View From Afar
Written by Dale Suderman Tuesday, 17 April 2007 14:15My Easter trip to Kansas was a chance to experience three of the four seasons in seven days. It was spring when I arrived with trees flowering and budding. This was followed by a day of summer with the temperatures approaching 80 degrees. The next afternoon 6 inches of winter snow blanketed flowers and early blooming trees. I saw a snowman built on top of dandelions.
Only the fall foliage of autumn was missing.
Questions about of how this climatic oddity impacted the wheat, flowers and shrubs will eventually be answered both by nature and crop insurance adjusters.
In Kansas precipitation in any form is appreciated—even when it destroys crops, picnics and the MCC sale.
When weather forecasters in Chicago predict a “terrible...
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 04 April 2007 02:27Health care in America today is an insane system. Discussions about insurance and medical costs cause even rational folks to start frothing at the mouth, their eyes getting bug-eyed and the veins in their neck beginning to bulge.
I often drop the subject with these folks because I am afraid they will end up in the emergency room, and you know how much that can cost if they are among the 43 million Americans without health insurance.
Today I have a very generous health insurance policy from my employer. If unemployed, I can, as a veteran, wander over to the VA hospital. In two years I will also be eligible for Medicare. Thus I am potentially part of three health care systems—while many folks have none.
In a crazy way, even these...
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 21 March 2007 11:04When I was a kid, Saturdays revolved around hedge trees—more properly called, “Osage orange trees.” There was trimming hedge, burning piles of bulldozed hedge trees, cutting out hedge posts and later nailing barbed wire to them for fences.
I even have a few memories of bringing in hedge wood when we had a wood-burning stove. In those days Kansas had 96,000 miles of hedgerows.
Long after my father had retired, he would often head out to the farm to “trim hedge” out of force of habit.
My grandfather Suderman once told me about his memories of planting hedgerows and how the saplings were woven together to form an impenetrable barrier. In Texas such hedgerows were defined as “horse high, bull strong...
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