Tuesday, February 14, 2012

View From The Bridge 2/15/2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

The definition of pandemic is, (of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country or continent, or the whole world. I attended this workshop as an elderly person and I had a vague idea what the workshop was about, as the article in the River Press described it. However, I had no idea the magnitude this program encompasses. It was all about a flu (disease) spreading across the world and ways to get the vaccine distributed to those people who were sick. There are no real answers at this time and that is the purpose of the workshop. Attending were professional medical, EMT’s, elderly, and disabled people. The fifty attendees were asked many questions and they asked many questions. We had small hand held gadgets that we pushed numbers to answer questions on a large screen. We could agree, strongly agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. The answers will be compiled for an eventual program to be set up across the country. Fort Benton was chosen as the rural area, Indianapolis as the median size city and Los Angeles as a large city. Fort Benton was the first of this series of workshops and Fort Benton was chosen because of the hard work of Linda Williams and her crew. I would like to say now that Linda deserved a great deal of applause. Linda, I feel very confident that if ever we have a pandemic disease or some kind of disaster, the people of Chouteau County will be well taken care of. Please keep us posted as to the results of this very exciting day in our community.

Date       Rise Set
2/2/12    7:51 5:26
2/9/12    7:42 5:37

Daylight gained another 20 minutes this past week. I like waking in the morning when it is light outside and I do not like waking when it is dark outside. I go to bed when it is dark and I do not want it to be dark when I wakeup.

I met up with Burnt Spoon last week at the Wake Cup Coffee Shop. He is visiting Fort Benton for about a month. He commented on our weather being so mild and he had wanted to check it out. He said, “I believe that your harsh winters are a myth. All Montanans have a conspiracy to keep the Californians from moving here.” Actually, I feel sorry for people from California. What kind of a life do they live with all that sunshine and warm temperatures? On top of that, they are going to fall off the edge of the continent one of these days. Of course, we here in Montana really have the same kind of situation. We have to worry about Yellowstone blowing up. We have about as much a chance as an earthquake in California. When I ask Californians at the Visitors Information Center, where they are from, they tell me and I say, “I am so sorry.” They always laugh but my Husband, Wally, said that one of these days one of them is going to take offence. I certainly hope not because it is all in jest.

I heard from three women this past week this week about the squirrels in their lives. The first was from Jo Sorkness in Pennsylvania and first of all she said to say hello to anyone I might run into that she might know. Secondly, she was excited to find that the View was on the Fort Benton website. She was able to read it immediately instead of waiting the two or three weeks until the River Press gets to PA. I will also tell you Jo, that since you subscribe to the River Press, you can get a code number by contacting them, and read all of the Press on Wednesday when it is published. About her squirrels, she said that they eat the birdseed but she solved the problem by using baffles on the poles. I have one feeder that holds only sunflower seeds. It is my “Red Dot Diner.” I have seen the squirrel climb the fence by the garden to eat the sunflower seeds. I do not mind because I have never seen any birds eating those seeds.

The second person I heard from was Kristie Christensen who answered my question as to the gestation period of tree squirrels. It is 42 to 44 days. That is amazing. I have not seen the second squirrel again this past week. However, I have seen something I have not seen before. The squirrel used to take off with the nuts back to his home, wherever that is. Lately, he is eating for a long while before he takes off. I sure would like to know what is going on in the squirrel world. Are there babies or not?

My third e-mail was from Beth Ettinger with links for information on squirrels. I check out the internet a.s.a.p. What I really enjoyed was that she lived on Gray Squirrel Rd. in Pennsylvania. She said the road was named that because there were lots of squirrels and actually, that is the reason my Squirrel Rd. in Michigan acquired the name. The dirt road, just beyond where I lived, continued into the most beautiful wooded area about two miles long. Many others and I in the area were very upset when they tore that road up to build a paved boulevard. They cut down many trees and in my opinion, it was ugly afterward. I believe they call it progress.

I had the opportunity to visit Effie on her birthday. It looked as though she received a good number of birthday cards. She asked if I would visit again. There are many people in the Nursing Home that would enjoy a visit from you. If you have a half hour or so spare time, why don’t you stop in at the Nursing Home and ask who needs a visit. I assure you that you can hear some great stories about the old days in Fort Benton. I wish that it were possible to record all of those stories to go into the files at the Joel Overholser Research Center located at the Ag Center. We have had a few people bring in pictures and family histories but there are so many others out there that need telling. Do it before the sources are gone. Get dates and names on pictures. Somewhere down the line, someone is going to want that information and it may not be available. How I wish that my grandmother had talked more about her life in Europe. I have one picture postcard of the town that my mother was born in Hungary. The area had mountains in the distance. My grandfather was killed in WWI and my grandmother and mother came to the United States soon afterward. My mom was in the 7th grade in Hungary and she was placed in the 2nd grade in Detroit to learn English. My dad was a neighbor boy who had to walk my mom to school that made them childhood sweethearts. They married in February of 1928 and I was born in September of 1929. That is all that I know of my families’ history. My grandmother was from a large family and I must have many cousins in Europe. My next project is to start researching my genealogy. Perhaps we could get genealogy classes started in Fort Benton. Anyone interested?

Next Monday is another holiday when most everything closes. I hope you are enjoying the long weekends we have been having. It seems that they are slow-paced and quiet days. With most everything closed, there is nowhere to go. The month is half over and we are on our way to preparing for Easter. No way, you say, well believe it. Perhaps you are like me and do not want to think about it although it means spring has sprung. That makes me happy.