Monday, September 10, 2012

MIssing in Action

I know I've been missing in action for quite some time now.  I've posted other people's stuff, but very little of my own.  So, you know I'm on line even if I'm not present here very much.  Life has become more than a little busy and I've not been blogging much at all.

Today, I'm back, but I can't promise to be here daily for another couple of months because I've taken on a couple of new responsibilities that are, to say the least, time consuming.  As I write this note to you all, my incredible Aussie partner is upstairs putting together a new desk on which I can research and write in an effort to help my community come up with a new zoning and planning ordinance.

As some of you will recognize immediately, this is NOT the kind of writing I most enjoy.  I'd much rather wax not so eloquently about my imaginary friends and adventures in short stories and poetry.

However, this is the kind of writing that my community needs from me at the moment.

I live on a vast North American prairie in the midst of a somewhat smaller but a just as lucrative Bakkan Oil Patch.  What this means for my community is that in the next year 65,000 new residents will arrive to punch great holes into the deep underground layers of this land in an attempt to extract billions of barrels of crude oil.  Already some 14,000 folks have descended on our corner of paradise.

I'm thinking you may understand that this influx into an area that has had fewer than 10,000 residents for the past thirty years is not all for the good.  Housing and infrastructure are the major issues.  Flaxton, my home, had diminished to 54 residents three years ago.  When the Aussie and I arrived we were the 56 and 57 residents.  Today, we have 104 people living in town, 21 of which are children.  And more are coming.

Part of the community is simply amazed and jazzed at the possibilities inherent in this circumstance.  Part of each of us in this community are scared shitless.  And I?  I'm eager to make the best of the situation, to bring new educational opportunities to the children, to hopefully create an atmosphere in which families rather than 'crew camps' dot the landscape of our little town.  So far we've been very fortunate.  Four new families, eight new children in the past three months.  Some of us want this circumstance to continue and so on behalf of the futuristic view that we can somehow orchestrate a community rather than house a work force, I will be a tad busy.

  I will report regularly about the new Planning and Zoning Commission of which I am currently the secretary.  More stories will appear of the kindergarten and first and second graders who stop in to visit with me for cookies and chocolate milk along with their workbooks that I happily provide, coloring books, readers, glue and stuff to glue, art projects, and maybe even some 4H activities.

They make my heart sing.  Sweet, curious, charming, intelligent, riders of fast bicycles, they stop, knock on my screen door and plaintively ask 'May we come in?'..who could ever say 'No - too busy today.'