It is beyond me why I watch the news. I always get myself worked up into some sort of snit. Pity the poor folks who cross my path in their daily travels. The latest is my dismay at the big mess down in Galveston, Tex. What exactly is the reasoning of the 10,000 people to remain in the face of almost certain disaster? Don’t they read their history books? In the 1900 Galveston hurricane 8,000 people lost their lives. In their defense, they didn’t know what was coming. The rescue teams then have to risk their lives to save them. Is it just pure unadulterated stubbornness?

In my family stubbornness is considered a virtue. In fact I have to work hard to see it as a character defect. I’m surprised I haven’t had to go on Oprah.

I had a lovely conversation with Penny Uhlendorf who told me about the Paralympics taking place in Beijing. She mentioned that her mum living in England has been enjoying them on television and yet we here in the States have not yet seen anything about the games. Apparently we have a large team of handicapped athletes competing.

I had an interesting correspondence from a concerned consumer who mentioned the field of corn planted at Slough Cove right across from a property with a few abandoned cars and old tires. The writer expressed concern about the pollution of the water table from the vehicles affecting the safety of the corn. I completely agree, but started thinking about the water table in general. Because we have a fragile aquifer it can’t serve any of us to have automobile fluids leaking into the ground, not to mention the cavalier use of pesticides and herbicides. Look at the groundwater contamination resulting from years of monthly training activities at Otis Air Base. It is the most polluted armed service base in the nation, to the peril of local residents.

My friend Sharlee unknowingly made the following comment and we have been cracking up all week: “There used to be a lot of old people vacationing here in September and now they are all our age!”

When I moved into my house in 1974 there was an apple tree on the property. It was in pretty bad shape in a tangle of scrub pines and bittersweet. I began to care for it, learning as I went about pruning, fertilizing and clearing the brush. It made several seedlings over the years which I moved here and there. This year I seem to have a bumper crop of apples and, strangely, the babies are producing a different variety altogether. I am wondering about the genetic pool that caused this to happen. Who knows?

I have also noticed that it is earlier than most years that both the grapes and apples are ready. Yikes. Are we in for a hard winter or has the political tenor of the nation made me unduly paranoid?

I laughed out loud when I heard John McCain refer to himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. I guess he and his buddy George Bush hate to be confused with those pesky facts. Teddy Roosevelt, today, would be considered almost far left. He was passionate in his beliefs concerning the regulation of industry and curbing the excesses of big corporations. He favored the inheritance tax on the rich and fought his party’s inclination to cater to the very wealthy. Of course his greatest cause was the protection of the environment.

He was known as the trust buster but his legacy really was his fierce protection of our natural resources. Thanks to his outrage at the use of feathers for the hat industry causing the near-extinction of several species of birds, he designated Pelican island off the coast of Florida as the nation’s first federal bird reservation. And don’t forget we are blessed with Yellowstone National Park because of him.

Now we poke fun at politicians who are too well-spoken or too intellectual or too elite. We now look at one who mangles the language, slugs down a beer or kills a moose as fit for office.