Gratitude in All Circumstances

Gratitude is a daily attitude.  Wake up thinking about how blessed you are.  We lost electricity for hours for 3 days.  I’m thankful that we had any power and that we had a fireplace to burn wood in the daytime and lots of covers for the night.  We were without water for 6 days.  Bottled water was bought for just such a time.

I’m really sorry for those people who were in much worse conditions.  The poor always suffer more.  Wish I could change that.

Lately there has been lots of ridicule about Texas for not being able to manage the electrical power grid.  This is in defense of the electrical companies.  I am in no way connected to them.  Just did a little research.

First of all, this was probably the weather event of the century.  Last week It was minus one a couple of days with a high still in one digit numbers.  One day this week, it was 80 degrees.  Lows average in the 30’s and highs in the 50’s and 60’s this time of the year.

Secondly, electrical production is different in the south than in the north.  According to the Texas comptroller, for 2020, these are the sources used to produce electricity:  natural gas: 47.4%, coal : 20.3%, wind: 20%, and nuclear: 10.8.

Notice that there is no water on the list.  That’s because Texas doesn’t have the water for hydroelectric power.  We are in drought most of the year.

All power sources have drawbacks.  Even hydroelectric power alters waterways and life cycles of fish, wildlife, and plants.

Solar requires massive blocks of land to produce enough commercially.  One has been proposed about 40 miles away.  It is to cover 3,000 acres.  I don’t know how much electricity it will generate.  Sure, there are miles and miles of vacant land in the Big Bend area.  Then the issue becomes how to transport electricity to populated areas hundreds of miles away.

And there’s the threat of danger from explosions of nuclear power plants.  Burning fossil fuels creates environmental problems.

This was an early snowfall one spring.  Bet this Eastern Meadowlark was as surprised as we were.

Love buttermilk skies.  We cherish the country views.  That’s why we moved here.

Now we come to wind turbines, that many people laud as the perfect power.  For those who have to see them from their property, they are definitely not perfect.  There goes our wide open skies view.

These are massive and humongous eyesores.  The initial cost is high.  They require constant maintenance.  When they no longer work, they still clutter up the landscape because the companies who own them are not required to take them down.

Although the companies won’t admit it, wind turbines do kill birds and create noise pollution.  But the worst part is that they produce intermittent energy and are not reliable.  Many days they stand like beached whales, not turning their blades.  Bottom line:  the government needs to stop giving them tax abatements.

Now, what does all this have to do with gratitude? Surviving the last storm was a gift.  Any day we wake up with good health and have a family that loves us is amazing.  The beauty of the coming spring brings joy.  Just think of all the positives in your life.

Less criticism and more positive comments both in public platforms and personal ones will make life better for all. I’m not trying to be Polly Annie; just don’t like what is happening in our dear country.   Okay.  Now I’m stepping off my soapbox.

“Enjoy the little things.  For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”  Robert Brault

Waiting for Spring

So close, but not quite yet.  Warm days feel like spring is here, but are followed by colder days that remind us to be patient.

An early morning drive gives a full view of the rising sun in all its glory.

That big yellow ball of fire makes a spectacular appearance.

As I eagerly await flowers blooming in my yard, I’m reminded that it’s okay to just go buy some flowers.  Or just enjoy ones given to you or gift someone with a gorgeous bouquet.

Carnations have never been a favorite of mine.  But the new lush colors have made them a great choice for arrangements.

But nothing beats a rose for cut flowers.  Although these commercial ones have no scent because they were bred to have tall, strong stems and many petals.  Still beautiful.

Yeah.  Roses speak of love and delicate creations.That early morning drive took us to a garden meeting.  A woman from the Hubbard area, where we were, is a true farm woman, and it sounded like her family is pretty self sustaining.  She raises seven and a half (she’s expecting) children, lots of goats, chickens, and cows.

She was at the meeting to give a short talk and sell her products.  The usual goat products of soaps and lotions as well as some creams for pain and other products were available.

But the highlight of the meeting was the baby kid.  In fact, the whole meeting was disrupted as people jumped up with their phones to get pictures.  At least, I was polite enough to wait until the end of the meeting.  Okay, that’s patting my own back.

Meanwhile, in our backyard, the Cherry Laurel is covered with blossoms.  Another encouraging sign that the arrival of spring isn’t far away – at least here.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”   Margaret Atwood