This weekend my wife and I went to help out with a cleanup project. One of our launch sites is located on BLM land next to the Pawnee National Grasslands in Weld county Colorado. We are not the only people who use this little slice of heaven, however it looks like we are the only ones who practice anything that remotely passes as stewardship for the land we use. About fourteen of us walked a pattern over the prairie covering about a square mile. That’s a lot of walking, let me tell you. We found two rockets, one fin, and a little plastic army figure with parachute. We also filled about six garbage bags with beer bottles, oil cans, used shotgun shells, empty brass cartridges, computer parts, water bottles with lots of little holes in the plastic, and a few dozen empty energy drink containers. All in all a good haul of junk. We managed, in four hours, to restore the prairie to a nearly human free condition.
My wife had other motives in addition to cleaning up the prairie. Sure she was working just as hard finding and picking up junk and trash, but her eyes were on the lookout for bones. She likes collecting bones for our garden. Some may consider this odd or at least a strange decorating item. I think it’s wonderful. I have always been the odd duck in our family with questionable taste in decorating; it’s nice to see her come over to the dark side.
One bone that she brought home last weekend is actually quite interesting. I believe that it’s a vertebra of a cow or bull; it seems too large for Antelope or Coyote. The remarkable thing about this little bone is how much it looks like some kind of Pokémon character.
Turn it one way and it looks like a smiling face.
Turn it the other way and it looks angry.
It’s quite the find.
After we got back from the prairie and unloaded the car I got a call from my Dad. While my lovely wife was carefully placing bones in the back yard my Dad and I started talking about the horrific shooting in Oakland. The discussion turned to sociology. What makes a person get all loopy and start shooting at cops? Is it a hatred of authority? Is it the availability of guns? Is this a cultural issue with cops, gangs, drugs etc? Or are video games, TV violence, and Red Bull to blame? I find this discussion interesting, but don’t have any answers. Who does?
However, this got me to thinking, how do people become who they are? Does ones environment produce who a person becomes, or is it the other way around? Is my personality dictated by my friends and environment or did I choose my friends and environment to more closely match my personality? Chicken or the egg? Maybe it’s just bad wiring.
It is, however, fun to think about.
After I got off the phone I started to wonder. Did I influence my lovely wife to adopt the odd taste for bones and skulls in our back yard, or did she have propensity for bone collecting before we met? I hardily approve of this form of backyard art, but am I wondering what else is out there to discover about her? Or if I am the cause, what other behaviors may I be influencing? Counter wise, has her propensity towards a more even keel kept me from becoming truly wacky? I believe this is probably the case. Being married for so many years we are bound to influence each others behavior, if not we wouldn’t have survived.
I look forward to many more years uncovering, and or contributing to oddities that each of us have. Whether these traits are hidden and being reveled over time or adopted from each other is anyone’s guess.
The real question is: Am I wacky enough to keep this going for another 25 years? Or are we going to even out and become dullards in our old age.
This may require some work….