Winter Winds

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The late November wind blew through my yard like a hurricane blitzes through a tropical region. No stopping it nor slowing it down. They both blow ‘till they run themselves out of energy.

In the meantime, I must steady myself as I tend to yard work in preparation for Winter’s fury…more wind plus freezing temps. How I hate that combination. I like snow. I don’t mind the cold but put the wind behind them and I absolutely can’t tolerate that duo of freezing temps and wind.

Some folk never experience what I just described while others live it much of the year. The later either like it, adapt to it or simply don’t know anything else but the Winter Winds. How they endure it I really don’t know. Yet, many thrive regardless of the harsh conditions.

I suppose those fine people in the rain forest don’t mind the sweltering heat and humidity along with the insects and snakes and predators. Adaptation seems to be the order of survival regardless of the circumstances. Besides, what else do they know?

Fast forward to areas with urban, suburban and country settings. Each assemblage have their own survival skills. Most of these skills are taught or simply learned by trial and error to stay alive. They are not so far apart from the Amazonian and the Arctic peoples of Planet Earth. They just live within a different set of circumstances. A bit more moderate, perhaps.

Along with geographical differences come traditional differences, as well. What may seem odd to one group of folks is normal to another and vice versa. Diversity among the human race is one of God’s crowning achievements, similar to the animal kingdom. Yet, ignorance often breeds contempt and misunderstanding which is sad. Rather than go off on a tangent about the negatives, I choose to celebrate the glorious and positive variety among God’s creatures. I’m so glad these differences exist…it would be rather boring if they didn’t.

For those in the parts of our world where the sun doesn’t shine so much, bundle up, as this winter seems to be starting off on the colder side of the thermometer. Cheers!

Vanes

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One moment they stand as sentinels over the landscape and then they disappear, only to reveal themselves anew. Wind farms hidden by fog and juxtaposed against a backdrop of petroleum derelicts pumping crude oil into tanks. Fascinating harmony.

As we attempt to ween ourselves from fossil fuels, evidence abounds that this is actually occurring. Our electric utility company puts out an info letter with each bill. This last one stated that over 35% of our energy is now derived from wind and solar. Progress is being made, however, it will still take decades before total energy production comes from non-fossil fuel sources. America is behind other nations in this department, but we are also much larger then those nations going 100% non-oil.

This gives me mixed emotions. I know the need to clean the air we breath and all the ramifications that are attached to this statement, but I also recall it was oil that helped propel the industrial revolution and has been the energy source which produced almost everything that exists from a man-made perspective.

I will miss the reciprocating engine which powered the first automobiles, then the turbine which allowed air transportation to be a viable source available to most everyone. From trans-Atlantic ocean liners to narrow-gauge railroads to everyday transportation, petroleum has played a huge part in man’s lives and the advancement of most cultures. Hybrid cars are becoming more abundant and pure electric cars will one day be the norm. Coal for power plants vs nuclear energy is still a big issue among many countries.

Iceland is the only country I know of where modern mechanized life exists without petroleum. This island has lots of water, geo-thermal energy, and wind to harvest, and the Icelanders have put all of it to good use. Perhaps there are more to do so?

Before I ramble on further, please thank God for fossil fuels and man’s ingenuity to substitute other energy sources for them. When you turn the key in your gas or diesel powered vehicle, ride a bus, or fly across vast distances, please remember that it is petroleum that is taking you there.

As I recently viewed the landscape from Kansas to Texas and back I saw change. Best get used to it for it is a good thing…even with mixed feelings. BTW, I will miss drag racing!

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