Saturday, February 1, 2014

Weather, er, whether or not

I don't know whether or not you have noticed the extremes in the weather. If you have not, I hope you have enjoyed your life under a rock. Life on Neff Road was pretty much the same from year to year. We had the dry years. We had the wet years. When snow was deep, we enjoyed the fire in the fireplace and a puzzle on the table. Farmers struggles came with the years that were extreme. However, the term extreme has changed drastically since I was a child who lived back the lane.

The first definition of extreme in the dictionary: of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average. I decided to go online to see what I could about the extremes this earth is experiencing. I decided to focus on the NASA site. I decided that the view of earth away from earth was probably a pretty good place to see what is happening. Well, it scared me. The naysayers can dispute that global changing is happening, but folks, it is real. Since 1950, our carbon imprint had skyrocketed (seems an appropriate word since I was on the NASA site). 

 As a child on Neff Road, we didn't think of this old earth coming to an end. We were rich with natural resources that seemed endless. People had been around forever. In fact, we seemed to be getting more and more people all the time. So why worry? Perhaps it is because I am a mother and grandma that what happens to this earth concerns me more and more. I will not suffer in this crisis as much as will those babies I hug and protect. If I love my family, then I should be concerned.

I think many people refuse to see the changes having a long range impact. It is easier to laugh and pretend it is all temporary. However, even if it was only temporary, why wouldn't that same person do whatever was possible to protect their own? Many people will lose their businesses this year. Farms in California are drying up. Here in Oregon, we have had such little snow that many of the ski lodges on the mountain will be gone if there is no change. States are suffering the ravages in their states as emergency funds drain time after time. It is more than weather. It is a way of life that is changing. 

A friend of mine just joined the community preparedness group. I plan to do the same. It is for my neighbors and my family that I do this. I have people who love me and want me safe. I need to be able to take care of myself. What does that look like? Well, I will have an emergency kit and am building one for my family members. I will keep informed about what is happening in my community. My family members who are scattered all know to call my brother-in-law in another state if we can't get in touch with one another. We are cautious because not to be is thoughtless.  

I know that Neff Road has few extremes, yet I also know that rare earthquakes can happen. Storms that are growing more and more deadly can hit my old neighborhood. Power can be knocked out for days on end. Flooding, fire, anything can happen in a world that is changing. So how are you prepared? 

I write this column because I care about you. I have learned to be informed is the intelligent decision. To think of others is what we should all do. We have people who love us. Please think on this matter. Consider what you have done to take care of yourself. Consider how important you are to your family. If you are a parent, what are you doing to protect those in your care.  It is something we should do 'weather' or not we believe in climate change.

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