May, 2015: Drown the Swamp Beast…With a Good Will

It’s storm season in Oklahoma, and the concept of weather prediction is rapidly losing significance. Remember in elementary school, all those months and seasons with cute kids dressed in holiday garb pasted on the walls, so you knew what to expect when? Some restrictions may apply…such as the reality of massive flood-inducing rain for weeks on end during May in the southern Mid-western United States. Our region is famous for droughts recently…and the sudden profligation of earthquakes from drilling for oil…and ice storms, wildfires, and tornadoes. Let’s face it; when other states send their weather men here to learn how to predict the weather, you know it’s hard to do.

For instance, if you had asked me to describe how I prepare for cold-weather mowing, I would have said “What?” Such a thing would have seemed worthless to ponder…until I did it twice in two weeks this spring. Rain and wind dropped the soon-to-be summer temperatures into the 50s, and being wet out in the wind didn’t help. I almost got the mower stuck in the mud, and learned how to fish-tail a riding mower. Yep, I’m that red-neck-ed.

And, if you had added that you needed to know how to take metal cable off of a lawn mower blade, I would told you to turn in your mower driver’s license. Those things are dangerous, and nearly impossible to unwind from…oh, no. Yep. Been there, done that, and if it hadn’t been for Will, who fired up his acetylene torch and shot sparks out from under the mower in question to remove the cable, I’d probably still be there, vainly trying to unwind steel cable from under a riding mower…in the rain, a la Hemingway.

So it seems that trying to make plans based on expectations of previous experience is a losing game in Oklahoma weather. God does like to prevent our lives from being boring, and we should be thankful…

Our ducks are sure loving it. Everything is a puddle or a pond in our yard, now. We are so thankful that all of our garden beds are raised, or we could kiss our crops goodbye. We are also thankful that we have not flooded, nor has our road been closed down. We stood a pretty good chance of both several times recently, as have many others in our area.

Our frogs are loving it, too. More water means more tadpoles and more mosquito larvae to eat. I hope they all eat so much, they explode. Ew. Sorry for that picture. Another gross event happened twice recently: our son shot two mice, one in the basement, and one in our living room under the desk. He’s so much more effective than traps, and much faster than poison. I get a real kick out of saying “Get your gun, son,” to my oldest boy. Of course, then I get to clean it up…but after 5 kids, there just isn’t much that can gross me out anymore. Even the stench of stagnate mud and bird poop in an enclosed space doesn’t…oh, wow. That reeks. That’s our birds’ shelter that we herd them into every night and let them out of every morning, and my second son nearly barfed when feeding them this morning. I don’t blame him a bit. My stomach has taken many years and many leftovers to reach its current strength.

My youngest son seems to have inherited a similar constitution. He eats like he’s double-parked. He has discovered that you sometimes gets second helpings that slow-eaters miss, so the first in line for seconds is my third son, born on the fourth (of March). We have five kids, he’s six years old, and there are seven in our family. That’s gr-eight, not asa-nine, as in-ten-ded. Okay, I’ll stop there. I’m a math teacher, alright? I like numbers.

For instance, take pi (3.14159265…) or e (2.717…); these numbers are considered “irrational” because nobody, in their right mind, would design a number like this. It’s too cumbersome to use; it’s not neat. The decimals go on forever with no discernable pattern and nothing repeating through the whole group. “Rational” numbers either have a pattern of repetition, or they end. We like those. We use them because they are easy. We only use the irrational numbers when we have to, and because God made them and the universe they describe, we do have to use them. There’s no way around them. This, to me, is further proof that God made the universe and math is only discovered, not invented.

Absolute concepts are an affront to moral relativists, atheists/agnostics, and postmodernists because such concepts are knowable, invisible, unchanging, and always true independent of our perceptions. “Nuts! Maybe other kinds of truth are the same way. Maybe everything isn’t relative. Maybe truth can be known for certain. Maybe we can know facts about the invisible world that are more certain that what we know about the visible world. Maybe there has to be a mind behind all the order.” You can see why the area of science most adamant about evolution, and all the moral implications thereof, is the are of science most removed from mathematics: Biology.

I love Biology because it revolves around the most unpredictable, illogical, mysterious beings God ever made: people. So I’m not sure if I became a math teacher to get some order in my biology-intensive life, or if I became a biology teacher to put some excitement into my order-intensive life. Either way, I like the balance that the two disciplines bring to my thinking, and I’m so glad I get to teach them both. God is a god of both the unpredictable and the dependable, isn’t He? Everyone’s life has them both, usually more than we think is comfortable, but to live completely in one of the two areas without the other would never be comfortable to anyone for long. We were made for the rational and the irrational, for the predictable and the surprising, for the sunshine and the (weeks of) rain…blub, blub.

I think I’m glad I live in Oklahoma. I think I’m glad May is almost over, too. God did promise never to flood the earth again, right? Where’s my Bible…

This entry was posted in A-frame in a flood plain: homesteading in unusual circumstances. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *