May 20th, 2010

wayside cross

A great day to be outdoors

This looked to be the only rain-free day in the week, so I left town after choir practice last night and spent the night in my cabin. Spring chores have been waiting, and waiting . . . and I've been laid up, recovering from surgery. I figured I just had to get over to Wilderstead and work on my road. Then, I'd try to get back in time to mow the raggedy-awful lawn that my recovery and the rain have prevented me from taking care of.

Well, last night was a beautiful night in the holler. I slept like a baby. Morning came just as beautifully as a morning on the edge of summer can be. While I ate breakfast, two deer browsed the edge of my lane just down from my cabin. Then, it was off to work.

My neighbor had mowed the weeds down that were taking over the road, which is nice (and rare). I did my usual once-over with Roundup to keep them down for a while. While I was doing that, I noticed some erosion starting just below the shed, so I put in a couple of diversion bars and did a little patching on the drive. I had also noticed a couple of very large erosion spots on the main road in -- right at the curve on the lower bank that supports the whole road. Thinking "a stitch in time" and all that, I looked for something to fill the crevices with. I had no rock, and filling erosion scars with rock just exacerbates the problem. What I had lots of was cut wood, so I got about three car trunkfuls of ash and honey locust that I cut several years ago and filled the holes with them. As the rain washes dirt down these proto-gulleys, it'll back up and cover the wood, which will slowly decompose and patch the holes. At least, I hope so.

I left Wilderstead about 1:00 p.m. and headed for E'ville. It was spattering rain as I entered Monroe County, and I was worried about getting my lawn mowed. I pulled in home, and lo and behold! some good fairies had mowed my lawn for me! And trimmed around the fence! I'd heard of fairies who helped with tailoring and shoemaking, but I've never encountered lawn care fairies! I'm deeply grateful.

All in all, it's been a great day. The weather is good, the woods are beautiful, the catalpas are all blooming, and my energy has stood up to a morning of hard work and a long drive. Life is very good. Thanks be to God.

political foo

Rand Paul has stepped into a buzz saw over civil rights. Now, Paul is a libertarian, which means he's as close to colorblind as it is probably possible to be, politically. But this is not a libertarian country -- and never really was, whatever some people might say. People don't understand his answers. They mishear him. Some do it intentionally.

This is why so many otherwise conservative people are so wary of libertarians, and why Paul's father, Rep. Ron Paul, has been labeled as the "crazy uncle" in the Republican Party. Now, I understand libertarianism. I even respect it, though I don't hold with it much, myself. I'll give Paul the benefit of every doubt. But at the end of the day, there is an air of making up one's own reality about the way libertarians talk about things, and that's a problem.

To be perfectly fair, Paul is no more disconnected from reality than most of the people on the other side -- you know, the ones who believe that if we just meet every aggressor with flowers and speak nicely to them, they won't be nasty any more. If you want to see where that form of indulging in one's own reality leads to, you have only to see the mouthful of mumbles with which the Obama Administration has met the sinking of a South Korean warship by a North Korean submarine. They dare not call it war, because they're not prepared for war. They spent all their chances to prepare for conflict smothering various autocrats' backsides with kisses, and now they have no credible response for the situation they face.

But that doesn't excuse Paul from facing hard realities, either. There is such a thing as "facts on the ground." History -- including legal history -- is what it is. Reopening old wounds is stupid. Smart politicians talk about the future.