Community Clean Up

I’ve written about Earth before. Several times, actually. I shared a video last June narrated by Julia Roberts. I have since learned there are a slew of these video narrated by various celebrities and cover all facets of our Mother Earth. Oceans. Rainforests. The Sky.

Today, Team Wood did our small part. Every spring our community organizes a town clean-up. Today was the fourth annual clean up. According to organizers there were about 30 volunteers who showed up. She guessed the numbers were low because today was the first full day of sunshine in over a week. We knew where we wanted to clean, so, upon registration, we just informed them where we were going. We were handed 8 very large garbage bags and 1 clear bag for refundables, then set off. The sun was shining. The kids were excited. With gloves donned we were cleaning up a ditch along main street. 

That’s a glimpse of what it was like before we started. This gully was about 75 meters long and it looked like this the entire length. It was also parallel to a heavily trafficked road. This is what visitors to our town would see. So we cleaned it up. 

The boys were on a mission for an hour and half and DW and I were both impressed with their determination and attitudes. In past clean up they had been less than helpful. DW talked to them afterwards telling them to remember this when they are older and out with their friends. The Earth is not a garbage can. When people treat it like this we end up having to clean up their mess. So should they or their friends be tempted to just throw their garbage on the ground, remember this day, remember this is the only Earth we have. How difficult would be to just put it in a garbage can?

Here’s what it looked like after filling 4 very large garbage bags and a bag of refundables…

How do you help Mother Earth?If you’re looking for a clean place to go, find my exceptionally tidy place on Facebook and Twitter!
 

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A Letter To My Oldest Son

Hey buddy,

I can’t believe you’re going to be nine in a couple weeks. It seems like just yesterday your mom and I were bringing you home from the hospital. You gave us a good scare there in the beginning. You don’t remember your open heart surgery when you were five days old, but we remember. Vividly.

Speaking of your heart, you’re our tenderheart child. You feel greatly. Your feelings can be hurt easily. Sometimes I pick on you and lightly make fun of you not to hurt those tender feelings of yours. I do it to help you understand the difference between people teasing to make you laugh and teasing to hurt you. I do it so you won’t be so hard on yourself. I do it so you understand that humor can be the best medicine.

You are our snuggler. Our hugger. Hugs hello. Hugs goodbye. Hugs because you feel loved. Hugs because you want someone else to feel loved. When your actions help others and gains you nothing, I know you will grow up to be a great person.

I would never tell you to stop feeling. Feelings are important in today’s society. It means you care for others as much as you care for yourself. They allow you to empathise. They allow you to not just understand what others are feeling, but to know what they are feeling. Especially those closest to you.

I would never tell you to “suck it up” because this world needs more people who care. That is what calls people to action. Many people complain about a situation, their own or one with society. However, it’s the ones who care who step up and do something about it. They are the problem solvers of the world.

I would never tell you to “grow a pair” because great leaders understand emotion. They understand people’s emotions are an important part of a skill set. The greater you can make someone feel the more productive they’re likely to be. Great leaders tap into their own emotions as well as the emotions of their colleagues to make them feel as equals, not as minions.

I would never tell you to “man up”. To “man up” signifies that you are not a man. Obviously, you are not a man, you’re only nine. But you are of the man species. Telling you to man up would signify that you can’t be a man because you have emotions, because you care, because you shed a tear. It signifies that you are less than a man. To be less than a man is less than human. Less than life itself. You are not. You never will be. I don’t care what anyone tells you or tries to make you feel.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll will tell you to quit your bitchin’. You are to quit your bitchin’ if you are complaining more about the problem than doing anything to solve the problem. You are to quit your bitching if you’re complaining about something that can’t be changed (aka, the weather). You are to quit your bitchin’ if you’re complaining about something that is your own fault.

You are our tenderheart and I hope that never changes. I know there will be some events that will try to harden you. They will try to break you down into a person who doesn’t care. I hope you only let them build you up and make you the man I know you’ll be.

Love,
Dad

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Fun Facts

First, I want you to imagine a guinea pig. Imagine it in all it’s hair. Now removed its hair. Shave it clean off. Right down to its skin. Here’s the ugly thing you should be imagining right about now…

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This guinea pig was not shaved. It just has no hair. It’s hairless. Bald. I can relate.  Maybe it’s not so ugly.

Fun Facts: It’s a hairless guinea pig called a Skinny Pig. They have been in existence for less than 40 years. They weren’t discovered on some uncharted island far away, but in a lab. They were a cross between a hairless strain and a hairy guinea pig. They want to breed them to use as test subjects. Hence the expression guinea pig to come to mean a first time experiment.  They are mammals (just like us bipedal humans). These new Skinny Pigs became test subjects in dermatological studies. Yes, skin testers.

Fun Facts: Without hair they are more sensitive to temperature changes. Much like we are when we’re naked. They also also eat slightly more than their hairy counterparts in an effort to maintain their body fat. They are also susceptible to sunburn and skin infections, because, you guessed it, they ain’t go no hair!

Fun Facts: They tend to grow to be 8-11 inches (20-28 cm) long and live to be about 7 or 8 years old.

Fun facts: I know these things exist because Bang wants one. We saw one some time ago – at least 6 months, maybe more. It was love at first sight. He’s been talking about it ever since. Just yesterday he mentioned again that he still wants a skinny pig.

I still want a bearded dragon. They make lousy running partners, though.

 

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Mother Earth

This video came across my Facebook newsfeed a week or so ago. I couldn’t let it go without passing it on to you.

It’s only two minutes of your day. The views are majestic and the message is timeless.

By now you have figured out that I care about Earth as Earth cares about me. And it does care. It gives me water to drink, food to eat and forests to hike and run through. It gives me the company of animals, though some of them would rather eat me than keep me company. Nature provides. It gives us all we need to survive. It’s been preparing for us for a long time. It’s been here for four and half billion years – 22,500 times longer than us. I’m guessing it’ll be here that much longer after us as well.

And I wonder what kind of world are we leaving our children, our children’s children?

We are the ancestors of the future.

I’m all for looking for other planets. I’m all for looking for life beyond our own Earth. I’m all for colonizing other planets should we find one suitable and develop the technology needed to get there. I’m NOT for destroying the only planet habitable to us. I’m NOT for all the garbage and litter and waste and pollution.

Like the video said, Mother Earth has starved creatures greater than us. I have no doubt she’ll do just that should we stay on the wasteful path we’re currently on.

Rant over, thank for watching and listening 🙂

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