It’s a crazy, crazy world

On The Way
By Olivia Fowler

It’s been an unusual year so far. It’s not over yet, so we need to stay alert. There are a lot of unhinged people running for office. That is not an exaggeration, just a fact. And if you don’t believe it, check out Arkansas, where running for senate is a man who wants disobedient children to be put to death. Unbelievable as it may seem, it is true.

This may beat the man in Missouri who thinks women who are raped can’t get pregnant. Now really. Is this the best America has to offer? I think not. To add insult to injury, one of South Carolina’s own United States Congressmen has endorsed this candidate, because he says this man’s vote is needed. Every now and then the crazies just come out of the woodwork.

We should have known something was off when the hummingbirds arrived so late. We’d given up all hope of seeing any. I’d heard on PBS that due to the unusually hot spring, our usual visitors had gone through South Carolina and headed north, where the food they normally find here was available. It was reported they were hanging out in New Jersey. Just as we gave up hope and decided not to refill the feeder, war broke out in the yard between two male ruby-throated beauties. They didn’t show up until early in June, but we were so glad to see them. In addition to being beautiful, they are the most entertaining little creatures. Even though there are six perches around the feeder outside the kitchen window, they will fight over who gets one. It doesn’t matter how many places are open for breakfast, they show human qualities in their hostility toward each other.

And now, here we are in mid-October, and they are still here. I’m no expert but it does seem they’re hanging around a little longer than usual. Maybe they’re just trying to fuel up for their 500-mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico.

Aside from the elections and the change in hummingbird travel dates, other odd things are happening. In the backyard, one of the dogwood trees is displaying a beautiful autumn coat. Its leaves are scarlet and gold. Yet on this same tree, there are dogwood blooms and red berries already covering some of the branches. Are you scared yet?

What’s going on? And that isn’t all. When I walked out on the front porch Sunday morning, there was a bird sitting on the glider. He wasn’t asleep. He was just sitting there with his eyes open. And to top that, all five dogs were lying on the porch, showing absolutely no interest is this bird.

I thought that he might be dead, but when he was tapped he gave us a look and left the glider. He didn’t seem startled especially. Just irritated.
Another thing is that there are acorns in my car, inside the louvered air vents. We also found cracked pecans in the trunk and a nest of some sort. Clearly squirrels have visited the Buick. When the heat or air is turned on, fragments of shells blow out onto the seat.

This isn’t particularly frightening, but you must admit it is unusual.
Maybe we need to take action. First, we need to start paying attention and follow the news. Not the bubblegum news where the anchor, sports commentator and weather person make jokes about what’s going on in their lives, and not updates about Tom Cruise and his marital problems.
We need to watch real news. My personal pick is news on PBS or ETV. British broadcasting does a good job too. It’s refreshing to get viewpoints from other places.

It’s important to be informed. And doubly important to not mistake propaganda for information. Take note of the political ads. At the end, instead of hearing who or what paid for and approved the ad, I’d love to hear the candidate say, “I am John Doe and I approved the distortion, exaggeration and outright lies in this ad. I don’t write my own speeches and have no thoughts.”

Thank goodness it will all be over in just a few weeks. I can’t wait.