Fossil dad: Fence building and other observations from the front lines of the new reality

On my way to experience the Nobel Peace Prize-winning clerks at my local Bartell I ran into a group of half-dozen folks were rebuilding a fence. Being curious and a cub-reporter, I asked one man about their efforts. “They wanted $18,000 so a bunch of us got together and build it for under seven,” he answered.
Taso Lagos is program director for Hellenic studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Photo credit: Patrick Luhrs.

Mill Creek resident Taso Lagos blogs about what it’s like being a middle-aged new parent in Mill Creek.

On my way to experience the Nobel Peace Prize-winning clerks at my local Bartell (perhaps some peace will rub off on me!) I ran into a group of half-dozen folks rebuilding a fence.

Being curious and a cub-reporter, I asked one man, Erik, about their efforts.

“They wanted $18,000 so a bunch of us got together and built it for under seven,” he answered.

In flusher times, when money grew on trees, the eighteen grand would’ve caused little thought. Now that money no longer grows on trees, saving more than eleven thousand dollars is wise money.

Other neighbors stopped to admire the effort and we all admired the happy workers laughing and laboring at a good pace. How often do you see happy sub-contractors?

Erik was holding a brew. 

“And the beer,” I asked him. “Who provided that?” 

He smiled and said, “We all did!”

* * *

My walks take place in the morning. Each day, without fail, they come out of the bushes. Dart across lawns.  Dash across the sidewalk. Whether in a subdivision or in wetlands, they have spread like flies.

And now with mating season over and new little ones scurrying about, their numbers rise. Cute, yes, but they attract predators.  

Bunnies. The list of predators that may follow is a long one. I’ve lived in the area for over seven years, and have never quite seen anything like the locust of bunnies. 

* * * 

There’s something to be said about democracy and politicians. Public office is a trust, but it is also a guaranteed income. Businesses may come and go, but politicians are paid no matter the economic conditions.

Speaking of coming out, lawn signs already appearing for the state representative election in the 44th district. Early bird ambition?

Prudency suggests that during this plague, as the numbers of sick and dying still rise, we’d get a break from excessive politicking. Wait for the darkness pass before being reminded of the drum-roll of elections.

And coloring placards Democratic blue by a Republican candidate is either brilliant politics or deception. 

Like in sports, in politics, too: May the best candidate win. So far, not an auspicious start.

* * *

Nothing beats coming out than the incredible phenomenon of teddy bears on windows. I’ve not seen any in my walks, but apparently people in the area putting teddy bears and other stuffed animals on windows?

It’s a way for kids, on walks, to enjoy what for them is a difficult period of not seeing their friends in school, socializing, etc. Tammy Buman, a 12 year-old Iowan, started this.

Even in difficult periods the human potential for brilliance comes through. It should give us hope that in the darkest times creativity need not perish.

We need not give up our humanity, as did the woman in Oklahoma recently who went to a McDonald’s and entered the restaurant wanting to order a meal. Employees told her the dining area was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and forced her to leave. She came back with her gun and shot one of the clerks.

Let’s come out, but for good reasons.


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