Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Words are fictitious
I am sick and tired of letters, like that of David Schneeberg in a Dec. 21 letter to the editor, who now (after President Obama did it) just love to say “there are better ways to satisfy the health care needs of the needy.”
Words now are not just cheap, they’re fictitious.
It is certainly true that FedEx and UPS operate in a manner that tends to generate a considerable degree of resentment, but a far greater share of the blame for holiday gift delivery disasters ought to be placed squarely on the shoulders of none other than “John (and Jill) Q. Public.”
The transport system buckled under the strain of Americans’ consumerist frenzy, and it simply could not keep up with their voluminous greed. Advertising-driven retail gluttony finally managed to surpass what our carriers of freight could properly handle.
No “Grinch” truly “stole Christmas” as a result of these unhappy parcel-toting failures. What’s really wrong is a mentality that seeks a stratospherically high mountain of purchases over the Yule season.
Just as no one can realistically expect healthful outcomes from incessant gourmandizing, so also is it reasonable to expect unsatisfactory developments in the wake of our hysterically excessive accumulation of retail items. “More and more” simply is not a sustainable attitude in a world of finite resources.
Bothersome though the recent FedEx and UPS experiences proved to be, it must be admitted that the fundamental problem is our gargantuan mercantile hoggishness.
If the public elects to send a nearly infinite amount of “stuff” hundreds or thousands of miles away, then it ought to simply accept the fact that the imperfect and mortal human beings doing the transporting will make mistakes.
Give young men WINGS
After being overwhelmed with projects around our horse boarding stable and property, I decided to call WINGS for help. And a darned good decision it turned out to be!
WINGS (Give Them Wings Inc.) is a nonprofit that provides housing, work, education and other services to homeless young men who need a “hand up” on their way to independence.
Some of the jobs weren’t very appealing, like pruning years of blackberries from an old, 2-acre-long stone wall and stacking them in huge piles for burning; or hand-digging a trench through rocky ground inside the barn to extend a water line. But the young men of WINGS were willing to tackle anything.
They arrived with all the necessary tools, and every job was finished to perfection. They were all very amiable, hardworking and respectful, and it was my pleasure to work with them. No doubt more projects will crop up next year, as they always seem to. I’ve got WINGS’ phone number programmed in my phone!
I’d like to encourage others to visit the Give Them Wings website (getwings.net) and invite these young men to come and give you a hand. We’re grateful to them and wish them well on their journey.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge