Saturday, April 26, 2014


What a title for a post, eh?  I'll explain...

It is beautiful outside this morning, blue skies, slight breeze, everything is greening and budding.  I should be feeling pretty good about life right about now.  Instead I have been increasingly discouraged about my future this week.  I guess this is a feeling that has been growing incrementally over the past 3 or 4 years, as the ever abundant Marcellus shale drilling for natural gas encroaches my own corner of paradise. 

It has become uncomfortably close in the past month, with pipelines creeping across the ridge that we see from our deck.

Just about every hilltop that I pass by while driving anywhere lately, seems to have been cleared and flattened for pipelines, or wells or coal mines.  It seems as though the land around here is being environmentally raped in order to get at anything it has to offer below the surface.

There is a pumping station and 12 wells going in just up the road from us, which means more and more huge trucks are barrelling down our little country roads, and endangering the residents that drive here.  It means more light and more noise and more giant machines to push around the ground and knock down trees.  It also means that the tiny one lane bridge about 1.5 miles down the road in the other direction needs to be updated and enlarged in order to accommodate said trucks.  It will close on Monday for the repairs, and will be closed until July.

This little bridge is the link between myself - out here in the boon-docks - and town, between myself and my work, the grocery store, the library, and of course, my friends.  We will have to drive an extra 15-20 minutes to get anywhere, meaning that I cannot "run in to the store" any more, I will have to calculate an hour's driving time all together!

It is not the end of the world, but it is disheartening.  The plundering is coming so close to home, that it is hard to ignore any longer.  I am struggling to make my homestead beautiful and productive and self sufficient, while all around me enormous pipelines snake across the treeless hilltops.  It is now my turn, like so many other residents of this little town, to be inconvenienced for the sake of the big bucks that these gas wells will be pulling in.

On a more personal note, I am discouraged by the fact that my chronic back and hip pain is flared at the moment, probably because I've been working in the gardens lately.  It has been nagging for nearly a year now, and was only partially improved by the 6 weeks of PT that I undertook in the Fall.  I would love to take a nice, long nap, and wake up to find the woods grown back, the skies quiet without the eternal growl of land-movers, and my hip free of pain.

In the meantime, I am really trying to take pleasure in the small things...the sun dappled Mayapples, the flowers blooming in my gardens, the tiny yellow goldfinches at my bird feeders, and the happy chatter of the girls, who spend all day outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  Perhaps I just need an attitude adjustment, and not an environmental crusade.  I wonder which one is more difficult to undertake?

This Lenten Rose has 18 blooms on it!


Anonymous said...

Oh, so sad! Awful and sad. The pipelines and fracking had already changed that county so much before we left--I never dreamed they would come so close to your pretty piece of land. . .but I guess I should have.

I'm sorry about your pain, too. If I had some magic elixir to send you so you could awaken to everything lovely, I would send it. Meanwhile, I'll start work on a much-overdue letter!

Sally said...

I LOVE the picture of the birds. So sweet. Sorry for the discouragement. It is frustrating. Especially when it impacts us and we have no control over it.

If you get exhausted from your lenghty travels to and from town, have a layover at my house!