Friday, September 1, 2017

Floods and Famine

       The floods are awful, but I can see the first settlers of Texas long, long ago, saying… “this will be a good place to build a town, and we’ll name it after ol’ Sam Houston hisself.  We’ll have a good view of the river from here and it’ll never get this high.”

       My late Uncle Norten once told me about an Ozarks deluge in 1933 when it rained so hard and the wind was so strong at times that it washed away the clay mud chinking on the west side of the cabin and started blowing rain in through the cracks.  He was only ten but he remembered that for awhile the sawdust that they used to cover the dirt floor was floating in water.  Fortunately, the oak shingles didn’t leak, and so their beds in the attic stayed dry.  Those beds consisted of makeshift mattresses filled with duck feathers mostly. He said it was a lot better life than the first Ozark settlers had enjoyed, when they had to live primitively.

       Eventually the rain ended, the sun reappeared, the flood ended and life returned to normal.  Then they just had the heat of summer to contend with… and the depression.  For a ten-year-old the depression was no problem. There in the hills, times didn’t get much worse than they had been, just because the stock market crashed.
       My heart goes out for those in the path of the storms, those who have lost so much because it seems that nature has become an enemy.  It will get worse as each decade passes.  Many of us have felt it was coming … those of us who feel we live a little closer to nature than the masses who crowd together in a world of concrete and pavement and glass and computers.
       No, I am not one of those global warming nuts…I have no scientific evidence to call upon to help me predict the future course nature might take, and I don’t know for sure what is happening or what is coming.  But  something is happening, and I am fairly sure it is going to get worse.  It is the consequence of huge, ever-increasing numbers of people, and the idea that whatever we do to the earth will have no lasting effect.  It is the problem of man not realizing that the earth is, after all, the boss…and man is not.

       What we are doing isn’t any great secret.  We are destroying the earth’s ability to protect us. But what is coming as a result of that, I can’t predict. I guess there will be more old timers sitting around and saying, “I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this.”

There is no turning around; there is no changing the course.  We are going wherever we are going, and good or bad, global warming, global cooling, or global chaos, ….it is coming eventually.  I would hate to be living in a huge city, where all of a sudden, there might be no course to take but trying to get out of it, to someplace where there aren’t so many millions of people to compete with and run from.  Some things a man can’t do a thing about.  When a massive black cloud forms on the horizon, you just can’t change its course or take away the power of the impending storm.  Not even with a computer.

       There is one thing that gives me a good feeling.  I know a place or two where the woods are deep and the trees are big, and the spring water is still clean and when I am there, there’s no one else to ruin it. There’s a cave there to protect me from wind and rain and ice alike.  If times get too hard, I intend to take my computer and television and a good sleeping bag and some matches, and move there.

       I have a few of the fall issue of my outdoor magazine left and will be glad to give them to those who have never seen it to those who will pay the postage.  Be one of the first callers and I will throw in the envelope free!  Just call me at 417 777 5227.  You can also email me at or write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613

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