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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Earth Day

So far we have been dealt a pretty perfect spring. Unfortunately spring brings strong winds which some of us are still dealing with the worst kind of cleanup. Trees down on houses has to be one of the messiest cleanups because you really don’t know the extent of the damage of the roof until the tree has been removed. Yards are so tight in some places that fences are being damaged or removed in the process. The collateral damage can be as expensive as the initial damage. Neighbors are having to act neighborly by allowing your tree guys to use others driveways to gain access to a tree down from your yard into their yard or vice verse.

Removing trees is very expensive and some of the most un-fun money to spend because you really don’t get anything for the thousands of dollars it will cost. It is wise to walk around the perimeter of your property and see if you have branches or trees that are threatening your home or backyard shed and also to check if one of your trees might wind up in a neighbors property. It is cheaper to have them removed prior to a big wind event like we had earlier this month. As if having all those pine trees  removed hasn’t been painful enough on the wallet, this follow up made it worst by twisting oak trees, splitting Bradford Pears, and shaking everything that was loose on big trees down to what ever is beneath the trees. I had the tree guys set up to come do my annual maintaining of our trees for early May, I got lucky they had so much work going on with the pine trees and now this that that was the first available date.

I’m glad it worked out that way because I think it would have been hard to get them to come back for a second round. The trees that went down on our property are all in places that it won’t matter until the guys can get here. I do know that is way less expensive to have the old and teetering trees removed before they can cause some real damage. I’m in a lot of yards around the Northside and I got to watch these tree guys in action. That looks like one of the most dangerous professions that I can imagine, one wrong move and someone could be severely injured.

My hat is off to those guys and the major, specialized equipment they have to invest in in order to get the job done safely all while not doing any more damage while felling in trees in some very tight spaces, all while folks are trying to get them down from the price quoted to them. I’m sure it’s quite offensive for a tree guy to hear that some one who has never held a chainsaw figures they know better what it should cost for the guys to risk their well being. It is not surprising that people don’t understand how much overhead it costs to get these kinds of projects done in a property but is surprising when they act like they do. We don’t argue with the appliance guy or the heating and cooling guy when they hand over the invoice but somehow it is different when the yard stuff guys show up. If your going to get the high school kid to do some work for you that’s one thing as far as “negotiating” a price but when a professional is called to a service the negotiations probably won’t go well, there is so much work out there that it is easy just to walk away from someone who is thinking that way.

Hopefully the new sunshine will help you create new, sun loving beds and a better lawn. Every April 22nd is earth day so this Monday Earth day will be celebrated. In 1969 there was a massive oil spill near Santa Barbara. This was the catalyst that caused a movement that hundreds of thousands of people were primed for after the very important book Rachel Carson published, A Silent Spring, in 1962. This book took off in 24 countries and caused a movement. The book raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable link between pollution and public health. Those were the early days when no one really gave a hoot and would pollute. We have come a long way with that, at least most people have, some people just aren’t going to get it no matter what.

That is why the most common activity that us regular people do on Earth Day is go around cleaning up those peoples trash. Drive down highway 220 some time if you want go back in time. It looks like a bomb went off all the way to Clinton, it’s ridiculous what you will see. Many people passing through our state use that route as a go around, embarrassing. To celebrate Earth Day most people do what they can to clean up around their communities, some schools educate the young ones on Earth Day by having clean up drives, anything helps. You might know an area in or near your daily drive that catches your eye very morning on your commute that seems, for some reason to be a place that folks seem to see as a convenient place to throw their cans or clean out their vehicle. Hopefully cleaning up that area that you’ve noticed will deter the next dumper from doing it there and it will probably do something for your spirit to have done it and to not have to look at the mess every day.

Someone might see you in action and decide they’ve had enough of the sights they see. In 2010 1 billion people world wide made those moves to celebrate the 40th anniversary. The 50th anniversary was during the pandemic so they somehow so 100 million people held the largest online mass mobilization in history. Earth Day is a bigger deal than I realized with that many people choose to involve themselves with doing any little thing that will help to pay a little attention to our surroundings. Earth Day led to the creation of the EPA which transformed the way we do things now taking into consideration just about every thing we do progression wise.

I hope you can find a group that has an activity planned or maybe even organize one on your street or in your community. Even celebrating solo with a trash bag and a plan can be a very gratifying way to spend a few hours on this Monday, every little thing helps. Remember this years the focus is plastic which we all know is a huge problem because it takes 400 years for plastic to break down, we are drowning in plastic. This Earth Day is called Planet Vs. Plastic, with all of Jacksons water crisis’s we have produced mountains of water bottles discarded from people trying to survive without potable water right here in our hometown. Hopefully you can set aside a little time to get in the groove to make a difference in this wonderful place we call home.

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