Thursday, August 02, 2007

ignorance is bliss



I was blissfully ignorant of major structural failures last evening, until 1 AM. We don't watch the 6:00 news, or the 10:00, or even listen to the radio much in the evening. Our main news source here is the Internet, and I didn't hit startribune.com on my nightly rounds. That was probably a good thing.

So in my blissful ignorance, I made the first major garden harvest of the year, including broccoli, green beans, a Diva cucumber, some lettuce, and TWO TOMATOES!!! They were Stupice, an old favorite, early variety I haven't had success with in the last few years. The flavor of the tiny bites we had (think golf ball size fruit) was worth it. Much better than the Glacier golfballs I planted last year. The green beans were Jacob's Cattle, an all-purpose bean that can also be dried. I don't know; they were delicious as snap beans.



While I enjoyed the fruits of the harvest, catastrophe was unfolding 90 miles to the south. But, I can't help but think, despite the tragedy, how natural it is for disaster to happen. 113 years ago, at the very place I sat in my office today, 400 people lost their lives in a catastrophic wildfire. We have not succeeded, as humans, to eliminate disasters, and I do not think we are capable. The blame game will go on and on about the 35W bridge, but it all boils down to one thing: we as humans are not infallible. And I don't think we can ever get around that.

After I heard the news about 1 AM, I was unable to go back to sleep for a long time. Finally, when I drifted off into a restless sleep, I had a vivid dream. I was driving home from work, on the 4 mile stretch of I35 I take sometimes. I was approaching my exit, when I hit an unmarked bump so large it sent me and my car airborne. I could actually feel the dizzy sense of falling before I woke up. Empathetic dreaming? perhaps.

12 comments:

barefoot gardener said...

As I sat awake at work last night and watched the news coverage, I was dismayed at how quickly the focus of the stories changed from attempts to get information to the public to sensationalism and blaming. Not even 6 hours after the tragedy, some newscasters were questioning officials for not being more worried about the "substance" leaking from one of the trains. Another source was implying that the state was negligent with their bridge inspection.

I just kept thinking that there would be plenty of time later to lay blame...AFTER rescue and recovery efforts were finished and everyone at least knew if their loved one was dead or alive. I guess they just got bored reporting the same old thing over and over, and needed something to stir things up a bit.

Grrr...

Marie said...

My mother-in-law passed away about 5 years ago. She was terrified to cross a bridge and so they had to drive miles out of their way to find alternate routes, espcially when traveling to Florida from Mishigan. She was also afraid of the mountains. I now wish we had not teased her so much, maybe her fears had some substance. I think I might think twice myself when crossing one now.

Deb said...

Barefoot gardener- I hear you. I was disgusted by the media coverage by 6:30, before Good Morning F'in America even came on. I mean, interviewing a surgeon to hear what kind of injuries might be expected by this kind of incident is just grotesque and disrespectful. There are bodies in cars lying under the water. It doesn't matter whether they died of blunt trauma or drowning.

Deb said...

Marie- I posted while you were commenting. What I heard on another blog was how it's not the loss of lives so much as the loss of confidence in something we generally took for granted. I mean, I drove over that bridge a hundred or so times, not thinking anything could be wrong with it.

Lynne said...

Deb, I'm with you in being disgusted by the ongoing media coverage. It's become indulgent and disrespectful. Don't even get me started on the nasty fingerpointing!
That said, your salad bowl is making me green with envy! And when did you get that beautiful kitten?
Did you see Mike Hendrickson has posted his fall Duluth harbor bird trips? Do you want to give it another try? I'm also curious to see what comes of the Sax-Zim birding festival plans for this coming winter.

Floridacracker said...

I'm glad you are safe and I'm sorry for those who were lost on that bridge.
I remember as a kid, being scared of bridges. I would always try and hold my breath until we made it over.
When we took a vacation to the Florida Keys ... I almost suffocated.

Deb said...

Lynne- I spent a glorious day away from the media, and it was probably a good thing. The garden is starting to produce, we had a green bean and kale saute with bacon tonight. Along with steaks that were raised fifteen miles away, cooked medium rare. Yum. And that beautiful kitten, named Moonlight, is a product of the inbred family of cats that hang around here. Starflower has adopted him and his sister, Midnight. They are too dang cute...

FC- I've been on that Florida Keys bridge once, when The Hermit and I were on our first vacation together. We even slept at a roadside rest area and were awakened by a rooster. But I digress. There are a couple of 100+ foot high bridges between Duluth and Superior, and I drove across the taller one a week ago for the first time, hands firmly clenched to the steering wheel. I don't like tall bridges.

I had driven across the bridge that collapsed many times. It was not a bridge that scared me. My dad drove across that bridge twice the day it collapsed. Yikes.

Floridacracker said...

Yikes indeed!

Deb said...

Lynne- I forgot to add, yes, I'd love to do one of Mike Hendrickon's fall birding trips. I'm open for any date.

Rurality said...

We missed all the initial coverage of the bridge -- just one of those days when neither of us saw or heard any news. But what was strange was that we'd just the day before been discussing the book "The Bridge of San Luis Rey"! (About a bridge collapse in Peru in 1714.) So glad your father crossed the bridge in safety.

On another topic, do you like the Diva cucumbers? Ours did not germinate the first time so we had to replant and are just now getting the first ripe ones. I like them but may like the little white cucumbers better.

Deb said...

Rurality- Diva cucumbers are my favorite: mild, seedless (sort of), and no thick rind. Of course, I haven't experimented with different varieties since I found Diva. What kind are the little white ones?

Rurality said...

I don't really know the name - around here they are just "Aunt Polly's cucumbers"! They are shortbut thicker than the Divas and they never get bitter. I think I will try to save some seeds this year so let me know if you are interested and I'll send you some.