I have often thought about how nice it would be to have a welcome sign painted and sprawled on a thick, arched board between two great posts on either side of my driveway, somewhere about two-thirds up the mile long haul. At first, I thought it would have the name of the house, all majestic and proud. I ditched that idea after about a year of living up here. People who reached the front door were usually either too breathless or concerned about the health of their car’s engine to be enamored with a pretentious house announcement.
Then I toyed with the idea that something encouraging would be appropriate. Like, Don’t give up now! You’re almost there! Or We’ve got cookies!
I ended up posting a speed limit sign—at one of the most dangerous curves. The fact that it says 55 mph is usually enough to crack the tension of any new delivery man or technician who has to scale the driveway in a bulky, workhorse truck. Some make a gallant effort, but realize anything beyond 17 will have them losing a lug nut.
So now, I’ve made the decision that I’ll simply give a clear statement and folks can take it as they want. Sadly, it’s not mine, but rather a quote from Catherine the Great, yet I figure if anyone points this out, I’ll confess I could not give her credit because I ran out of room or paint or both.
The new entrance sign will say, A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
And this great wind? It blows directly over my house from the beginning of January through the end of March.
Most definitions of “wind” I find too tame to adequately represent that which passes over the land up here. Some say “moving air,” others “a current blowing from a particular direction.” I think Wikipedia has it closest with their, “the flow of gasses on a large scale,” or “the bulk movement of air.”
It’s challenging when one is not raised in the Dust Bowl’s Great Plains, or on Neptune, to get used to living in a house that, for the better part of three months during winter, creates nerve-racking unease. The sounds are howling and shrill, at times something of such biblical force I’m often peering outside for signs of a burning bush.
Inundated with wind advisories during this time period, I’m left wondering—usually as I’m hunting for stray lawn chairs, flower boxes, or small children that have gone missing down the hillsides—just how possible it would be to harness this orchestra of sounds for the usage of our house.
If outfitted with the right equipment, could I make enough to run the washing machine, or power the computers, maybe even the seven alarm clocks needed to rouse my son from the four or five hours of slumped unconsciousness he racks up each night? No, maybe that last one is asking too much.
I know that wind energy is a spectacular idea, a no-brainer when presented with many of the pros:
- it’s free
- doesn’t generate pollution
- readily available most anywhere in the world
Yet I read about community concerns as well:
- harm to birds
- possible noise pollution
- attracts lightening
For years, I have followed the clever brains in this industry and continue to be amazed discovering how scientists around the globe are trying to capitalize on the pros and eliminate the cons.
Supporting this industry and furthering design work resonates with the ‘quinoa grain granola/save the purple pig-nosed frog/every day eat your body weight in probiotics’ kind of green thinker I’m trying to be. Of course, no matter how much wind I’d be able to harness and contribute to the energy grid, I will still not be able to:
1.) Grow trees that do not look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book.
2.) Light a birthday cake outside during the first three months of the year.
3.) Reconfigure my patio furniture as it’s all nailed down.
4.) Remove the four ankle weights on the dog when we go for our daily constitutional.
On the flipside, I can fly a kite 24/7, I can easily record an award winning horror film soundtrack, and I get all the free dermabrasion I could possibly want.
There you have it. Pros and cons. I’m going to work hard to keep seeing the wind as a true attractive quality to living up this close to the mesosphere. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Although up here, if you’re hoping to see anything, you’d better wear protective goggles to keep the sand out of your eyes.
With all that in mind, I leave you with this dictum.
Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good, but a silent wind that lets everybody get a few hours of uninterrupted shut-eye.
(And here’s a little wind humor)
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Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.
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