Back home and things are semi-normal. The lawn needs mowing but I am waiting for a new lawn mower. My tulips are up and blooming but the temps in the 30s are not helping them. Looks as though we may have a little sun today which would be great! Saturday I drove home, about 660 miles across South Dakota. In the week I was gone it was the only day of sunshine and blue skies! YEA! SOUTH DAKOTA! Had lunch at Vivian, South Dakota, a little gas station and food stop south of Pierre. Met cousin Bayard and we posed for a "cousinly-selfie" before I hit the road. Then after traveling the 'back road' from Alzada to Ekalaka, I stopped in Baker for a hamburger with friend Patty Callaghan. She is finishing up the interim in Baker. Sunday and Monday I was 'dead on my feet' , but I am slowly coming back to life.
As always it is good to get home and re-connect as a week can seem like a month or longer. There were sad events to hear about: a death, a car accident, illness and the things that happen in our lives. The railroad, which has been a major employer in our town for over 100 years, laid off 55 workers. It is not only the coal miners in West Virginia and Kentucky that feel the pain of reduced coal production, surface coal mining in Eastern Montana and northern Wyoming has fallen as well. Where the railroad once promised 200 new jobs in Glendive with the Bakken oil, the precipitous drop in oil exploration and production in that area has hurt. Then the threat of no government subsidies for AMTRAK and you have an industry in a world of hurt. If AMTRAK stops hauling passengers across the northern tier of states we will be more cut-off from the rest of the world and will find travel to and from more difficult. So all the news is not good, troubling. One feels some of the pain the rust belt has experienced for many years.
I think historians will look on this time as a time of great change. I think of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s which tore society apart and re-fashioned it in very different ways. Our issues center around the new technologies of computers, new sources of energies, etc. While driving I listened a lot to the radio There were multiple stories about Tesla and their electric cars. One TED talk was mentioning electric semi trucks and pick-ups as well. Welcome to a new world. Peace and prayers.