Life below zero

Yesterday’s “Ice Hole” cartoon got a big reaction and lots of shares on social media. I try to be cerebral but I guess the simpler and crazy ones are what the masses like.

This comic came to me while watching one of my favorite shows, Life Below Zero. I wasn’t really paying attention, I think I was dozing off, and I heard Chip Hailstone, one of the people on the show, say to his kids, who were going ice fishing, “Hey, there’s an ice hole!” And it made me look up and laugh and just totally struck me as being hilarious. And voilà – there was a comic idea.

I played around with it a bit. At first there was a bear hibernating behind a bush and he heard the guys say “ice hole,” and he looked up with one eye open. It was titled, “Trouble Brewing,” but I couldn’t get the image setting right, so I made it another ice fisher.

Oh yea, one more thing. People think those are women. They are men. But as I see them as women, I think it’s even funnier – sort of like Lucy and Ethel go ice fishing.

Hurricane Isaias

hurricane

So we dodged a bullet. Hurricane Isaias brushed by, we barely got any wind or rain.

I was traumatized by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which did a number on Miami. Things were never the same after that – it was life changing for everyone who lived through it.

For years after that I would freak out with any sort of wind and rain but over time I got used to other hurricanes that came by and eventually in the last year or two, I’ve become a bit better about them and I don’t freak out so much. But it is a scary thing.

We get prepared and panic and worry and whether it comes through or not we are so relieved when it is over. And I look at that as sort of a good thing. The hurricane makes up stop and take notice, sort of like the caronavirus, and then when it’s over, we are happy with the status quo before it arrived, even if the status quo wasn’t great.

It’s weird. Now that we are over the danger of the hurricane, let’s get back to normal – dealing with caronavirus which isn’t so bad if you do the right things – wear a mask, social distance, etc. So it’s Monday and we’re back to work or staying home or whatever it is we did last Monday and in this case we are happy to do it.

Unfortunately, it is going to affect the Carolinas and possibly the Northeast. Hope not.

But for me, I opened my shutters and let the sun in.

Food is fresher, have you noticed?

pumpkin2

I was mentioning Mother Nature’s revenge and the reverse of climate change in an article at the end of March. The air is fresher, the ozone layer is closing, the water is clean – I noticed the other day how clean the ocean is. When I was a kid it was gin clear, you could be waist deep and still see your feet at the bottom of the water, my cousins from New York always were amazed at that. But over the years with the over-population of the state and more and more and more pollution, the water got murky.

Another reason could be that the cruise ships are not going out cruising and they are not dumping any trash and oil into the sea. Over the years the ships proliferated in number and of course the pollution caused by them proliferated.

I noticed another thing – fresh fruit and produce. Either Instacart shoppers are choosing the best there is or the produce is fresher and I tend to believe the produce is fresher simply because it’s always brought in fresh and the turnover is daily. People are buying more and more these days so the stores are stocking up more frequently, probably daily. I noticed it with lemons, celery, broccoli, apples and other things.

I’m sure the produce is going through the same amount of hands but you don’t notice it.

I have a neighbor who owns citrus and avocado groves. Every year for Christmas he would give each of us a case/carton of grapefruits or something like that. They were the freshest and most tender I ever have. I asked him why and he said only one pair of hands touched them, they came right off the tree into the carton, that was it. No other handling!

Which of course reminds me of apple picking in October in the Hudson Valley in New York state. I hope that happens again this year.

I saw an article about the future of concerts which mentioned 4th of July. I sent the first paragraph to my cousins, whom I spend 4th of July with: “Where were you planning to be on the Fourth of July this year? Backyard barbecue with your crankiest relatives, fighting over who gets to light the illegal fireworks that your derelict cousin smuggled in from South Carolina? Or maybe out on the Chesapeake Bay, arguing about the amount of mayonnaise in the crab cakes while drinking warm National Bohemian beer? Better yet, tubing down the Shenandoah with a soggy hot dog while blasting Grand Funk Railroad’s ‘We’re an American Band’?”

We laughed at the “crankiest relatives,” which is all of us at one time or another. We spend the 4th in The Hamptons, not Chesapeake Bay, but sort of the same thing. We are all hoping for a “normal” 4th of July this year.

The sound of silence

silenceIt’s so quiet outside. It’s almost like being back 100 years or more.

Sure inside we have the tv and computer on but outside there is not much traffic, including air travel – so we don’t have many planes overhead or cars on the street.

The Earth is recovering from abuse. The ozone layer is closing, oceans and waterways are getting cleaner and clearer, there is much less air pollution and less movement on the ground is stopping earthquakes from occurring. And animals are reappearing.

In Lake Michigan, algae blooms are disappearing and the water is clearing up so much that hundreds of shipwrecks are showing up on the sandy bottom.

The planet is healing.

There are sounds we don’t hear anymore, things from the past – like typewriter bells and a tv dial, cash registers, rotary dial phones and such. And today it’s mechanical things like cars on the road and planes in the air to a big degree.

I read recently that 74 miles of Oakland streets will close to cars to give walkers, bicyclists exercise room during coronavirus stay-home order. Streets closed to cars.

the-earthThings I do hear are more birds chirping and singing in the morning and crickets and water gurgling. And at night it’s mostly silent. And friends are silent, the ones who are drama-filled know I won’t be part of that, so that’s been silenced in my life, too.

I hate to run a cartoon without giving credit to the cartoonist, but I don’t know who did this, but it explains what is going on so clearly.

I understand.

And the people stayed home

peace

And people stayed at home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened more deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.

And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.

– Kitty O’Meara
More on Kitty and the poem here.

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Nature’s Revenge; the reverse of climate change?

 

spring

I’ve seen in the news that the world seems to be resetting itself. It’s being caused by all of us, or most of us, staying inside, and businesses being closed; they say that climate change is reversing. Caronva virus is stopping climate change in its tracks!

The canals in Venice are clear; China is seeing lots less smog, a Stanford University study says between 50,000 and 75,000 lives are being saved due to the breathing of clean air.

Is nature, God, saying, “Enough!” Stop and reset! I think so. We are being forced to stop and slow down, to think, to meditate, to let nature breathe.

From an article in Counter Punch: “UN climate experts say humanity has about a decade to prevent ‘irreversible damage’ to the world from the monster of anthropogenic climate. Ten years is the time we need to, at least, limit the chaos of climate change.”

Is this pandemic Mother Nature giving us the extra time we need to fix the climate change problem? Pesticides are not being used these days due to the complete stop of everything; factories are not spewing poisonous smoke, people are not driving much so there is not much fossil fuel being used; all due to the caronavirus.

Researchers say that more diseases like the caronavirus are on the way due to encroachment on wild habitats and over population, so unless changes are made, this will be an ongoing nightmare.

The Counter Punch article ends with this: “Meanwhile, the coronavirus has eclipsed climate change and everything else in America and the world. Yes, people are dying and the shutting down of the country has merits. But unless we connect the virus with the horrors of climate change and the anthropogenic impoverishment of the planet, we imperil ourselves and this beautiful Mother Earth, Mother to All.

Is this proof enough to stubborn politicians who don’t believe climate change is man made?