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Warmer weather can’t come too soon

What began as a happy trip to the wood shed for a load of seasoned oak in the Fall is now a crabby trudge through deep snow and ice, a drudgery opposite the cheerfulness felt with the first flames to beat back Winter’s early chill.

Spring warmth cannot come too soon.  Naturally, it will arrive, melt the Arctic snow cap occupying my lawn, and probably result in some Biblical flood carrying my home down river to the Chesapeake Bay.

Speaking of floods, and flood insurance, I am hopeful that the insane congresswoman Maxcine Waters will have her bizarre legislation permanently overturned, so that people can either afford to own their homes (something she is not familiar with or supportive of) or the Federal government will buy out the landowners so the societal costs and benefits are not concentrated on just the private property owners.  Government cannot change the social contract in one week.  Well, under liberals it can, of course.  Let’s rephrase that: Government should not restructure the social contract in such a short time that private property owners see their investments destroyed overnight.  That would be good government, something unknown to Maxcine Waters and her fellow liberals.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Snow is magic, pretty, enchanting, a pain to drive in, a pain to shovel, and a huge boon to hunters.

Snow helps hunters (animals and humans alike) see prey better, because it creates stark contrasts. When a prey animal is moving, a hunter can much more quickly spot it.  Tracks reveal where animals have been, and where they might be again.

Today was the last day to harvest a bobcat, and while I did not try to bag one real hard, I still feel a little disappointed. Our traps went out after the bobcat trapping season, and I did not get up to our northcentral PA honeyhole spot, so I can’t say I tried hard. But still, if you read enough hunting reports, you know that all it takes is that “one amazing moment” when the cat silently appears after you’ve been calling. I had hoped for that moment.

Kind of like that other hopey-changey stuff, my own hope was misplaced.

But I did take a lot of pretty photos with snowy backdrops. The white barn, dune-like ripples in the snow across a big field, dead foxtail grass waving in the deep snow…kind of like grass waving in the dunes at the sea shore. An old loop of barbed wire sticking up through the snow, with rabbit tracks hopping by on the right. Ice sheets across the stream, or nearly across, with deer tracks testing it up til its edge, and then backing away to find another route.

As I was snuck inside a field corner woods, blowing on the dying rabbit call, a giant snowy owl erupted from the other side of the hedgerow 150 yards away.  One swoop over me, and it lit out for Canada. Not even camo fools those eyes.  The last snowy owl I saw was 36 years ago, while I was out hunting alone in Centre County, walking along a field edge.  Raucous crows alerted me to something special about to happen, and then it appeared, a majestic white owl, soaring ahead of the cawing mass.  That owl just kept on going, leaving me mesmerized.

A black weasel came darting to the call inside a small wash, while I was perched on a stump and log way above.  My mind first identified it as a black squirrel, then as a mink, and then as the weasel it was, as I watched it crouched under a fallen log, watching me with glittery eyes.  I have a weasel mounted with the wood duck I shot with John Plowman nearly 20 years ago, out on the Susquehanna.  The weasel is from Centre County, and is brown with a black-tipped tail.  This is the first all-black weasel I have seen, although I have seen both an all-black fisher (in the ADKs in November) and a mink this year.  Kind of like a three-of-a kind poker hand; the fourth must be a seal…

Nature is so simply magical.  How people do drugs, I do not understand.  The sun on the snow today was enough of a “drug” for me to last all day and night and into tomorrow.  And so yet another hunt passed, without a kill, and yet, so fulfilling, nonetheless.

and then there is that political aftermath…

Well, ya win some and ya lose some, right?
My hope is that Harrisburg mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse will deliver on his promises, although the gun control stuff is a waste of time. I am no fan of Harrisburg losing its assets and still not being out of debt. My opinion is that Harrisburg’s investors made a bad investment, they were sold a bill of goods by the bondsmen, and the accountability for rectifying that goes back to the guys who issued the bad bonds. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for the municipal debt debacle. This race was marked by the impact of tons of cash, artificial legal shenanigans, and the purposeful delay of justice so that the one candidate standing in Eric’s way could not get his footing, until just weeks before Election Day.
That’s not good for democracy.
In Susquehanna Township, one again hopes that outcomes will not be as bad as they appear to be. Voters who vote against their interests intrigue me. The township school district appears headed toward even worse infighting and more losses of good staff. Property values correlate with public schools, so….. Good luck!
And finally, congratulations to judge-elect Bill Tully, a highly qualified, hard working, earnest man who will be an outstanding judge for all citizens of Dauphin County.
Vic Stabile won his seat on the PA Superior Court, congratulations!
And I am so pleased that the election season is now behind us, so I can get out and do some more hunting and fishing.

Bruce Warshawsky for Susquehanna Twp school board

Bruce Warshawsky is a local attorney of note, having run for office and participated in many campaigns.

Bruce is a taxpayer, father of three children, married to Terri, and a long-time Susquehanna Township resident. He is a good guy and a hard worker.

Susquehanna Township is going through some oddball politics right now, with strong racial tones that I personally find frightening and sad. America is better than what we are seeing there at this time.

Bruce has always been above race issues, advocating for an inclusive set of principles instead, the most important of which is Academic Excellence above all else.

Academic excellence should be the goal of all parents and all taxpayers who foot the bill for government schools.

The best way to reach Bruce is 717 547-4089, or btwarshawsky@comcast.net. Recall that even small donations of ten or fifteen bucks go a long way. Bruce also needs volunteers to help distribute campaign literature to voters.

Flood of 2011 Experiences In a Nutshell

Ladies and gentlemen, like many families along the Susquehanna Valley, our clan experienced a lot of displacement, loss, and discomfort as a result of the five feet of water in our basement.

But challenges like the flood are just a test, a test of our abilities, our faith, our ability to be a good neighbor, and our friendships.

It also tests whether or not businesses are willing to be good neighbors, or if they try to take advantage of people who are vulnerable and needy.

Here are some kudos that came out of our experience, turning the lemons into lemonade:

***Big thank you-s to Ed, Dominic, and Devon, friends who over-rode my last-minute living-in-denial mentality and simply showed up, despite my protests, and helped our family carry hundreds of pounds of things out of the basement and up to the first floor, and then from the first floor to the second, as the flood warnings changed hourly. Just in time. Without their muscle and hard work, our personal and financial losses would have been much higher.

***Big thank you to long-time friend Mark Brodsky, who selflessly dropped off a huge generator on my front porch on Friday morning, which kept the sump pumps going long after the electricity had been turned off in our city.

***Big thank you to Mark Woodland, an amazing friend and neighbor, who helped me set up sump pump after sump pump in our basement, despite the late hours, the gross water, and the hard work.  Mark is a gifted technician of anything involving mechanics.  Without Mark, I likely would have ended up with the pump hoses circling back into the house.

***Thanks to Rabbi Ron Muroff who descended like an angel to help out himself and then with other volunteers (thanks, Judge Solomon et. al.) when we needed help most.  We are not members of his house of worship, but we will be making a donation to it.

***Thanks to neighbors Steve and Dick for helping with the sump pumps and generator when I was running helter-skelter.

***Thanks to the Harrisburg City Police for putting in long hours chasing down would-be looters in our neighborhood, putting up with ridiculous answers from these guys, and for bringing comfort to me when our neighborhood was dark, abandoned, and completely vulnerable to break-ins and looting.  Officer Bobby Yost, call any time for a BBQ in our back yard.  You earned it, buddy.

***Thanks to the two very likeable Allstate adjustors, Tim and Paul, for treating us fairly and kindly. These two suuthin good ol’ boys from Louisiana are hunters, fishermen, even-keeled, and really all-American in all respects. We enjoyed their company as well as their hard work to ensure that we were treated fairly. Hey, fellow Central Pennsylvanians, these guys from the bayous are our kind of people. If you desire a vacation in a very different part of the nation but still want to feel at home, I think we can safely recommend coastal Louisiana.

***Thanks to FEMA for helping so many of our communities. We pay our taxes for this kind of service, and it’s nice to see our government provide service with alacrity and a smile. James Ferguson, our guest FEMA employee (well, a contractor) all the way from Tacoma, had an easy, caring way, and a hard work ethic.

***Thanks big time to our US Mail carrier, John, who stopped briefly to talk with me on Friday, September 9th, to strategize about the best paths for him to take to various neighborhood homes under feet of muddy water. Yeah, we know that the US Mail folks are under the gun in so many ways, but John delivered our mail despite encountering conditions that he could have easily walked away from.

***Thanks to Todd at Rainbow Cleaning. Although he made money, Todd also helped us above and beyond the call of duty. Without his dozen airplane-prop – sized fans and two industrial dehumidifiers for almost two weeks, our basement would have never really dried out. Todd provided good advice, too.

***Thanks to my parents and to the Family Boss, Viv, for keeping us all on the straight and narrow despite the strong urges I often felt to run screaming in circles.