Today I am sharing various ramblings from the countryside. Thought rambles, not hikes or treks. Because winter is officially gone. And spring is still chilly. But chirping birds and cooing doves wake me even though the dreaded time change means it is still dark out. I feel like we have been thrust back into mid-December.
Too bad we haven’t been. Gasoline was still reasonable. Although supply chain issues were ongoing. Yet the severe spike in inflation was still not yet rampant. The third and fourth inflation check challenges indicated creeping inflation. I predict next month’s list (yes I plan to continue another year) will outdo all of last year with respect to percentage increase.
A Covid-19 Lull
Even though a new variant is spreading across Asia into Europe, here in the rural part of the High Plains we are in a lull. Absolutely no new cases the last two weeks. Since the report from the County Health won’t be out until tomorrow, I do not know if the trend will continue. But it very well might. I hear little coughing as I run my errands.
Another indication is the big drop off in the number of medical helicopters flying overhead. Small towns dotting the countryside lack the volume of cases requiring specialty care. So, severe illnesses are often flown out.
A bit of a Catch-22 with regards to medical care exists in the countryside. For example, the one pediatrician can be overwhelmed. But in reality, two pediatricians would have a lot of down time. This is true for all the medical specialties. And flying patients out is standard protocol. Unfortunately, the flight costs are very high and many cannot afford the flight insurance. But without this specific insurance, a single flight can wipe out all savings.
Proms and Graduations
The young people in town are preparing for traditional spring events. Such as prom, a symbolic dance in America. A key departure from my youth is how the flowers are now picked out. And worn. Instead of being surprised by what flowers are presented by the young men, the young women play a key part in the design. No longer are lapel corsages worn. Instead, flowers are attached to bracelets which are then worn on the wrist, the arm or even the ankle.
The month of May will bring about graduation. Unlike the heart of the pandemic years, the ceremonies out here in the countryside will return to in-person events. So will the parties afterwards. We have multiple high school graduations and one college graduation to celebrate this year.
Spring in the Countryside
The crocus blooms are spent. But the hyacinths, daffodils and tulips are now poking through the ground. By April, blooms will be abundant. And more than just the potatoes can be planted outside.
Livestock are also bringing life to the countryside. Cow-calf herds dot the landscape with newborns following their mother’s paths. Baby goats and sheep frolic in the brisk air. And lots of baby chicks everywhere. When the bleak pictures of war get me down, a drive around this rural land reminds me of the rebirth of spring.