Here we are, just past the cusp of Spring, daffodils sending cheery messages to passersby who say, “Love your daffodils. Really cheer me up” so I have evidence for that. And then, last night…
I like spring snow. Bear LOVES spring snow. I let them out this morning and she leapt in joy to knock the snow from a low hanging branch over their yard. Sometime today we’ll head out into it, walking because I’m going to be stuck in my driveway. This is the best thing, a dump of wet snow like this means the seedlings (and seeds) in the fields get a jump start and the snowpack in the mountains gets a needed boost.
The other day on Facebook NPR posted that they wanted to hear from people in rural areas; they wanted us to tell them what we needed, what concerned us. They gave a phone number and I called and spilled the whole story as I know it. But, as always, as it was Facebook, there were comments.
Some city woman (I’m a city woman. I just happen to have chosen to live in a rural area) said, “They just want us ‘awful city people’ to pay for them. What do they give us?” I went a little nuts. Then I wrote, “We feed you.” I left out, ‘You twat.”
That unleashed a storm, a good storm, but a storm. And it’s true; many rural areas voted against their own welfare (ha ha pun ha ha) in the last election. My area went, pretty much like the nation as a whole. My state went blue…
It’s pretty simple. Urban areas have a high population density and a large tax base in relation to their footprint. That means better services, health care, transportation, pretty much EVERYTHING we don’t necessarily have in a place like this. So yes, urban woman, your tax dollars DO (god willing) filter their way to a rural area like mine. Thank you. When I lived in CA, I knew that of every $10 I paid in taxes, only $1 stayed in CA. That’s fine. That’s my “rent” for good roads, etc.
I then posted a comment describing what’s going on in the San Luis Valley right now (besides snow). The fields have been burned (some of them) and plowed. Some have been planted and are beginning to emerge with tiny green shoots. Lambs and calves are dropping in the fields. ❤ Yearlings are being auctioned off — steaks and burgers. Local “boutique” dairies are making cheese from the milk of their goats, sheep, cattle and yaks — yes, yaks. Yaks really like the San Luis Valley and they are pretty easy to be around having been working close to humans for centuries. I love them. What else? There are local guys making sausage. Hops and barley will be in soon if they aren’t already. There’s beer — both Coors and various fancy brews — and Budweiser. Potatoes are our main crop and we are second to Idaho in growing potatoes, particularly gourmet potatoes, you know, the cute little fingerlings and pretty purple ones? That isn’t even all. We have one of the largest solar farms in America and it’s growing.
For the privilege of having food on the table, urban people pay taxes. But we pay taxes, too, at exactly the same rate. There are just not as many of us.
I understand the resentment of the urban coastal people having had a president foisted upon them (foisted on me, too) for whom they did not vote. And they had to witness a lot of angry “rural” people at Trump rallies. I think a lot of the problem is the result of the media picking and choosing what they wanted to show. But the message — in spite of the result of the election — should have some meaning. I truly think that only desperate people would reach for the absurd promises of that scheister. In my message to PBS I said that I believed that people in rural areas could benefit from political education about how government policies — like the ACA — directly benefit us.
There many cultures in this nation — and not as a result of immigration. Down here (the San Luis Valley and Northern New Mexico, a region as large as Connecticut) it’s a kind of cowboy/farmer/vaquero/campesino culture with a lot of old hippies and a few rich people mixed in. It’s unique in the US, I think.
Well, I guess I’ll pull on my boots and see if there is anything left of my daffodils to rescue.