“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”

I love this morning. The sun is so very bright and the skies is a cloudless dark blue. The breeze is slight. It is 51˚ right now and won’t get much higher, but I’m okay with that. It is just spring on Cape Cod.

Today is Earth Day. I missed the first one in 1970. I was in Ghana for my second year. Living there was a disconnect from what was happening here at home. I did get the NY Times Week in Review from Peace Corps Ghana, and every three or four months I’d get the Sunday Times, several at once. That subscription had been a gift. But what was going on at home seemed remote despite the papers. There I was living in Bolga, shopping on market days, trying to sleep in the heat, taking cold showers as there was no hot water and teaching for the first time. My life was complex in a whole different way than I knew before Ghana.

The Ghanaians used everything. Nothing was wasted. Tires became the soles of sandals. Newspapers were wrapped around rice and meat bought from the market. Cans were multi-purposed. Anything which could be recycled was. Earth Day was every day in Ghana. It was their way of life.

When I came home, it took a long while to feel comfortable. In Ghana, I had vowed I would live a simpler life at home. That lasted for a while then I got caught up with living here. It took until I had my own home before I began to recycle. It had nothing to do with Earth Day. It was what I had learned in Ghana. I saved cans and bottles and newspaper and magazines. I thought about how the Ghanaians would have loved all of those. They would have thought my bags were treasure troves.

We are going in the wrong direction. The Obama policies to curb climate change and limit pollution have been reversed by Trump, with help from his administration and the Republicans in Congress. Our Earth wasn’t even considered. Profits and politics were. If it had Obama’s name attached in any way, it was gone, erased regardless of the environmental impact. After all, there is no global warming, no climate change. Just ask Pruitt.

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16 Comments on ““The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.””

  1. flyboybob Says:

    In the 1990s I was elected to our homeowner’s association as president. One project we began was recycling. One Sunday a month we would go through the neighborhood and collect recyclables and take them to the city’s recycling center. We hoped that the money we received would pay for a neighborhood party in the summer and help the environment. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long. For one thing our neighbors didn’t read the flyer that described what items were recyclable and included garbage which we had to separate. Then, the price we got for newsprint, aluminum cans and other items was so small that we could never have a party of any sort.

    Your comments on the current political situation and the environment is very sad. I’m amazed how the Republican Party has denied real science in place of ‘junk’ science produced by the energy companies and right wing think tanks. Unlike things like the belief in a supreme being which is debatable, climate change is real and we humans are the major driver of global warming. Our two tribes are now so polarized in their beliefs that even the facts that don’t agree with their position is labeled fake by our President and his minions.

    Today is partly sunny with a forecast high of the 70s.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I knew that you need thousands of pounds of recycles to make even a bit of money. I let my town take care of all that as my dump has a huge recycle area. Most cars stop there first. After Christmas, the trees are even recycled and are used to stabilize the dunes and protect them from the wind.

      Trump obliterated everything Obama did to protect the environment. It is shameful we are withdrawing from the Paris Accord in 2020. Trump said in defense of the withdrawal he is the president of the US, not Paris. He had no idea it was named for Paris because that was where it was signed. Perhaps he forgot about the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. I guess he wouldn’t have signed that either.

      The environment means nothing to a man for whom the bottom line is the only thing that counts.

  2. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had a really nice day here, not warmer than yesterday to be honest but no wind and that makes it feel so much warmer than it is. Haven’t done much to be honest. The laundry and I’ve roasted two chickens and I felt that was just enough for the day 🙂

    We recycle everything here, even food. I can’t remember when we started but I do remember that the first thing we did recycle was glass, old bottles and jars and they were all thrown into something that looked much like a huge green Igloo. Well there is one thing we don’t recycle yet and that’s old metal food cans, I guess it’s just a matter of time until we do though.

    Can’t remember when I heard about Earth Day, I don’t think it was that long ago though. Or do I mix it up with Earth hour? 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I haven’t done much either. I do have to pick up a few items at the grocery store as it is my turn for game night food and that’s it for the day.

      My dump has recycle bins for so many things but not for food. That’s considered garbage.

      Today, April 22nd, has always been Earth Day since the beginning. I think Earth hour is also this month, but I don’t know all that much about it.

      Enjoy your day!!

  3. Hedley Says:

    Kat and Bob,
    Mrs MDH and I have parked the Jeep and are cruising all day on the TTC – $12.50 Canadian for the two of us, brill . We took the subway down to King and then the street car over to the Distillery District. I rewarded myself with a beer at Mill Street and watched the world go by. We spent most of our time in the galleries.

    A quick regroup now before heading out to the Greek Danforth area and then Steven Wilson in concert

    We are systematically uncoupling from the physical form of newspapers replacing them with digital subscriptions to the NYT and The Times. Now if I can find a way to get rid of my mail box fillers…

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,

      I really do like reading the paper. When I was in Ghana, I read the Globe on line. It was an okay substitute until I could get my hands on the paper again.

      I have never been to Toronto. For some reason, Canada just hasn’t been on my radar. Maybe I could get back into traveling by going to Canada. It would be so much cheaper than most places I usually go.

      I hope you enjoyed the concert. It is a great end to what sounded like a wonderful day!!

  4. Birgit Says:

    Despite your current president and government your country does more to protect the climate right now than my country does. Our start wasn’t bad but meanwhile our solar industry is nearly dead and wind power industry suffers because of bad decisions and laws that promote coal and protect the big old energy companies. Burning brown coal is one of the worst climate killers but … politics. Sounds familiar and frustrating, I guess.

    Our nearby hardware store closed some years ago and we don’t have a car so I still reuse and try to repair a lot of things. I already did it when I was young, it was just a necessity with mainly housebound adults at home.

    This last summer day for now ended with rain, back to spring tomorrow.
    Bike tour today to a nearby small nature reserve which is also a forced labour memorial site. Mainly East European workers lived here during WW2, many of them died. In crazy war monger times like these it’s important not to forget the past.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      Trump is easing regulations on the coal industry bringing back dumping. He is rolling back anything Obama did to protect the environment and save national parks. He has no interest whatsoever in the false news of globe warming. I worry about the future because of him.

      I have a local hardware store near me. None of the big box stores are in my town. One tried and was so heavily regulated it gave up. My town prides itself on saving open spaces and preserving the small town feeling. We don’t even have a McDonald’s but we do have two Dunkin’ Donuts.

      We haven’t even had spring yet!

  5. Spaceman Says:

    Trump hasn’t done a single thing that harms national parks

    • katry Says:

      No, he hasn’t. I agree. I think I didn’t explain well enough what has been proposed. For example, he is reducing the size of some parks to make way for oil and gas drilling, mining and other extraction activities. He has supported oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

      There are more examples but these two explain best what I meant.

      I have missed your dropping by with examples of country or Christian music I don’t know but will probably like. When I post country or bluegrass, I think of you! You’re helping to fill my musical gap!!

  6. Spaceman Says:

    Seems like I’ve been really busy lately – went to Nashville a couple of times – so not been blogging as near much as usual. I’m glad that you like a country and bluegrass tune,and an occasional Contemporary Christian – I’ll be sure to drop one in. Rained the entire durn day yesterday – my cat wanted out several times but did an quick about face when I opened the door – funny. So she commenced to wander about the house – cabin fever. Looks a bit better today. And the azalea bushes are in bloom – pinks and bright reds – so that does add a lot of color to the ‘hood.

    The house swallow chicks that were nested on the front porch are grown and gone. They’ll nest a second time and will be back again in a month or so. The great news is that ones inside my grill have done the same so I can use my grill again (hurrah). I propped it open about about six inches – hope that will encourage them not to nest there again and at least I can see what they are up to and scoot them off before they get serious with a nest

    • katry Says:

      Spaceman,
      I envy you your weather and I envy even more the blossoming of your bushes. We do have buds here, and I can see the yellow of my forsythia, but it still has been in the mid-30’s at night and no higher than 55˚ during the days.

      My cats have always lived inside and Maddie, at 18 and 1/2 sleeps more than anything though she still has a great appetite and wanders often to her food dish. Henry knows what the dog door is for, but I have to encourage him to go out. He doesn’t yet realize he has the freedom to go into the yard whenever he wants.

      My grill was the repository for squirrel pine cones last year but not this year. They also filled my outdoor shower with their pine cones. I haven’t seen any nesting birds, but the birds are lively and active so I figure there are some. I have to fill my feeders later.

      • Spaceman Says:

        The forsythia’s and the daffodils are first out (about a month ago here).

        My kitty prefers it outside unless the weather is awful. She will come in to eat some and them wants back out. Shows off her prizes by dropping them on the front doormat – mostly mice and an occasional chipmunk. Likes to stay out at night if the weather is semi-decent. Worry some about that because there are coyotes in the vicinity – but she is apparently clever enough to stay out of harm’s way. Cats do routinely disappear.

        Glad to hear your new doggie is working out. I’m sure he will get more outdoorsy as Spring wanders in.

        It’s Confederate Memorial Day – State and City offices are closed. Alabama and Mississippi are the only states that still observe it directly. I have several ancestors on the my mother’s side that fought in Mississippi and Louisiana brigades. My father fought the Japanese. It is appropriate to commemorate those who came before you.

      • katry Says:

        Spaceman,
        My daffodils and hyacinths are in bloom. They are also the first flowers here. I do see a few tiny green shoots in the garden near the house but they have a long way to go.

        He is moving around more in the yard. Tonight he went running up to the back fence then turned around and ran to the stairs. I’m glad he’s running as he is still a puppy with a whole lot of energy.

        The worst thing I ever heard was a cat screaming. I think it must have been caught by a coyote as they are around here too. My family started keeping our cats inside after two were poisoned and one was hit by a car. The vet thought the poisoning was deliberate. Maddie is 18 1/2.

        My father was in the navy mostly in the North Atlantic so I guess I can say he fought Germans. One grandfather fought in WWI. At one Memorial Day parade he was the grand marshal being the oldest WWI veteran still alive. We don’t go back as far as the Civil War.

  7. Spaceman Says:

    18 1/2 for a cat, that’s ancient. I can see why she lays about. My cat loves being outside, so it would be mean to try to keep her inside even with some risk outdoors. I think I have told you before, she will follow you if you take a walk, which is funny in my book anyway. It is good that you have a fenced yard for your pup, he will enjoy being outside as the weather improves. Perhaps he can convince the squirrels to be on guard at least.

    Spring is in full force here though it has been quite cool and very rainy. 3 inches week last and 2 more Sunday. The upside is that everything is green and growing like crazy. My yard needs serious work in the front – I have been using the weather to come up with excuses to procrastinate not working on it. But have about exhausted that line. Rats.

    • katry Says:

      Spaceman,
      Her companion died last fall with heart and kidney problems. Both were rescues who were five when I adopted them.

      We are a cat and dog family but more cats than dogs. Each of my sisters has two cats. One also had a dog, Lucky, who was wonderful. My nephews have two dogs and a cat. We all grew up with animals. We got our first dog when I was 5 but not our first cat until I was 14.

      We had a week of rain so I’m thrilled for the sun of the last few days. It will rain again tonight.

      My lawn has some dead spots. They’ll be dug up and soil and seed will replace them. My gardens have been cleaned and pruned. They’ll be mulched after the planting. It is still early here to put in flowers. It was in the 30’s last night; however, I will get pansies for the pots on the front steps. They’re hardy enough.


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