is on the brake pedal as much as the gas pedal. Get caught for going over 80 or so you lose your license and insurance goes way up for life.

To make a Chevrolet Suburban any bigger will require making it an 18-wheeler.

A documentary is available at the local video store and netflix called Who Killed The Electric Car? GM made a good one in 1991, the people who drove it loved it. Then GM recalled all of them, a few hundred, and shipped them to a desert zone in Colorado where they were literally shredded like paper. GM has what it takes to make a good electric car that the people who drive it love. I doubt it would lay rubber for half a mile, but it drove very well. It was quiet and clean. No grease, oil and gom. Clean as a computer.

All the time we live with hope that the future will be better. This long transition we're going through is learning about electricity as we go, finding it more and more complex. It's taking us into a 50's jingle, 'better living electrically.' Look at all the changes since we used horses and wagons, carried water in buckets from the spring and were afraid of the dark. The dark doesn't challenge us any more. We have a telescope in orbit that takes flawless pictures of galaxies far far away.

The old way of riding a horse or a buggy, horse manure the constant smell of the air has changed. Now the air has an oil base. And that's the problem. We've come to the end of how much poison the inhabitants of the earth can tolerate before dying of system breakdowns. The rate of species extinctions is astounding and nobody cares. The ones that allow themselves to care live frustrated lives and get laughed at and humiliated like school nerds. Through the Detroit hearings I couldn't help but think, if you're not going to make electric cars, close down now. It's like Godzilla is coming. Let's get outta here.

Then I get out on the road to go someplace and everywhere I look is gorgeous. The trees have all filled out in green. They're beautiful when they're bare too, but lush green like they are now is the ultimate. From Twin Oaks to the river the locusts are in full flower. Black cattle on expansive green meadow and the last of the beautiful old barns out there in the field.

My mind tends not to be tormented by concern for situations I can't help when I'm driving in or walking in the landscape just about any place in our county. We have countryside that is soothing to the soul. That's why we live here and that's why we love it. That old mental stuff about oil and war fades to vapor and drifts away by the time I reach the first stop sign.

Driving down the Gap Civil turnpike this land pictured above has always been a joy to my eyes. Whatever is happening in that spread of land is beautiful in the bigger landscape. Since the hay got mowed green and wrapped in plastic for pickling, a dairy farmer making silage, I've been so struck with this bit of landscape I had to stop today to get a picture for you. When I see a scene like above, all is right with the world, even when they're talking about children and landmines on the news.

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