Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Summer People and 911

It’s a decent weekend, finally. We certainly needed a break from the rain. Up here on the lake, things certainly slow down after Labor Day. The kids are back in school, and people are closing down their summer places already.

There is some activity this weekend. All that really means is that I keep a closer eye on my dog, as an occasional car goes by. During the middle of the week, I can safely ignore my town’s leash law. Not that I follow it all that closely at the best of times. The main consideration is that my foolish young pup doesn’t get run over.

Quite a few docks and boats have been pulled out of the lake. I just put my sailboat back in the water. There’s plenty of good sailing days yet to come. Maybe it’ll be nice enough until November, which would be pretty late for New Hampshire. Last October, when I bought the boat, I didn’t get to put it in the lake at all. Last fall was cold and wet.

Of course, I’m aware of the September 11 anniversary. As a former firefighter I took it especially hard. We are all brothers. Back then I knew that no matter what happened, the nation was going to lose a lot of freedom. I’d hoped we wouldn’t be so foolish as to get into a prolonged war. Hopes were dashed and fears were realized.

Ten years ago I knew that all the first responders and the regular people who helped with the rescue and clean up were at serious risk for health problems. A few months ago I had long talk with a firefighter who was there. He looked in his early 30s, but his lungs were bad enough the department couldn’t keep him on.

One of the weird things about the anniversary is that’s when I know it’s time to clean my furnace. My furnace technician was working in my basement when the towers were hit. Back then It was still possible to get broadcast TV (one channel) and we watched it in my kitchen on a portable TV.

This year, I told my furnace guy not to bother servicing my heater. My wife and I became really disgusted with the oil wars. We’ve steadily reduced our use of petroleum as we don’t want to be part of the problem. Last winter we only burned a half tank of heating oil -hardly worth servicing the furnace for that.

This year, we don’t plan on buying any oil at all. Better insulation in the basement and wood heat should do the job. Well, that and heading down to the sunny south in January. The house will be shut down: power turned off and plumbing drained. We’ll be using our waste vegetable oil powered truck to tow our wind powered boat.

In my mind, the disappearance of the summer people, 911, and the oil wars are all jumbled together. That’s just the way everything happened. It’s an odd time of year for me. The lake is beautiful and quiet. This evening my wife and sat at the picnic table at our beach and watched the loons and kingfishers. It was a beautiful and peaceful evening. Yet in the back of my mind, I can’t but help reflect on what happened to our nation.



  1. Loons, one thing I really miss now that I am living in the sunny south.

  2. They seem real interested in my sailboat and come right up to it.

  3. It isn't the America we grew up in and if were you, I'd throw a line in the water,it's long gone now.