Living in Society

Processing the Intake

Bee seeking pollen in a thistle plant.

As daylight moves toward summer’s end, the amount of information available has increased dramatically. After a busy Monday, I have to stop the input and process what I’ve gained. In an ever-forward life, that’s hard to do.

In the next township over, one of the Iowa CO2 pipelines is planned to cross Johnson County. The public debate is whether private companies should be able to use eminent domain provisions of the law the way a government would to run these pipelines. If you got everyone involved in the projects – companies, government, land owners, farmers, and citizens – I’m pretty sure we could agree that these pipelines serve no useful purpose to the environment. During initial rollout of the plans, companies hardly mentioned the environmental impact of CO2 emissions on earth because there are and may be more markets for the commodity. This is mostly about being able to export Iowa ethanol to California, which has stricter air quality regulations than Iowa. Well maybe I’m wrong these folks wouldn’t agree.

In Iowa’s First Congressional District, Republican incumbent Mariannette Miller-Meeks has defined her campaign as one tapping into a mother lode of money and crazy policies in her national party. In a way this makes the race easier for Democrats as she will be out of touch with what all district residents want and need. It will be harder because of the endless well of dark money in politics agitating everything. Democrat Christina Bohannan is busy doing the work of a candidate all over the district. There is a lot to take in as I plan my engagement in the fall campaign.

I am disengaging in my position as president of our home owners association in a development with a population of about 250 people. Finding people to be on our all volunteer board has been challenging. I served on the board in three different periods since first being elected in 1994. There are real responsibilities with managing our public water system, roads, trash and recycling removal, and a separate wastewater treatment plant. We kept the board fully staffed since I returned in 2017, yet few showed interest in leading the effort. Both managing the activities and finding a replacement will take time I’d rather be spending elsewhere.

Our family decided to become home owners. We built new in 1993 and 29 years later, a lot needs attention. Lilac bushes planted in 1994 are now overgrown. Repeated straight line winds and a derecho knocked down trees and branches. We are at 12 years since last roofing the house. Major appliances need upgrade. The list of home repairs and upgrades is pretty long. We have to be ready to slow down, and that means making the house more livable as we age. We tend to avoid these projects because we don’t want to think about them and how we finance them on a fixed income. We have to get going or the to-do list will only continue to grow.

Seems like I spent a lot of my life developing game plans and this is no different. I know enough to stop the input of new projects and focus on optimizing the use of time and resources. I’ll give it until Labor Day. If planning goes on past then, it may drive me crazy.