Sunday, September 19, 2010

Driving Home

Today was a day of driving.  It drives me crazy.  Sunday School, running errands, birthday party, playing with friends.  It almost makes me wish for the good old days of being an empty nester before I ended up with the responsibility of raising grandkids.  On the other hand, there are now eager little ears hanging onto every word I say.  You can't get that anywhere else! 


We live 20 miles from a big city and many of the activities we participate in are in the city.  All the relatives that live close by are also in the city.  After the girl got dropped off at the birthday party the boy wanted to go to his friend's house.  This friend is an only child who spends all his time playing video games, unless his parents are entertaining him.  Boy likes to go over there to play video games, but the friends parents somehow believe that their son should play outside only when boy comes over.  This is fine with me because I don't like the video games that the friend gets to play.  I do like that they are playing outside as this is the main activity boy has at home. 


Since I was talking about driving I need to get back to that.  The drive from the birthday party to the friend's house is about 10 miles.  Normally I'd take only four different roads from point A to point B.  Today was different.  I said to boy let's not go through any signals to get to your friend's house.  Normally I'd go through about 6 or 7 signals, depending on which way I'd go.  That's still not many if you live in the city and you have a signal every block.  What it really meant was I had to weave my way through city streets and neighborhoods to get about three or four miles away from the birthday house to the country roads. 


I had never driven through any of those neighborhoods before.  They were all very nice homes, under 10 years old, large, most over 2000 square feet.  They were all on small lots and the homes were so close to the street that I doubt my pickup would have fit on the driveway.  The back end of the truck would have been sticking out on the street.  The street was so narrow that with cars parked on both sides of the street there was barely room for my truck to drive down the street.  Boy kept pointing out nice houses.  I kept thinking "how would these people survive?" 


Just because of the way I think, I was thinking firestorm.  What if the winds were blowing and one house caught on fire.  The entire block would be burned down because the fire trucks wouldn't be able to make it through those streets.  


What if it was a TEOTWAWKI situation?  Are any of these people prepping?  I suppose the entire neighborhoods can band together to keep people out.  Would they?  Could they?  How would they approach this subject with their neighbors?     


I was wondering if those 3-7 bedroom houses were filled with children in each room?  I doubt it.  Was perhaps one of the bedrooms filled top to bottom with shelves and supplies?  I doubt it. 


Did any houses have solar?  Only a few, but the rage is to have solar that runs the meter backward to cut back on your bill rather than to have the solar directly power your house.  With their kind of solar, if the electricity goes out their solar panels do nothing.  They have no power. 


Are any of them capturing their water?  They use public water.  They don't have wells to draw on.  Do they have rain barrels, or better yet, small water tanks, to capture rain?  Remember for every inch of rain that falls, one thousand square feet of roof will provide you with 600 gallons of water.


Do any of them have gardens?  I couldn't tell because nobody gardens in the front.  The fronts were all perfectly manicured lawns.  I didn't see any fruit trees in front.  Years ago I lived in the city and had a pepper tree as the street tree and plum trees in the lawn.  The neighbors had flowering plum trees, so the trees looked the same, except mine produced fruit!  Sure it can be a mess if the fruit falls but one of the chores for the kids was to pick up fallen fruit every afternoon and give it to the chickens. 

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