Even the next block over can be an adventure - Troublesome Creek that winds through Hindman, Kentucky is where my adventure began

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hither: Enjoy the flowers. They didn't plant themselves

After reading an email message about the 50 volunteers who showed up to plant flowers in Goodall Park near the Short North and Victorian Village in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend, I thought about all the flowers I've seen in public and private parks around the world.

All those flower beds bursting with color were planted by someone. Sure, some could have been planted by people hired to do so, but how many gardens were beautified by folks using their green thumb purely for the fun and generosity of it in order to create a multicolored world for all of us to enjoy? These are the days where their handiwork is in full bloom.

Looking at flower beds of the present, particularly those in people's yards, reminds me of flower beds of my past. My favorite flower beds were the ones my grandparents planted--mostly my grandfather, in their yard in Dayton, Kentucky.

The phlox growing in my backyard are offspring of those. One of my aunts gave me some plants from her yard that came from the flower bed near my grandparents' woodpile--the one I use to climb on in order to swing off it while hanging onto a rope swing.

The first photo is by juliejordanscott and the second is by Atilin

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Yon: Does Peace Corps service justify a cruise when it comes to carbon footprints?

Ever since I lived in West Africa, The Gambia for two years without any running water, electricity or a vehicle, except for a bicycle that was useless on the soft dirt roads that surrounded my village, I've wondered if I gained a bit of wiggle room in the environmentally friendly travel department.

Surely that MSC Musica cruise I took from Venice to Greece with my kids last summer was something I earned on those nights when I put a damp wash cloth on my torso in an attempt to fall asleep--or fantasized about putting lettuce leaves on my face (no kidding) to combat the parched dustiness of the dry season. 

The cruise did give me pause when I heard about how much gas the ship burned as it made its way around the Mediterranean, but, man was that cruise the finest time ever. Let's not think about the gasoline, shall we?

Let's think of those days when my carbon footprint was about the size of my left little toe. Not my big toe. My little toe. I'd say between the Peace Corps and that cruise, I'm still not even. You see, I think there's another cruise with my name on it.

*The MSC Musica is the ship in the background taken on the banks of the Grand Canal Venice. To leave Venice, the ship goes through the Grand Canal first. I took this photo the day after our ship returned and the next cruise was heading out. We were walking near St. Mark's Square when we saw the ship pass.