rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “weather”

The Peculiarities of Nature

I sometimes feel the need to explain myself. No matter what course of action I take, it does not always seem illuminating. I wonder if you ever feel that way.
In writing this poem I was influenced by the weather of late. Temperatures hovering in the teens and a smattering of white fluffy stuff drifting about the surface of a frozen earth. Living here in North Texas, we occasionally experience varying degrees of weather. Snow, ice, cold temps, makes one want to stay in bed. Well at least when one gets to be my age. Maybe I should not generalize.

Let me put it this way, I, at times, want to stay in bed and can’t. I find the circumstances to be exasperating. The occasions that come to mind are those in which I find myself with a serious motive for rising early. On these occasions, my desire is to stay there however, the circumstances prevent that desire.

On the other hand, some mornings I am not obligated for any particular project and have the freedom to stay a bit longer. However, I awake at an early hour and find myself unable to go back to sleep. Such is the revolving degrees of slumber and I have no solution.
So here are The Peculiarities of Nature. Perhaps you may see the motivation in this poem.

The Peculiarities of Nature

The early morning sun rises daringly
through the slits in the venetian blind.
Peering timidly from within, I resist approval.

I battle its domain;
He, not willing to retreat,
Me, not ready to abandon my comfort.

His actions imperil my sense of slumber.
As the darkness retreats, I stare helplessly,
Even as my vision flounders in the shadows,

Events of pretend still fresh
Of faraway places in my mind
I struggle with consciousness.

I feel bewildered.

I seek authority; there is none
I seek motivation; there is none.
I seek insight; there is none.

The whims of nature are tenacious.
The glimmer of his powerful rays
overcome my illusions of self-possession.

His persistence is overwhelming.
The venetian blind, raised to the limit,
my eyes are focused distinctly.

The morning ritual is bright and cheery
and I reap the reward of full satisfaction.
Good morning, Morning!

                                                                                                                                       Pete Robertson
© January 2017

Stay warm, wherever you are.

 

Of a Serious Nature

I am deviating from my usual genre of writing because one of my readers commented recently on “The Character of Nature”,  an article I wrote concerning  the extremes of weather activity. That comment also suggested that I share more of my personal perspectives on grief as well as the weather.

The weather, well, this is in the authority of God and I have not yet acquired nor developed the skills to assimilate the various instabilities in weather related disasters. I can only offer my condolences and support to the victims of these calamities, along with spiritual encouragement.

Sometimes we humans wonder if God causes these disasters.  It seems like God isn’t on our side, however, we still need to realize that He can be trusted. Why, because He has injected Himself into our lives by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to intercede on our behalf. This is the love of God most clearly. Martin Luther once said, “When you look around and wonder whether God cares, you must always hurry to the cross and you must see Him there’.”                                                                                                                                                                                          After we see the response from people following a natural disaster, we see a genuine and heartfelt effort to help someone in distress. This is offered freely and is a trait given to mankind by God, whether one chooses to believe it or not.“When we hear about a natural disaster we should grieve with those who grieve. And we should ask what we can do to alleviate their suffering.”   http://www.Billygraham.org

As for as my thoughts on grief, well, there are literally hundreds of books and writings dealing with grief. I am not an authority on the subject and this does not in any way represent how one should or should not grieve. This is only my perspective on the subject.

Just like everyone else, I have experienced loss.  It is true that grief is unpredictable and inevitable, just like the weather, as the reader commented.  However, I learned a long time ago that giving in to the very feelings of grief is understandable. It is an emotion, yet we cannot allow emotions to consistently dictate the way we live our lives. I believe we should live through the experience, not in the experience.  There are lessons to be learned through these encounters.  However,  I believe at some point one must face reality. There is no time frame for overcoming grief. I cannot tell you how you should grieve over the nature of your loss.  It is very personal.  And personal stories of grief are just that, personal, to be shared only when you feel the time is right.   My suggestion would be to encompass  the love of God in dealing with grief.  David wrote in Psalm 119:50,  “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life”.

Thanks to Rainee C., for commenting and allowing me an opportunity to expound on this subject. It was indeed a mind opening topic.  However, do not allow the seriousness of this article to keep you from having a wonderful day.

Smile, be upbeat and check your humorous character.

 

The Character of Nature

As I write this article, I do not make light of the circumstances of anguish and grieving. Certain parts of the country have received much more than their share of rain. I empathize in their despair for I too have experienced the misfortune and anxiety that comes with the disaster of flooding.  My heart goes out to those who are suffering a loss, especially a loss of life. My prayers are with you. Do not lose hope. 

Nature’s Character

Lately, we have experienced drought conditions and extreme heat. Plant life is being raddled to their limits. Green shrubs are turning brown; their leaves curling under and giving up the ghost. The once vibrant green grass no longer rises above the plain. It too, is having a brownout. The peaches not ready for picking have all shriveled and shrunken. The pond is drying up. The heat is taking its toll. To keep all this watered is not only time consuming but it puts a strain on the pocketbook.  Our water bill is approaching astronomical heights.

The “Rancherwriterpoet” and the “Rancherette” have the utmost respect for nature; however, as humans, we do take the necessary precautions for keeping cool, that being under the influence of the air conditioner most of the day. Of course, the electric bill is in the stratosphere alongside the water bill. When we do venture outside, we do not tarry long. I’m pretty sure the neighbors would object were we to wear less clothing.

The kennel dogs do not really care for the misting system installed on their partially shaded pens. There is only a soft hot breeze blowing across their outdoor pens, but with the misting system, it does cool the concrete pads and the air. All the standard poodles have a summer cut yet some prefer staying inside their buildings and under the fans, as if they are fused to the floor (they do not like to get their feet wet). Others will lie comfortably just out of reach of the mist but close enough to feel the coolness as it comes across their body. Occasionally they stand up, shake off vigorously, turn round and round several times and lie back down.  It’s what dogs do. When they lope out of their pens for their afternoon constitutional, they immediately tend to business and return to their pens. The afternoon sun is very warm and they prefer their shaded home sweet home.

Conversely, the Silkie chickens do not seem to mind the heat as much as us humans or dogs. They are wont to hunt and scratch and peck and chest bump and do the chicken dance around their coop. They run in little circles chasing anything that moves. They are always snooping around for food no matter that they feeder is full.  They engage in wide ranging conversations. Clucking and cackling, crowing and chirping, they express themselves quite effectively. Why, even the “Rancherette” understands chicken speak. This is how she knows to serve up frozen treats every afternoon; grapes, pineapple, and strawberries being among their favorites. They stand at the coop door and chatter vociferously, impatiently waiting for the “Rancherette” to calm their ruffled feathers. We obviously keep plenty of fresh water for them to drink. There are fans in their roosting coops for an air flow through their buildings. And did I mention the show birds domicile? These are the cream of the crop, uh, flock. They attend the chicken shows and bring home the bacon, uh, ribbons. They have they own individual pens, in an air conditioned building, never touching the ground or feeling the hot breeze outdoors.  They have it made in the shade, so to speak.

So, finally, the skies have opened up and delivered the much needed moisture. For three days, we have seen almost three inches of slowly absorbing rain, the kind necessary to break a drought. But, the kennel dogs do not like the rain any better than the misting system. The show birds do not even know it’s raining. It’s business as usual for them. The outdoor Silkie chickens do not care one way or another. All pens have some shade covering; but does not prevent the rain, so, instead of dust baths they now take mud baths. Good for the skin, I’m told, but their crested heads are having a bad hair day. In this case, they are wetter than an old mad hen.

The good news? Plants and grass are smiling. The water meter is smiling. The electric meter is smiling and the air conditioner gets a break. I’m smiling. Nature is smiling.

 

 

 

 

The Day of the Storm

This winter of 2015/2016 has been one for the record books. I do not believe I have ever experienced the ups and downs, twists and turns and such variable temperatures as the season has brought us so far this year. I believe that you, the reader, no matter where you live, may have gone through much of the same.

I felt a little poem coming on to support my assumption. This week, in Texas, and especially North Texas where I live, has been very wet and stormy, with high winds, tornadoes and flash flooding. Thus far, it has been as described.                                         My poem illustrates only one day. I simply called it,

The Day of the Storm

The morning breaks silently
with a formidable mist in the air.
Still, the forthcoming day
will bring unenviable clamor.
lightning will flaunt the heavens
Thunder will roar across the sky.

As the morning comes to a close
the orderliness of routine
will inconveniently cease to exist.
marauding winds will subdue the calm.
Unforgiving and intolerant
The rage in the air will angrily erupt.

Midday illustrates fearfulness
Yet it is serene calmness that
Placates a few, alarms several,
Even concerns many, for
the disarray will have its day
And the rains will stalk the stillness.

The night will bring more turmoil
Darkness and storms convey fear
Anxiety will increasingly intensify
As the hours, dwindle away
We search for reassurance
That will put our minds at ease.

and the annual seasonal events
will share the tranquility with
the turbulence and the tension.
Yet the serenity of composure
Will abide in the comfort of
knowing Who is in control.

Pete Robertson
March 2016

A Bit Like Texas

I cannot remember a winter like the one of 2015/2016. Warm and dry and wet and cold and windy. Fortunately, where I live, we have not yet seen any snow, however the season is still upon us and each new day brings us another repeat of the entire process.

The cold has not been completely unbearable, the dry only lasted so long, and the wet filled the pond until the dry took over again. Yesterday, the temp was hovering around 40 degrees and the wind was blowing from the north about 20 miles an hour. I do not know the formula for determining the wind chill; I will guess it is cold! Today, the sun is shining, the temp is still around 40 this morning, however the wind is not blowing. It will make for a great day.

But, that is how it is when you live in Texas and apparently other places as well. Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” People of numerous other states have obviously plagiarized that idiom. Thanks Mark Twain, for your input.

I have traveled to various parts of the world, thanks, in part to the United States Navy. I have visited some of the most beautiful places on this earth through my tours with Uncle Sam and I loved every one of them.

I have lived in other parts of this great United States. Everywhere I chose to live was a great place. Some had lofty mountains, some had great sandy beaches, and some had deep towering forests. I have lived in large cities and small rural communities, on major interstate highways, on dusty county roads and I loved them all.

Each place I have ever visited or lived has its own peculiar idiosyncrasies. Some are quirky, others sophisticated, many quaint or contemporary, and complicated or simple, maybe elegant or primitive.  The one thing they all have in common is the weather. Some days hot, some cold, some windy, some calm, some wet, some dry.

Sounds a bit like Texas. A place I dearly love. My condolences to those of you who must live elsewhere.

The Satellite Dish

Several years ago, I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper in Eastland County, Texas.I lived on Lake Leon and since that was my residence, I titled my column, “Puttering Around Lake Leon. I have since moved on to East Texas, however, ”In re-reading some of those columns, I decided to publish a few of those that seem to continue to have relevance today. I have listed a category on Rancherwriterpoet that I have named “RETRO”.

In my column, each week, I attempted to make certain comparisons to life’s circumstances by using a bit of humor as well as reminiscing about the “Good Old Days.” They also include my opinions concerning Christian Life. I confess, I am not theologically trained, thus I choose not to engage in any back and forth discussions. I accept your comments gratefully and appreciate them very much.

This first “Retro” post seems to fit right in with the most recent rains we have had lately.

Puttering Around Lake Leon

Satellite Dish

Satellite Dish

During the recent rains and for that matter every time it rains, my satellite dish goes on the fritz. The box tells me the signal has been lost. It occurred to me that no matter how far technology has come in my lifetime, I am still technologically (I can type it, I cannot pronounce it) challenged.
When I was a kid, I think thirteen or fourteen; I was a huge fan of the rock and roll music during that era. Actually, I still am. Maybe you remember those records, “Wop Bop A Lu Lop… Good Golly, Miss Molly… Move Over, Beethoven…”  If you do, then you are as old as I am and maybe as technologically challenged as me, but who am I to throw stones.

Anyway, I lived in a small town in East Texas and as I recall, the local radio station never played such “outlandish” music, “music of the devil” I was told. That would be my dear grandmother, God rest her soul. It was left up to us boys to find it wherever we could. I had a small radio with a dial that required very fine-tuning to locate a station. This is when I began my technology training.

The radio station, WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee, played MY kind of music. The only problem was I could not pick it up until very late at night. That time of night as well as the type of music was unacceptable to my mother. I failed to see the enormity of it. But, then, I discovered that if I tied a wire onto the window screen and attached it to the back of the radio I could pick up the station more clearly and thus I could play it more softly, thereby not disturbing my mother. It worked! Soon my friends around town were attaching wires to their radios and we were dancing the night away to Little Richard and Bo Diddley. That is, until my mother confiscated my antenna. I suffered a jolt to my system from which I never fully recovered. Lest there be any misunderstanding, though, I carry no grudge or ill will concerning my mother. I simply moved on with my life and got my music fix down at Buddy’s Dairy Bar.

Fast forward to modern days. Time moves on and with it, advances in technology. I was left in the cold; somewhere back in Eight Track Days.

I received my first cell phone in 1985. It was called a mobile phone in those days and weighed about three pounds. It certainly wasn’t very mobile. It was more like a suitcase. But, I never learned to program it. I enlisted my enlightened co-worker to accomplish that task. Newer phones became smaller and smaller, even fitting into my shirt pocket. I retired in 2006 and retired the phone as well. After all, I never did learn to use all the features that came with it. And today, we have txt msgs, whatever that means. LOL.

I got my first computer in 1990. I almost ruined it the day I plugged it in for I knew nothing about a computer. I have not advanced much since then, either. I am in awe of the meteoric advances in technology, today, even though I have been left far behind.

Programming the VCR was a hindrance to me as well. My son in his early ages conquered that problem. Then came the DVD player. My grandson accomplished that task. The digital camera was next. My granddaughter was responsible for that programming. On that subject, I fail to see how those pictures come out when there is no film inside.

Last year, my house flooded and I had to replace the electric range. It had to be programmed as well. Fortunately, the customer service technician was very helpful. It required only two phone calls, thirty-seven minutes on hold and about an hour later, I could boil water.

However, my most serious problem arose with the satellite dish. This thing sets on my roof, facing the southwestern sky and when I turn on the television, (which I might add, I needed the assistance of my eight-year-old nephew to program), I usually receive a picture.

Except of course, when it rains. The screen tells me the signal has been lost.

rain
There is absolutely nothing I can do to retrieve a picture until it quits raining. Then the thing does it completely without my help. I am thankful for that.

This thought occurred to me. You see, all these other devices, the radio, the camera, the VCR, the DVD, the telephone, the electric range, my computer, the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, the microwave oven, all electronic devices for which I needed help to program, ALL of these items continued to work in the rain. But not my satellite dish.
This is the only device I own that must be pointed to the sky in order to work properly. I know that signals must be received from that orbiting contraption if I am to view any program on my television.

Human intelligence, human ingenuity, although given to us by God, nevertheless, is hampered by our reluctance to acknowledge the Creator and His total creation. These magnificent devices that we cannot do without, pale in comparison with the wisdom that comes from God.
On good days, the signals from the satellite are received without a thought. It seems that way in our ordinary life. Only in the rain do I complain. Yet, God’s signals are never lost. We may tend to ignore them, to turn the set off, but they are not lost. In fact, it is a two-way communication system with Him.

The Bible is the complete communication device. The only programming I need to use this device comes from the Word itself. “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.

If I point my heart to the heavens, communication is instantaneous. I may be technologically challenged, but God is my programmer. He can be your programmer. Just point your heart to the heavens and ask. More information can be found in His Instruction Book or through Customer Service.

Biblr

I cannot pick up WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee. Not even with a copper wire tied to the window screen. Besides, they don’t even play MY kind of music anymore.

Pete Robertson, August 2008
Lake Leon

A “Brutal” Winter

So, it has been a few days since my last post. Been busy around this “ranch”. Had new pens to build for the “rancherette’s chickens and what with the weather being nice, I just could not bear to sit myself down inside.
I decided to close in the carport where I keep my mowers. Much of my lawn equipment is currently stored in the garage and we house our brooder pens there as well. Forget about parking a car inside, that will never happen.

New eggs arrived from Oregon and Georgia last week so we need the covered room outside for all my “stuff”. This will give us a bit more room for the brooder chicks when they hatch.
I made a trip to the “big box” lumber center to pick up a load of material for the carport project. You will notice that I mentioned earlier the weather was nice, in the mid sixties near seventy degrees.
I managed to lay the block foundation for the wall on the north side and frame the wall with high hopes of completing the job by early next week.

Well, that was then and this is now.

The temperature has plummeted all the way down to 28 degrees, expecting to hit 24 by Tuesday morning. The wind chill hovers near 18 degrees. We have almost a half inch of sleet that has practically covered the back yard and now it is snowing a bit. I have on two layers of clothing with a third on standby for when I venture outside. The furnace is working overtime, (not to mention the electric meter). And did I mention that it is very difficult to type this article wearing insulated gloves?

Each day, we let the kennel dogs out for their morning constitutional. Have you ever seen dogs tiptoe? Most took one look outside their pens and made a beeline back inside. I can’t know for sure what they were thinking but I’m guessing  the question they were asking me is, “What were you thinking? I’m NOT leaving the comfortable warmth of my inside pen!” Yeah, well, guess what dogs, I’m not rushing out for your afternoon pleasure either.

Before storm

Kennels

After Storm

Backyard kennels

This kind of weather keeps them inside on days like today. Their heaters keep them at a constant 60 degrees. Aah, such is a dog’s life. I noticed this morning a coyote in the pasture across the road and he was high tailing it towards the woods. He apparently does not like this weather either.

However, there are some animals who enjoy a cold snap. Such as the Silkie chickens. At least the four adults do. They thrive on the rush of adrenaline. However, there are some young birds we call “juvies” (short for juveniles) who are not as well versed as the adults. They have a heat lamp and readily stay near the warmth. These are the residents of the “Chicken Condo”.

Chicken Condos

On the hill, over looking the pond, we have a “High Rise” where eleven adolescents, four “juvies”, one blind hen, one broody hen and one smashing rooster reside. There temperature is also at 60 degrees. The only problem I see, is the hens are not laying eggs.Must be too cold.

 

High Rise

Yet, all the animals are in their comfort zone, including the geese.

Snow coverd geese

I, on the other hand, am dismayed at this weather.
But I am not too worried. By Thursday, the temperature will be back in the low to middle sixties, maybe even seventy, I will be back, hammer in hand, working on my carport, the dogs will be barking to be let out, the chickens will be laying eggs again and winter in North Texas will be back to what we call normal.

I realize my friends in New York and Atlanta and other places with “real” winters will scoff at my account of our latest winter barrage, nevertheless..,

Hmmmmm, Are those snow clouds I see on the horizon?

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