10/8/2012 5:15:00 PM Publisher's Column
coming this weekend
Last week, I wrote about global warming and the opportunities we are missing to gain an economic advantage. I touched lightly on the feature of our continued refusal to address global warming that concerns me most and that is the change taking place in our region's climate and our lack of preparation. Our growing season is getting longer but we are also getting drier.
Sunday, September 30 we took some of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to The Renaissance Festival near the Twin Cities. We got a parking spot close to the entrance gate. There was a good breeze, and throughout the day, we were breathing dry, dusty air. The vendors at the festival said it had been dusty and dirty all through the season this year, something they had not experienced before. When we got back to our car, I was glad we had gotten the spot we did. It was along the fence and by a corner. If it had been out in the mass of hundreds of vehicles in the lot, we might have had a difficult time recognizing it because there wasn't a spot of blue visible. It was coated with a layer of dust averaging a 16th of an inch thick. I've seen photos of the dust during the 30's but this is the closest to seeing it in real life I've experienced in my 70 years.
Scientists are reluctant to make any predictions about what global warming will do to our climate because they have no data to work from. Right now no one knows if next year we will have more of the same or if the excessive rain and flooding other regions of the Earth have experienced will move our way.
My bet, which I hope I would lose, is that the drought that has been moving north the past few years will include us in its territory next year. I haven't found any agency that is planning for such a contingency. If you know of one, I'd appreciate it if you would let me know.
The thing I enjoy least about the end of the summer season is the end of fresh tomatoes from the garden. We went out and picked most of the tomatoes before the big freeze Saturday night. We covered what was left in the off chance the freeze wouldn't be as bad as predicted, but when I went out to take the cover off Sunday, the plants had frozen. We'll get a few more meals of fried green tomatoes and some salads and sandwiches with red ones, then its back to the tasteless commercial varieties for the winter.
Digging potatoes is great exercise this year. It takes a pick and shovel. Fork tines can't stand up to the soil. The one advantage is the potatoes come out pretty clean once you set them free. Ours were not very productive this year.
There are a couple of important fundraisers coming up this weekend.
Saturday, October 13 is Hope for Harmony, a benefit for Harmony Henderson, who was severely injured in an auto accident on Sept. 9. She suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, many broken bones and internal injuries for which she is being treated at St. Mary's Hospital. It is going to be a very long and challenging recovery period. Proceeds from the event will go directly to her family to help with medical bills. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank. On Saturday, Hope for Harmony will be at the Dodge Center American Legion from 1 p.m. to midnight. There will be a silent auction, bean bag tournament, food, bake sale, crazy hair and Hope for Harmony tattoos for kids, all from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. That will be followed by a dance from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Sunday, October 14 there will be a Memorial Benefit for the family of Hayfield Fireman Jon Nelson, 36, who died Sept. 27 in Boston, where he had gone for treatment of a very rare form of cancer. He leaves a young wife and four young boys. There will be a silent auction and pancake breakfast at the Hayfield Fire Hall to help with expenses related to his illness and death, and to help with the challenges ahead.