No way to win on costs of energy?

Published 10:39 am Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“I thought wisdom came with age.”

“You’re not becoming wiser?”

“No, as I get older, all I become is more tired.”

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“Don’t worry, you can’t get much older.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: how hard is it to put a shopping cart in a cart corral?

The heat is on

Many farmers didn’t run a grain dryer this year. Quite a savings in fuel costs. I’m happy for them, but I expect the costs to heat my home will rise because the providers didn’t sell enough fuel during harvest. If the farmers had encountered a year where everything needed drying, my prices would be higher because the farmers used too much.

A float and a flight

It was a pretty day. The landscape had just begun to show signs of fading to a brown. I was on the Pelican Breeze, a lovely boat that tours Albert Lea Lake. I hosted a group of cancer survivors. I brought two cliff swallows that I had retrieved from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Anita Hendrickson of Albert Lea raised lots of money during the Relay For Life and was chosen to release the swallows. Anita opened the cage. The cliff swallows took flight without hesitation. They knew that each moment is precious. So did the people on that boat.

The angry harvest

One year, thanks to things (mechanical breakdowns, bad weather, etc.) conspiring to delay the corn harvest, we were left with a couple of acres covered in knee-deep snow. My father decided that we would harvest it. He plowed paths in the snow surrounding the standing corn, providing a road for a wagon within throwing distance of the field. My job was to pull the ears from the cornstalks, remove the husks, and toss the ears into the wagon. It sounded simple enough. Even I should have been able to do it. The problem was that I had never picked corn by hand, as those of earlier generations had done so well. I’d been to husking bees and was impressed by the men, who seemed ancient, who picked corn by hand with a speed and deftness that matched the athletic talents of any Minnesota Twin. The corn was wet and the ears refused to snap off the plant as I had hoped. They needed twisting and tugging before they reluctantly parted company with the stalk. It was cold. I was standing in snow. I threw some ears over the wagon, requiring me to step in more snow in order to locate the ears that had disappeared into the white stuff. I got the corn picked, but it was an angry harvest

Meeting Adjourned

“Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.”

— Annie Lennox