Monday, August 15, 2011

Burning hot July and a mild August on the Rez!

Around here August turned mild and it rained, which didn't draw any complaints, in light of the record-breaking heat wave of July. This is rare, usually it's burning hot in August, not July.  Global warming, I guess.

Besides the change in the weather, the economic picture changed for some.  Yes we do have Wall Street watchers here and it's interesting to see the reactions when the market goes for a roller-coaster ride. I personally don't pay attention to any of it.  I use the head-in-the sand approach, you know kinda like our esteemed Washington D.C. politicians do!  In the past Indians only survived and when they got old, they could only rely on a small social security check and/or a rental check from their land.  It wasn't an easy life! Today, there are jobs, 401 Ks, per-caps and an occasional jackpot to get Indians by. This isn't true for all tribal members, but it is so for those who work for the tribe. In that regard, the casino has changed the economic landscape of our tribe. That is a positive!

We missed the Potawatomi Gathering in Michigan this year.  I wasn't up to the 800 mile drive, it is a little too much anymore.  Like I always say, I'm not the star of the show, so I'm sure it went on without me just fine. I try to limit my excursions off the rez and do venture off once in awhile to see how the world has changed and to read a different newspaper. I did get a lot of things done around here though. 

During past Gathering trips, my corn would have time to get hard in the field, but I was able to get a decent amount this year and that's because I stayed. Speaking of back then, those old Indians too depended heavily on their gardens.  They dried corn and that is no easy task, along with pumpkin.  If they didn't Winter would be hard. There was no time to be lazy if you wanted to eat. Today we have gardens, but not to the extent they had back a few short years ago.  As I said, we don't depend on it like they did because the proverbial store is right on the corner.  I couldn't imagine having to dry all that corn they did or pumpkins, beans or put up bushels of potatoes and put them away into make-shift cellars.  People helped each other then, so it might not have been as hard but it would still be time consuming. 

At this point in the Summer, most of the crops are in for small-time gardeners such as myself, but I'm fairly satisfied with the production cycle this year.  I thought the heat would burn it up and it did on some of it but overall I did alright. Another good thing with staying home was I didn't have to come home to an overgrown yard and speaking of the yard - mine stayed green all summer despite the heat spell we endured.  I mow my own yard and will as long as I'm able!

Every year we have a prayer service for our kids going back to school so they will have a good  productive time learning and a safe journey on that yellow bus, but we are in a dilemma now.  With the a/c thiefs having their way, they put up a gate with a lock at the entrance of our prayer house and we don't have a key to get in now.  We will just have to wait, I guess!

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