Today’s farm/township update comes to us from Ben.
Kelly and I saw “Come from Away” last Sunday. It was fantastic. In the lobby we heard a guy walk up to his wife and say, “My glasses fogged up and I was following the wrong lady in a red jacket.”
It was so cold! How cold was it? It was so cold I wore sleeves. It was so cold I saw a duck standing on one foot. It was so cold the handle on the water hydrant by the barn wouldn’t move. Then it warmed up for a day and the chickens came out, and the hydrant worked, and the ducks just looked at their corn.
In the winter, we get pheasants coming in to eat the corn I throw out for the ducks. Each year there’s a couple more and this year it’s 9 or 10. It’s pretty cool. The crows have learned there’s free food here too. Kelly doesn’t like the crows.
Here’s a picture of some dark colored blobs down there. Those are pheasants.
I’m on our local townboard. Been on there since 1998. We have one house on a major road that is city on both sides of this house, and there is 100’ of sidewalk in front of that house. I don’t know if it’s a ‘walking path’ or ‘bike path’ or ‘sidewalk’ but It’s the only sidewalk in the township. (because the rest of the township is rural or subdivisions that don’t have sidewalks). The city clears the walking path out in this area because there are no home frontages here, but they have been skipping that 100’ in front of this house. And the property owner has never plowed it. As it’s in the middle of this stretch of path, it’s a problem for people using the path. I learned all this last winter when I got an angry phone call from a city resident who lives out there and uses this path. I didn’t even know it was a township problem. I didn’t know the homeowner and I didn’t know if he had health issues or what reasons there might be for him not clearing the sidewalk. Took me a few days to connect with him, during which, the county snowplow just pushed all the snow back off the sidewalks and so the path was open. Turns out the guy just refuses to clear the walk on principle. Huh. He figures he didn’t ask for this sidewalk, so he’s not going to plow it. We, as the township, don’t have a sidewalk ordinance and we don’t want to make one for 100’ of sidewalk when we have 33 miles of roads to deal with, therefore we couldn’t force him to clear it. And the city says it’s not theirs, so they don’t want to clear it (even though they’re clearing a mile on both sides of it). Last winter the weather warmed up and the problem went away.
This winter I’ve been watching it as I drive by this area. I’ve seen the guy out there with his small tractor and blower doing his driveway, but he still isn’t doing the sidewalk. And I can’t decide if I admire him for sticking to his principles or if he’s being a jerk. And the city now is clearing it as they’re driving through there anyway. Which makes sense, but I could also see them leaving it… on principle.
Twenty-five years ago, just after I got on the Townboard, we repaved some roads in a subdivision. One resident never paid his share believing no one would come and tear out the road. Jokes on him; the company DID tear up 100’ of blacktop, leaving a section of gravel on this road. Didn’t take long for him to pay up and the road to get fixed. Maybe the neighbors convinced him.
We have a mystery going on at our townhall. It’s an old building, looks like a one room school. (Maybe it was the school that got blown across the road in the great tornado of 1883, or maybe it was always a townhall; depends who you ask and what maps you choose to believe).
For the last 3 years we’ve been picking up Phillips vodka bottles in the gravel parking lot. I wish LJB was still around; we need a good story for this! We have our suspicions… once a week, there will be 1, 2, or sometimes even 3 vodka bottles. Very few are empty. Some have never been opened! Most will be between ½ and 2/3’s full. We’ve got a collection in the hall now of 14 bottles, and there are a lot that have been picked up and thrown out and don’t make it to the hall collection. The hall is at the intersection of two major roads. People park there in summer and ride bikes or jog. A school bus stops there. Sheriff deputies park there to do reports.
Why are you not finishing the vodka? And why are you leaving them there? Bonus points if you can tie in the glasses fogged up guy.