We’re home. I didn’t exactly kiss the ground but I sure came close. I crawled into my own bed and slept 9 straight hours. Now I feel ready to tackle some neglected projects but I want to do a catch up here first.

The good: It was wonderful to see my son and his wife. Her family was gracious and welcoming. Virginia is a beautiful state and the weather was terrific right up until we left. The family we stayed with is LDSso there was much good discussion about food storage and preparedness. We disagree on much theologically but were able to discuss most things with good humor and respect.

It was so much fun to go hiking and see the native flora. I found huge plots of sassafras. I don’t know if it will grow here but I want to try. We own some land that seems perfect for it. I will do an Internet search today and make sure that it is not one of those invasive plants that is outlawed here. Judging from the amount we found it may well be.

The bad: We traveled on interstates from Massachusetts to Virginia, astounded at the number of trucks on the road. An oil embargoor trucker’s strike puts us at serious risk. I hope you all have started to store some food and essential supplies. Withthe troubles withIran and Israel, I fear there is no time to waste in getting ready for serious increases in the cost of food. We were without television or newspapers the entire time we were away. The bad news both politically and economically really hit hard after being insulated for a week.

The ugly: They paved Paradise and put up- strip malls and fast food joints, truck stops and track housing.

I fear I have come to look at many things through the lens of peak oil and resource depletion. We went to a 4th of July fireworks display. It was a big event and left me somewhat depressed. Junk. That’s what I saw. Junk food, junk stuff, junk values. I love the pageantry of the fireworks displaybut it was overshadowed by the image of profoundly overweight children, balancing huge plates of curly fries smothered with cheese in one hand, a super sized soft drink in the other, whining to their parents for another inflatable space alien doll. Cigarettes and foul language, glassy eyed teens and overwhelmed mothers. It wasn’t pretty. I was grateful to return home to my garden and my birds. I know that a fair is not a true representation of America. It is a snippet that can highlight the worst rather than the best.

I look forward to working on the food preservation class I am teaching in September. I am going to make a huge salad for dinner, full of the veges from my garden. I am grinding some grain and baking some bread. I will put some sheets out to dry and sit in the sun.