6 September …

 

Tonight is “Back to School” night and George and I will not be going with the family.  Everyone is so busy the schedule didn’t jell. 

Oh well …

Some day we’ll take a morning and visit.  Then we’ll get to meet his teacher and see his classroom so the stories I hear when I ask “What happened at school today?” will be more visual. 

The first search will be for his Gingerbread Man.  He had to memorize the story last week (which he repeated for us with facial and body emphasis) and then all the children made ones of their own.

~~~

The rejuvenated TinMan triathlon was last Sunday.   Poor Net Control for this event has to juggle two radios … one the regular amateur radio for connection with the stations and the other a family band for connection with the event organizers, so this year we added a transcriber to keep notes (that was me). 

George was out at his usual station on the bicycle route at the corner of Ream and Old Stage, Mark’ station was out on the road to Gumboot Lake at the first turnaround for the bicycles (South Fork of the Sacramento), and Kamille took my spot on the bicycle route at Ream and WABarr.  Paul was with his father and won the heart of the Rotary volunteer assigned to that station.

The weather wasn’t as warm (hot) as it could have been due to the sky full of smoke.  I don’t understand the physics, but smoke blocks sun (they tell me … as if I needed telling since we’ve been living in nearly perpetual dusk since the tenth of August) and that lowers the temperature.  Without smoke, the temperature would have been in three digits, so I guess the smoke was good for something.  Visibility was less than a mile.  From the bathing beach (where everything started and ended), you couldn’t see across the lake.  However, there was only one participant who had any trouble with the bad air and that wasn’t a danger.

The highlight of the event was a participant named Toby, a 60+ year old woman who was last all the way.  She would go through each station smiling, waving, and shouting “I’m still last.”  The first finisher did it in a bit over an hour.  Toby took nearly three hours, but she did it.  I’ll post a picture of her if I can find one.

The family, all seven of us, went out to dinner when we were done with the event.  We went to a fairly new Mexican place called Don Tito’s … not bad but nothing exceptional either.

We were home by late afternoon, all tired but content.

Next event (the next to last) will be the Biketoberfest in McCloud saturday the 23rd.

~~~

Tyler and Tiffany arrive tomorrow evening.  They will be here for only five days and I plan to take up two of them.  They will be helping me on Lollipop Day and they asked to go to Ashland with me one day.  Tyler wants some fiber so he can begin spinning again and wants to go to WebSters.  I’ll probably get some fiber as well (but you knew I’d do that, right?) to build a stash for Spinzilla which is only five weeks away.

I’ll need to share Tyler and Tiffany the rest of the time.  Oh well …

~~~

I am now the official picker-upper of Paul from the bus in the afternoon … at least until the snow flies.  With all the pressures of moving and preparing for winter and making places in the community and jobs and Kamille’s evening class at COS … time is precious and I’m the one with the freest afternoons.

Yesterday on the way to the bus stop I picked choke cherries.  This morning I will juice them and tomorrow will be jelly day. 

Paul and I have plans to go on a Treasure Hunt one afternoon.  He had a tourist map with Xs on it and one X was near Weed.  He reads phonetically well enough to read “Weed” and so is convinced there’s a treasure there just waiting for him to find it.  I agreed we’d go searching.  Sort of like geo-caching.  Now all I have to do is figure out where the treasure is so we can find it.

Oh well …

~~~

 

New month … new Reading Woman ..

“CMS Reading by Gaslight”, 1884, William Stott (a 19th century Englishman know mainly for landscapes).

 

~~~

The weather prediction is for maybe some showers in the next three days.  That would be nice.  It would cleanse the air and wash all the dust off the roadside vegetation.  Going out to pavement is like driving through a sepia landscape.

Only two photographs this week, and those taken on one of the better days.  Not much to see.

~~~

Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida.  I have a cousin in Tampa.  My candle is burning …

 

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“So it is.”

“And freezing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

― A.A. Milne

 

So … ‘til next week …

30 August …

 

Scary time.  There are fires to the west (Parks Creek), north (Dorris), and south (Mt Bradley).  Sleeping is difficult. 

Skies cleared yesterday afternoon, but I could smell smoke, and the smoke pall is back this morning.

This map is a copy off the net to show you what is happening here.  That’s why it is so blurry. 

We are just below the central green icon (approximately).

 

 

~~~

Trip to Medford last week was smoky when we left home, Smoky as we went north, and SMOKY when we got into Oregon.  It was interesting in that we knew we were in a valley but were unable to see any surrounding mountains.  Almost like being in Kansas.

As we went through Shasta Valley, I was able to see that some of the alfalfa fields have been left to brownover, some were still being irrigated, some had just been mowed for the third or even the fourth time, there were big stacks of 7-string bales in one, and the roadside barns were mostly full to overflowing.  It was a good year for those farmers.

And then, as we came around the reservoir heading home, I looked up from the book I was reading, and there was the Mountain.  I hadn’t seen Her in several days due to the smoke, but the wind must have been from the south that afternoon and had cleared our area.  Nice.

~~~

Mark, Paul, and Kamille are now into an early morning routine which means George and I are also into a new morning routine.  I’m up an hour earlier so that we can be out of the kitchen to make room for the other family to start their day.

They’re out of the house by 0645 and not back until afternoon.  So the main part of our day stays the same.

So far the new routine is working well.

~~~

 

Overnight last week the pergazebollis grapes came ripe.  The birds were after them so they had to be picked and we now have grape jelly.

The plums are almost there.  In a few days I’ll pit, cut, and freeze them for cobblers and later breakfast cakes.

~~~

Mornings are noticeably darker now and there is a cool crispness to night air no matter the daytime temperature.  The wild fruits are ripening.  The leaves on the maple tree and the Virginia Creeper are beginning to turn. The geese and ducks overhead are calling as they make their way south.  The local bears are getting bolder in their effort to fatten up for winter.  It will soon be time to pull up the bed comforter.

~~~

Further on the subject of food …

When my boys were in school in Mt Shasta, there were no cafeterias in any of the schools.  That sort of bothered me.  There had been cafeterias, I am told, but they were not incorporated into the plans when the schools were redone in the 60s.

Our schools in Hemet back in the 40s had cafeterias.

Now our grandson has just started kindergarten (not kindeegarden) and I discover that in the last years, since Mark graduated high school, all three schools now have lunch for everyone.

Paul brought home a printed menu and it looks as if they have a pretty good child nutritionist in charge what with at least two vegetables with every meal and things like fruit, graham crackers, and applesauce for dessert.

~~~

Another change that surprised me (since this is a poor, rural county and not usually leading) is that there is a teacher at the Elementary School whose job, other than teaching, is maintaining the school garden (but then that could include teaching as well).  Wow …

That explains the fresh vegetables prevalent on the menu.

I hope to get down there soon to see for myself and I will post pictures.

~~~

No stars … red moon … smoke …

Sounds like the start of a poem.

~~~

To end the week I am reminded that …

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Being a parent is the only job that by the time you are trained and experienced you are out of a job.

 

So … ‘til next week …

 

23 August …

  

The Eclipse was the BIG event last week.I had been afraid that the heavy smoke in our air would obscure the event.  Our view was about 90%.  We could still see the eclipse, but it never got really dark due to the smoke which scattered the sun’s rays. It did get dark enough that we heard some dusk birds call … and the sand cranes, who usually parade in the evening, joined us.

The temperature did drop some and a cool breeze came up.

Paul got some good looks at the event.

I had an interesting reaction.  After the eclipse I started feeling strange … not exactly depressed, but not comfortable either.  The feeling lasted until true dusk and told me maybe it was a good thing I wasn’t where you could experience the full eclipse.

Weird …

~~~

We had a good time as a family at the “Back to School” picnic last Wednesday.  It involved all the teachers for both the elementary and middle schools.  The elementary school principal was the first one to greet us on arrival.  That was a nice touch.

Paul got to meet his teacher for the coming year (Mrs. Hannon) and Kamille got to meet the teacher with whom she will be working as well as having a first meet with others.

We weren’t able to stay until they rolled up the tablecloths since we were due at the radio club meeting at 1900.  Fortunately, the clubhouse is only about five blocks from the park where the picnic was being held, so we were able to stay until 1845.

Then at the radio club meeting it was a bit of chaos.  Two of the members are leaving to spend a year in Israel and wanted to put all loose ends to rest before they leave.

Plus there are the three final events for the summer coming up which need arranging.  All three of those events need new leaders.  The first has been taken over by a fairly new member but he will need some help.  Mark has agreed to handle the second.  And it appears the third will be up to me this year. 

Oh well …

Just leaned our grandson and his lady will be here from the 7th to the 13th.  Kaloo Kalay !

After that, things will settle down until my chosen niece arrives with her family.  She has been important to me since before she was born, but I’ve never met her husband and children. 

~~~

Weather is still warm (no longer HOT) and the humidity is less.The air is still smoky to various degrees. In this picture you can barely see the outline of the Mountain just to the left of the furthest left tree.  Black Butte is closer and so more visible.

Some times the red sun is eye catching.  Other times it is scary.  But then, when you live in a forest, that’s just the way things are this time of year.  

However, autumn is in the air.  Not with temperatures, but mornings are shortening as the sun comes up later and later.  It seems it wasn’t too long ago that the sun was up before I got out of bed at 0530 each morning.  Now it is becoming light when I get up but not sunny until about 0800.  Soon it will be dark at 0530.

The garden is doing well.  We bring something into the house nearly every day such as a cucumber …

 

 

and there is a seed squash in the corn patch.

~~~

An interesting (!) thing happened with the pictures I took at the County Fair.  Remember I told you they had disappeared so I wasn’t able to share with you?

Well …

Last thursday morning, when I turned on my computer, there they were … a slew of icons on my desktop.  I have no idea how they got from my camera to the desktop without me being involved.  But then, I know so little about computers and am constantly amazed by what they do.

As a result, I now share pictures of the cattle judging …

the sheep and goat barn …

the chainsaw sculpting …

the snake at the “zoo” …

and the corn dog pause.

It was a fun day. 

~~~

Now it is time to leave for the appointment with the retinalogist in Medford.  Report will be posted next week.

 

In the meantime … from the Rebbe I read every week …

 

The Torah tells us that we are created b’tzelem Elokim (Gen. 1:27) — in the image of God. Since God has no corporeal form, it means that we are created with a soul and have intrinsic worth. The Zohar tells us that when the Almighty created Adam, He created him from dirt from all over the earth so that no one people could say that they are better people based on their geographical location. All people have value. All people need to be treated with respect.

 

Interesting thought …

So … ‘til next week …

16 August …

 

Word came just after I posted the blog last week that Paul Michael had been accepted into the Mt Shasta school system.  Cold Comfort is in the Butteville district, but it is a weird gerrymandered district which requires passing through the Weed school district to get to from here.  But that doesn’t matter.  Michael and Mark both went to MS schools and now so will Paul.  First day of school will be next tuesday.

Next item for solving … where does the school bus stop?

~~~

Weather took a turn for the worse last Wednesday afternoon.  A low pressure area settled over the area between us and the coast and all of a sudden we could have been in upstate New York.  The temperature wasn’t quite as hot, but the humidity was brutal for an area which is used to 20 or 30%.

Then an inversion layer set in and the air has been filled with smoke ever since. 

Last Monday, on my way to Yreka, I could barely see Goose Nest and Herd’s Peak.  Usually they are prominent on the northern skyline.

And at dawn and dusk, when the sun is low, the air turns brownish-red.

~~~

The family (but without John and Mike) went to the county fair last Friday.  We arrived early and headed for the animal barns. 

We watched a couple of the beef cattle judgings …

Then watched some of the chainsaw carvers …

Stopped by the wild animal zoo …

Ate curly fries …

Rode the Dizzy Dinosaurs …

I took a lot of pictures and had planned to overwhelm you with them … but something happened and my pictures of the cattle judging and the wood carving and the food and the carnival rides and all that jazz just disappeared.  Oh well … you will just have to use your memory and imagination.

We ended the day at the “Captain Jack Spareribs” show where I got to join the Captain for some of his magic stuff (this was the one photo that remained … go figure … and note the feather in my hair).

George figured out how he did his magic, but I just had fun.Altogether a good day.

Mark and Kamille went back Saturday night for the rodeo where the highlight of the evening was the performance by a toddler, obviously in the midst of potty training, who showed he had learned well the lesson about pulling down your pants before taking aim.

~~~

One of our new chores (not an unpleasant one) is baby-sitting (although Paul is no longer a baby) when Mark and Kamille want to or have to be gone.  I get to read the bedtime stories when that chore falls in the evening.

And another perq is being included in “family” for the “Back-To-School” potluck picnic.  That is this evening before the radio club meeting. 

Pictures and notes next week.

~~~

We’ve been picking the long, armenian (?) cucumbers every day for a week now.  Last week I tried a couple of jars of refrigerator pickles with mixed success.  They tasted good after 48 hours, but were strong on the vinegar.  Next batch I will use the brine recipe I have with which I pickle red onions. 

John brought me some regular cukes a few days ago with which I will try some dill recipes.

There is gooseberry juice waiting to make jelly and we are keeping our eyes on choke cherry and elderberry bushes.

The 7-11 will be well-stocked for winter.

~~~

A thought to end the week …

http://www.kcra.com/article/usgs-deems-2-norcal-volcanoes-as-very-high-threat/11819593

 

So … ‘til next week …

 

 

9 August …

 

The heat finally broke last weekend.  In fact, Sunday morning I had to pull up the comforter.  It had dropped to 60°.  Isn’t it interesting how 60° feels cool now, but feels warm come December.  

 

 

This picture is just to remind me …

 

We plan on going to the county fair next friday.  I hope it stays cooler.

~~~

This past weekend was the radio club’s one-night fund raiser … a security watch at the State of Jefferson Brewfest down in Dunsmuir.  George and Mark did the final shift from 0400 to 0800 sunday morning.

Evidently it was a quiet night since there were no calls for the sheriff or an ambulance.  Only event was around 0230 when two drunks decided they wanted to get up on the stage and do a show.  They were talked out of the idea so there was no danger to them or to any of the equipment.

Next event will be the re-instated TinMan triathlon the first Sunday in September.  It’s been two years since we did that one because it had been cancelled due to low water levels in Lake Siskiyou.  Hard to hold an event in which the first leg is swimming when there is no water.

Oh well …

~~~

Sometime ago both John and I saw articles about the re-discovery of an old style corn called “glass” corn (so named because the kernels are brilliant, translucent colours) and both wanted to try raising some.

 

 

We planted a handful of seeds in the upper courtyard (along with a single pumpkin plant),

 

and now have a good stand with both tassels and silk showing. 

That is exciting.  Just two ears would be fantastic.  Even one would be a blessing.

Stay tuned.

~~~

In addition, the grapes are nearing jelly-making size.

~~~

Last Saturday Mark and Kamille rebuilt the boardwalk leading to the front door.  The boardwalk had been in place for nearly forty years and had rotted out in one place.

Watching them work was a trip down memory lane …  remembering when it was first put in.  It was done the same time we were putting the floor in the solarium.  In those days I could help with the building just as Kamille was doing last weekend.

Instead I cleared out a hoard of Tupperware I’ve had since the 50s.  Back in those days I was the expected housewife in a neat dress and apron (but without the string of pearls) keeping a Tupperware kitchen.  Over the years, as my family size and  kitchen changed, the Tupperware fell into disuse. 

So last saturday I cleaned (it had gotten dusty), sorted (some of it I will start using again), and got the remainder ready to go to the New2You shop in Mt Shasta.

There is another area to clear, but it can wait a few days.

~~~

We finally saw a fawn.  Usually, by this time of year we have seen several small ones.  This one still had its spots, but was almost big enough to be past nursing.

The nearest neighbors have a “puppy” which is rather rambunctious.  I think that may be the reason we are seeing fewer deer in the back yard this year.

Oh well …

~~~

 

Just remember (and remind me) …

Omni fine initium novum.

So … ‘til next week …

 

2 August …

 

 

It has been a series of hot … Hotter … HOTTEST days of the year.  We have had a string of days over 100°.  This picture was taken at 1700 last Monday out John’s office window in Dunsmuir.

The garden is loving it. 

 

The ears on the corn are rounding out.  There is squash for breads and salads. 

 

 

We’ve picked three tomatoes. 

 

 

The red onions are doing well.

 

 

And last Monday we discovered the first cucumber.

But these days get to me and I spend a lot of time in front of a fan. 

Oh well …

It has been so hot that if I fill a glass of water from the well, which is near 35° or at most 40°, and let it sit on the table so I can use it to take more supplements later … by the time I need it next it is warmer than body temperature. Haven’t yet tried to fry an egg on a hot stone but there are plenty of available stones.

In a few months I’ll probably be telling you of days close to freezing with snow depth measured in feet rather than inches.

Kvetch … Kvetch … Kvetch.

~~~

I will be having surgery (nothing dangerous, no emergency) later this season.  This is a heads up because I might miss a week or so with the blog.  If and when that happens, it will most likely be followed by lengthy tales of what happened when.

Be prepared.

~~~

In the face of all the heat, here’s the cool reading woman for the month. 

 

 

Grace Iesend in Howth Bay”, date unk, painted by Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen.

 

 

It is such a soft, lovely image, I wanted to know more about the painter.  I learned he is better known for his paintings of World War I.

 

 

What a contrast.

~~~

I was in Yreka last Monday for the annual eye exam.  The cataract in my right eye is a bit worse.  The doctor wants to see me again in six months.  I’ll bet he’ll want me to have the surgery. 

I’ll decide in six months.

~~~

I am feeling blessed that we have made it this far through the summer with only a small grass fire close.  There are a couple of large fires in this area (far northern California and southwest Oregon), but none very near.

Of course, there are still a couple of months to go in this year’s fire season.  It is a concern, but not too great a one since we have the foam for the house, a fire-safe area mowed, and 5,000 gallons of water stored in readiness.

~~~

Last Sunday Mark and family went to Chico (he was filling in as pastor for a friend) and we were all impressed by Paul’s clothing sense.  He was wearing blue tartan shorts, a yellow tartan shirt, and a red and black tie. 

He certainly can’t be faulted for obsequence to fashion.

~~~

Today I was to go after the third load of horse manure but cancelled due to the heat.  The two loads have made a nice pile so far and I will add more when the weather cools a bit. 

Eighty-seven years old and knee deep in —-.  Who’d a thought it …

~~~

Just a reminder that grief doesn’t always require a death …

Fate will break your heart … and break your heart … and break your heart … over and over again until it stays open.

— Sufi proverb

 

So ..,. ‘til next week …

 

26 July …

 

 

There is no special reason to open this week’s blog with this except that it is an amazing picture, taken by son John, of the beautiful area in which we live.

~~~

Well, the radio club decided they/we will do the security watch for the Dunsmuir Rotary at their Brewfest the night of 5-6 August.  There will be six members involved in this fund-raiser on three shifts between 9 in the evening and 8 the following morning.

The donation of $350 will help the club’s bottom line, but I was unable to promote passes for the beer tasting.  Instead we get            t-shirts.

Oh well …

Next event will be the TinMan triathlon the first Sunday in September.

~~~

The garden continues to do well.  Paul often goes out with me to do the watering and weeding, and yesterday he learned how to choose ripe vegetables and how to pick them with as little damage as possible.

The other garden chore he has learned this past week is how to shovel horse manure.  We make a good team.  Last week it took two sessions to move the load.  This week we did it all in one day.  Start them young.

In the process, he learned the difference between a stone and a horse t—   even thought they resemble each other.  I’m not real sure what his mother thinks of that accomplishment, but Paul was pretty excited over his new knowledge and learning the value of poo.

We are building a big manure pile so that next year we will have fertilizer waiting when it comes time to get the garden ready to plant.

~~~

Weather has been pretty warm this past week. There are several fires in northern California, but we have a full 5,000 gallon water tank and knowledge of firefighting, so we are better prepared than most.

In fact, both Mark and Kamille are considering joining the local volunteer fire company.  Mark has talked about upgrading his drivers’ license so he can handle the water tender.  That is a vital piece of equipment in this area. 

George was a member of this group when it was first formed a long time ago. 

What goes around, comes around.

~~~

Last week’s Medford trip was uneventful.  The scenery has changed with the season and the weather, but is still captivating.

One thing which caught my eye is the spot where last winter’s rain brought down a slice of the hillside along I-5.

~~~

John’s birthday wasn’t much this summer.  The entire family is so busy, what with the resettling, but there was a surprise waiting for him in the courtyard under the pergazebollis.

Maybe we can have an all-family birthday party later when the press of chores gets lighter.  I haven’t done a Forrest Gump cake in a long time.

~~~

John’s partner, Michael, will be home tomorrow.  We have missed him a lot and will be glad to see him safely home.

~~~

It has been a chaotic and not completely comfortable week … but all things pass and we anticipate better times.

 

The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.

So … ‘til next week …

19 July …

 

Well, the deal about the Brewfest was they want us to do an eleven hour security watch gig in return for a donation to the club and free admission to the fest.

I’ll be presenting the deal to the club at the meeting this evening.

~~~

Weather continues to be warm.  We are thankful for the fact that the humidity is low, although that isn’t really good for fire hazard.  The local CDF has responded to more than 150 fires this week, mostly grass fires and none too damaging … so far.

                                  Of course, the garden is doing very well.

~~~

A controversy has risen over the identification of some roads on Hammond Ranch.  All the roads here are privately owned and maintained,  BUT Google has been directing travelers over them to access points not part of Hammond Ranch.

A local has taken on the job of getting Google to change its posting, but there is not (so far) a consensus on which roads to change.

Roads have always been a sore spot here.  Newcomers assume that since they own property on the Ranch, they have access to ALL Ranch roads to use however they please.  The original plot maps showed the roads as access to driveways which would preclude their general use. 

So far, those of us who bought here as rural country property are losing to the transplanted city folks moving here and wanting it to change.  Some people just up High Meadow from us are mansion building and so far they have had at least three or four loads of sod trucked in.

Oh well …

~~~

Last Monday George and Mark dropped one of the tall pines near the barn.  It will be firewood.  But in the process of dropping it, an interesting thing happened.  The wedge on the drop side had been cut and the opposite side was being levered to break the hinge.  At the last minute a wind came up, the tree twisted, and dropped 180° away from the planned area.  We have never heard of this phenomena.

If you know about dropping trees, you can look closely and see the way the cuts were made, where the fall intent was, and how the tree twisted and fell in the wrong direction.

They are good lumbermen and no one was hurt.  Only problem is the limbing and moving of the trunk since it fell across the fenceline and is partially on the neighbors’ property.

Not exactly the way it had been planned.

~~~

The resettling of Mark and family is going slowly, but that is not unexpected.  George and I did it nearly 41 years ago and it wasn’t any easier then.  However, things are beginning to settle.

Today my morning begins as soon as this is posted.  I am due at a neighbor’s to pick up a load of horse manure for the garden.

~~~ 

As I know from many situations such as knitting and/or trying a new recipe …

 

“All beginnings are difficult.”

 

So … ‘til next week …

 

 

12 July …

 

We’ve been having hot weather … even for this time of year.  It was over 100° in Medford a couple of days, and that’s hot.  Highest here at Cold Comfort was 98°.

The corn is loving it.  Some is over six feet tall …

… so much for “A good crop requires knee high by the 4th of July.”

~~~

Resettling the families is going about as expected … i.e. not as smoothly as would be liked, but smoother than it might have.

Mark and family are settling in. George and I are adjusting.

Paul is actively exploring.

~~~

The other morning, as I was on my way out to water in the garden, the birch trees caught my eye.  The sun was hitting them just so and they really looked like silver birch. 

 

Another piece of eye magick.

And next year’s pine cones are becoming very visible.  The ground is covered with this year’s cones which have dropped the seeds for next year’s new trees.  These cones will be next year’s seed cones and the tree starts in 2019. 

And the cycle continues.

~~~

The radio club just received a request for help with the Dunsmuir “State of Jefferson Brewfest” in August.  George, Mark, and I will be attending a meeting this evening to discuss the needs and possibilities.

The events in which the club participates keep changing.  But a BREWfest?  I wonder what they want us to do … judge the brew taste contest? 

One can dream, can’t one?

~~~

Pictures from the 4th didn’t get posted last week … so …here’s a look at part of the crowd courtesy of the local paper. 

The city nearly doubles in size every 4th.

~~~

With an eye to personal, national, and worldwide events …

 

Hope means to keep going, thinking,    ‘We can do this.’

 

So … ‘til next week …

 

 

 

5 July …

 

To start the reading this month …

 

“At the Window”, 1881 by Hans Heyerdahl

 

~~~

Well … the Mt Shasta 4th of July festivities are over for another year.  

I was asked about  “security watches”.  It is really rather simple.  

For the holiday, vendors rent space on the main cross streets but do not spend the night in their booths/tents.  So we patrol, wearing official looking orange vests.  It deters trouble makers and earns a donation for the radio club.  We have backup from the local police and those in charge of the vendors.  Foot intensive, but not dangerous.

Kamille and I did the first shift (the night of the 1st-2nd from 2100 to 0230) and Mark and George did the final shift (the morning of the 4th from 0230 to 0800).

The shift Kamille and I did was interesting. 

The collection of drinkers on the sidewalk in front of the Vets’ Club (one of only three bars in town and the only one actually IN town) was noticeably smaller than in years past, even though it was a Saturday night, and there was no one gathering in the back alley.  The new owners seem to have added a muscled “bouncer” stationed at the door and the back door must be off limits now.

One vendor who had a great collection of crystals, both polished and uncut, was rather edgy.  He was afraid he had been scoped out during the day for a hit after dark.  Then he left the back of his tent open.  Oh well … we just went past his place more often.

A woman tried driving down the street blocked off for vendors trying to find a way to the hospital (probably using a GPS guide which didn’t know the street was full of tents).  She was a bit panicked by the man beside her who had an obviously dislocated shoulder.  They got to Kamille first and she called the PD who showed up in force (no pun intended) and they were set on their way to the Emergency Department quickly.

The PD officer (alone on duty after midnight) stopped by to chat and told us there had been a death in the city but he didn’t yet know where or cause.  He also told us to keep an eye out for a charming young lady on a bicycle who was a dumpster diver and a suspect in a series of small thefts.

A vendor who serves pulled pork sandwiches (for $12 each) had a man in their set-up all night minding the smoker.  The aroma caused inadvertent drooling on each security pass.

We had several interesting conversations with transients and drunks (sometimes both at once).

The weather was nice (70° with a slight breeze) and the first 4.5 hours went rather rapidly.  Things began to drag about 0130, as the bar was closing, so it was nice when our relief showed up and we could head for home.

Overall I must have walked close to 5 miles (5 miles in 5.5 hours … not bad for nearly 90).  Kamille probably did more.

George and Mark’s shift was most likely the quietest of all.  Most of the vendor tents had been taken down in preparation for the run/walk, and those participants started arriving early.

The radio club’s participation in the run/walk the morning of the 4th went very well in spite of a lack of planning.  Of course, as George reminded me, it was a great exercise in emergency radio coverage exactly because it wasn’t thoroughly planned. 

And during the raffle announcements, we paid our way by being alert for winners in the crowds not able to be close to the stage area. We found about half of the winners (and that’s probably confusing since you weren’t there).

Two 2017 events down.  Three to go.

~~~

The garden continues to enjoy the hot weather.  My watering time each morning has become more important. And the catalpa has come into bloom…

as have the Shasta daisies.

~~~

Last Sunday I was listening to the Moth radio hour and heard a story, told by a war journalist, which ended with a line something to the effect that in war the truth is you will lose a brother.

It reminded me that I was a charter member back in the 70s of a group called Another Mother for Peace whose motto was

 I am still another mother for peace.

And these thoughts led to a quote from the tv show “MASH” (spoken by Alan Alda in his role as Hawkeye Pierce) …

“There are only two rules in war … Rule #1 is that young men die.  Rule #2 is that you can’t change rule #1.”

The only change since that show is that now we’d have to say        “… young people” rather than “… young men.”

~~~

Another week starts.  Just remember …

 “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”                                         –  Voltaire

 So … ‘til next week …