Tam at View From The Porch mentions (commends) a Dennis Ranch post on “Whining“. That is, a working rancher reflects on – rants about – people (city, or non-ranch, folk) stranded and torn from their regular routine by the recent blizzard.
We get a three day doozy of a blizzard. How long has it been since we had one of those in this country at Chriustmas? Been awhile. Setting here this morning reading all the comments and talk on the internet from blogs and Facebook, of people I read and know who have just went thru’ this. And what do I read? Whine, whine, bitch, bitch and moan, moan! “Woe is me!”
Oh how sad that your poor little lives have been upset by Mother Nature. On all the farm/ranch blogs I read, I never saw one person who whined about the extra work to feed the stock. Just the satisfaction of knowing they got the stock all fed and taken care of. Mostly (sorry town and city dwellers) all I read was whine, whine, cry, cry. because we can’t get somewhere we WANT to go. Oh my!
Things didn’t go your way!
I grew up in rural NW Iowa, and have been snowed in – mostly every winter, at home. We had heat and running water, food, and barring emergency, accepted the situation and went on. The lane from the house to the road was most of a quarter mile long (house set in the center of a quarter-section of land), and we walked to meet the school bus, whether there was snow drifted or not. If school was on, we headed out; we could see the school bus a couple miles away so we just had time to make it, if we hurried.
So I understand that DennisRanch has little patience for people that haven’t organized their life, from the vehicle they drive to how they heat their home and plan for water when the power and roads are down. That knowing the neighbors and being ready to help – or ask for help – when needed is a matter of planning for regular natural interruptions.
Look at Sharon Astyk’s take on this at Chatelaine’s Keys. Sharon doesn’t mention the blizzard; she is concerned about the nation falling off the common electric grid. That is, the Peak Oil community expects the average (read: more than half, not counting those living in poverty) American family will *not be able* to afford local utilities by 2012. That number came from expectations about instability of oil and coal prices, and much before Obama decided to tax the utility industry into rubble. Kathy at The Just In Case Book Blog looks at all kinds of preparation for emergencies. The Original Modern Urban Homestead is one family’s example of creating a microfarm in Pasadena, focusing on sustainable and alternative energy practices, and food security.
I venture to say that DennisRanch hasn’t “prepared” for transportation cost to overcome market value on his livestock – so he could no longer afford to sell. I venture to say that DennisRanch would be hardpressed to manufacture the appliances and clothes in his home, or the homes of “city slickers”. A recent fairy-tale movie, Juia Stiles’ “The Prince & Me”, makes a point that we are all interconnected. That no one gets hurt without hurting all of us.
And I don’t think DennisRanch adequately takes into account, that storm surprises that catch folks unprepared for what he experiences rather regularly – the isolation and danger of show storms and road travel – is that over time, the rural folk have learned to cope. Others don’t yet have the experience. Where DennisRanch likely, as I did, learned from parents and neighbors what works and what is a hazard over the course of a year, others have family heritage that includes office work and urban interests and hazards. The rural bragging about weathering harsh storms over city slickers is as much a truism and a joke, a the green out of towner or rural rube getting mugged or lost in the big city.
The answer, I think, is to be aware of what the natives know and how they act. Anything different might be due to ignorance – but might be due to hazards and opportunities that we are ignorant about.
Even the village idiot has a story to tell.