Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can’t believe it’s already May, which means hot and humid weather is just around the corner. All I can say is … ugh.


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Not a scientific term, but descriptive nonetheless. And, I hate to break the news to you, but the science of climate change and global warming means summers will keep getting hotter.


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I can remember growing up in New York and summers being hot, but not like now. Of course, it didn’t help that Mommy didn’t run the air conditioning until it got into the 90s.


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You cannot compare New York and Texas summers. But, I remember when we first got central air conditioning. It was because Daddy worked in the industry. And, before it was even standard equipment for new homes. Mom saved it for “special occasions” or heatwaves; it did not run all the time.

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Which explains why at night, when it cooled off, Mommy and Daddy would sit on folding chairs on the front driveway along with our neighbors.

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I wonder what they discussed every night. Obviously, that was well before climate change was a topic, let alone a hot topic, so to speak.

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Cute, but we didn’t know then what we know now. And if we don’t start making serious changes, the crisis will only get worse. Which means we need to do more than just talk about it.

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And, play the blame game.

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So, who do you think is to blame?

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Many blame the “older” generation, saying we allowed this to happen because, for decades, we did not do anything to prevent it. Increased use of cars and electricity. Burning an ever-increasing amount of fossil fuels. Not “going green”. Not even thinking about it. All of which led to where we are today.

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You’ve always said, “Doing nothing is a decision. A decision to maintain the status quo.” But when you say blaming the “older” generation, surely you can’t mean us?!

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“Older” is a relative term. For younger people, that might be us Baby Boomers or even Generation X.

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But what did we do wrong?

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When you were a baby, there was no such thing as disposable diapers. I can still remember the stinky diaper pail in your nursery. Not one of my fondest memories of you.


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Thanks for sharing that. But you’re right. When I had the girls, it was a given that I’d use disposable diapers. I can only imagine how many thousands of diapers I’ve contributed to landfills! But we didn’t know about climate change back then.


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If it makes you feel better, there is some debate whether cloth diapers are better for the environment. But, the point is convenience became the deciding factor and I doubt the environmental impact was even considered.


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Good point, as I certainly never thought about it. But in my defense, once I learned that plastic was bad for the environment, I started recycling. And not just plastic, but also paper and glass. I’ve been doing it for years.


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That is better than not, but there are 3-Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and recycling is not necessarily the best option. Funny thing is we “reused” long before it even was “a thing.” Do you remember reusing brown paper grocery bags by repurposing them into textbook covers?


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Yes! Daddy and I would do it together. Of course, him being an engineer, they were perfect. And then I’d decorate them. But now that you bring up “reusing” things, I remember going to the drive-through at Dairy Barn with Daddy. We’d always have empty glass milk bottles to return when we’d buy more milk.


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Back then, there were deposits not only on glass milk bottles but also on soda and beer bottles. They would be washed and sterilized, refilled, and reused over and over again. And, drinking water came from the tap – not plastic bottles.


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OK, but there was still plenty of plastic. Do I need to remind you of Mom’s kitchen? Full of expired food and plastic grocery store containers and bags. I bet some of the plastic was over 50 years old.


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Plastic survives for centuries. Regardless, it was plastic that she saved and reused, and did not trash. Granted, it might have been a financial decision since she was a Depression-era child and did not waste anything.


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So, where did we go wrong? Maybe society’s too convenience-oriented and wasteful.


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That is part of it, but if you do not know you are causing a serious environmental problem, why would you change what you are doing? The more important question is who did know, and why were we not told?


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Sorry, that sounds more like one of the X-Files episodes I watched years ago. Except, I’m not sure I want to know. The important thing is that we know now. And need to do something now!


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Exactly. So, regardless of who is to blame, we all can be part of the solution.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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So, I had to smile when Sawyer came to visit us at Mom’s estate sale. And even though I had seen her only a few hours before, I gave her a hug.


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Yes, you make it rather obvious that you are warm and fuzzy. And, a hugger.


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But what made me laugh was when she greeted you by acknowledging that you weren’t a hugger. Now there’s an understatement.


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No, it is merely a fact.


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I never realized, though, just how much both Natasha and Sawyer are like you. Although they begrudgingly let me hug them, they’d both be just as happy with a handshake. If that.


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Maybe a fist bump?
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Credit: Photo by Maha1450 on iStock


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I know you celebrate Labor Day by just, well, laboring away on Red & Black. But that’s how you celebrate most holidays. For me, I always enjoy celebrating the last three-day weekend of the summer, although the challenge will be deciding what to do this Labor Day. Escape to a movie (ok, my passion’s the popcorn), go to Dunkin’ for a leisurely coffee (it always brings back memories of growing up in New York), read, or climb into bed and watch old episodes of Downton Abbey. Or, maybe “all of the above”!

But before you say anything, yes, I’m well aware that today’s more than a day off and a potential “cut-off” for wearing white (😊). It’s about honoring American workers and all the many contributions they’ve made and continue to make.


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I know you love history, but do you know the history of Labor Day includes violence and a deadly railroad strike? And, was a way for politicians to “prove” they cared about workers? It is too bad people do not typically walk around thanking others for the work they do (imagine the impact if we did), but maybe you will get inspired by these Labor Day quotes.

And, in terms of me “laboring” today. Of course, I am. I look forward to the quiet time of weekends, especially long ones, to work on strategic projects needing large blocks of uninterrupted time or one of my passion projects. To you, it might appear as if I am “working”, but I am doing what makes me happy. Although tomorrow morning, you may not be happy when you find all my emails that will be waiting in your inbox.


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You know how I like to blah-blah-blah, barely letting anyone get a word in edgewise?


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Is this a rhetorical question? Or, a trick question?


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Neither, I leave those to you. And, you know how things happen to us that seem accidental but probably aren’t coincidences?


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Is there a point to these questions? If so, can you please get to it?


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As you often tell me, “Patience, grasshopper.” Although I know that’s not your strong suit. Especially not in conversations. Anyway, the other day you sent me a video about stutterers. Well, that same day, I happened to speak to someone who stuttered, and it was just what I needed.


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The video? Or, the conversation?
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