How many miles was it? Can I get reimbursed?
Maybe you’ll remember several months ago I was seeking an answer to a question concerning the number of miles I’d walked during almost 40 years of reading the temps and precipitation recorded at the NOAA weather station in the backyard. I figured I’d made about 14,000 trips, some 75 feet both ways … and I wondered how much shoe leather was involved. Not really; it was just about the number of miles which were involved.
This was written Tuesday, June 19, after a couple of weeks of hot, dry weather which was interrupted by a much-needed almost-inch of rain a week earlier. Lawns are mostly green, truck patches are beginning to show results in spite of a late start, and a positive forecast (last Tuesday) predicted a 50 percent chance of another much-needed rain. That would be a good start for the official first day of summer. Did it happen? Hope it did.
So here is summer, hot as blue blazes, which are the descriptive words to use between now and the Gentry Fourth Freedom Fest, the Decatur Barbecue and the Gravette Day celebration in early August. Rescue is on the way: School begins, the county fair (hopefully this year) will draw big crowds and, yep, football practice is … you know what I mean. So, in the meantime, keep the AC filters clean, remember to water those favorite shrubs, fight curling leaves on the tomato vines and don’t be surprised if the cukes taste better because of the hot summer sun.
’Nuff of this, except to confess my late, very late, postage stamp garden is the worst example of a garden I’ve ever seen. It was planted almost a month later than usual and, I’m not exaggerating, the first planting didn’t come up except for six puny corn plants. After the second planting, with good results, there is almost a mess of green beans, the okra plants are struggling to form buds and the cukes, little fellers as they are, are almost tasteable. And the corn? I’m not expecting ears from those first plants, but the second crop looks promising — that is, if it rains and the plants are not too close together. There are a couple of little green tomatoes and a couple of green bell peppers, and that’s about it.
I debated a long time about putting a hot wire around the little patch to foil the deer and finally broke down and got that shocker in place. No, I didn’t touch the wire or stick my tongue to it like to a frozen flagpole. But I know it’s working … I know it’s working, so now let’s get on those two topics I promised in the last ‘cuff … It’s gonna be a real “C” conglomeration column.
Item One: Confession — In the recent Memorial Day column, it was noted the first Decoration Day occurred 13 years after the end of the Civil War. It should have read “three years.” Also omitted was the fact the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers were being decorated long before that first Decoration Day proclamation. That’s what I get for retyping and not rereading the ‘cuff which came off the Old Underwood. It does not correct mistakes.
Item Two: Maybe you’ll remember several months ago I was seeking an answer to a question concerning the number of miles I’d walked during almost 40 years of reading the temps and precipitation recorded at the NOAA weather station in the backyard. I figured I’d made about 14,000 trips, some 75 feet both ways … and I wondered how much shoe leather was involved. Not really; it was just about the number of miles which were involved. As an aside, I’ve been doing this as a supplemental income which, as you can imagine, has doubled every year since I began in 1979. Zero times two, compounded 40 times equals … wow, that’s a special bracket to be in.
Friend Bobby Kelley did the favor and presented me with the results of his efforts which must have involved a slide rule, counting use of the fingers of the almost 4,000 people in Gravette and an abacus. Huh? What’s that?
Seriously, I’ve recalculated and can find no noticeable errors. In fact, I came within one little finger and both little toes to the same number. Whew! That took some effort. Thanks, Bob … but ….
I’ve added some other info to the problem: There were numerous days making more than one trip to the little structure (call it a station) and, when measuring snowfall in the winter, it involved much tramping through the drifts. And there have been those calls from Oklahoma asking for special information about possible rainfall that might up the level of water in the Spavinaw which supplies some water for those Tulsa area folks who a century ago got control of the little creek that flows innocently through Benton County. I got off track a bit there, but what I mean is how many more miles could have been involved in a final figure since I am considering asking headquarters for a mileage allowance. I’m sure they will respond and will probably use the current mileage allowance for the entire total. You follow me? If pushes come to shoves and those big bucks roll in, they could … could … be used to install a storm shelter, big enough for the entire neighborhood. There. That’s that for this week.
Except … It was great to see that Gravette School District is joining area schools by adding a shelter in upcoming construction projects with the hope it will never be needed. But it will have other uses.
Next ’cuff, wanna hear the latest golf report? And a plan for a rain dance if we don’t get a soaker soon? Haven’t a clue. Maybe I should hold my breath.