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Dads Story

THE WATERFALL              




On first thinking about it, my Dad didn't seem particularly connected to water, and I wasn't sure there was a good water-related story as I was hoping to write for this edition.  Somehow the fact that he liked his Scotch whiskey with water didn't seem to be the right sort of topic.  Andrew wasn't a fisherman or have a job that caused him to be on or around water in particular.  But the more thought I gave it, the more I realized that he was almost always by the water.

Andrew worked in, and greatly loved, the city of Boston, which sits neatly on Boston Harbor.  I remember his bringing me on a harbor boat tour and seeing the islands in the harbor, including historical places like Fort Warren on George's Island where Union soldiers were trained during the Civil War and which later was a prison for captured Confederate soldiers. 

I also remember Dad taking us on trips to Boston that included rides on the famous Swan Boats on the small lake in the middle of the Public Gardens between downtown and the Back Bay.  The Boston Public Gardens were the first botanical park in the US, established in 1837.  You may know the Swan Boats from the children's story Make Way for Ducklings.

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There were summer visits to the New Hampshire coast where our grandparents would rent a cottage for a couple of weeks at Hampton Beach.  I remember watching Dad swim smoothly out parallel to the shore.  Somehow he never taught me to swim very well.

Family outings when we were little sometimes included outings to Crane's Beach on the North Shore above Boston.  (Our Irish Catholic family grew to have 8 kids.)  In addition to one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere, there is the old Cranes Estate, a great old mansion which was part of the huge estate of a Chicago industrialist.  Today it includes the Crane Wildlife Refuge.  I remember one trip to Cranes Beach with the whole family - which was a major outing once all the kids came along - where both Dad and Mom spent way too much time in the bright sun and went home looking just like the lobsters you can buy nearby.

One summer Dad rented us a vacation home in southern New Hampshire on Pelham Lake for a couple of weeks.  It was here that he taught me how to properly row a rowboat and fish, when I was a really little guy.  At the end of full week I had caught enough little fish to make a meal for one person!  But I was pretty excited. 

At one point during my youth Dad moved our family to a big house in Nahant.  Nahant is one or perhaps two islands, depending upon how you see it, off the shore at Lynn Massachusetts.  Nahant is connected to the mainland by a mile-long causeway, so it isn't isolated like many islands are.  It's small but well-populated.  The city of Lynn nearby is one of the old mill towns in New England.  My mom was raised there.  Her Dad worked at 'the GE" plant, as they used to say.  I have memories of driving and walking with Dad along the shore in Nahant and in other areas around New England.

As adults, when Dad and I were both single a couple of years, we went in together to rent a cottage on Cape Cod for the winter.  We'd go down many weekends, and spent many wonderful times together, going for walks on the beach in the day.  (And Dad would mix water in his Scotch at night.)

But more than all of these things, my association between Dad and water is that he knew how to go with the flow.  His approach to life was a wonder to behold.  He awoke in the morning looking forward to a new day.  He took challenges and setbacks in stride.  When as a teen I dented up his car, his first question when I called him was "Are you okay?"  His second was "Was anyone else hurt?"  He knew what was important and he never forgot. 

My Dad taught me how to be a good person.  He demonstrated to me how to be a good man.  He showed me what love really was.  He was my best friend.

Thanks Dad.  And thanks to all the good Dads out there.  Let them know you appreciate them and love them.




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Low Water in Lake Tapps

In Pierce County Washington State, the largest lake is extremely low on water.  The water always drops in winter, but it's always back before Memorial Day.  It looks like this year there will be no Memorial Day boating, with docks dry and stumps normally low in the water dangerously high.

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Low Water in Alabama

The worst drought in Alabama in 50 years has brought water supplies to a low.  The lack of rain is hurting everything from recreation to electricity production.  Lake Martin has a four-foot drop.  The reservoir on the Tallapoosa River is the lowest since 1960 impacting the hydroelectric plant.  60% of drinking water in the area comes from rivers and lakes.  No drinking water shortage has occured yet, but is being closely watched.

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Allergens Health Tips

A study shows that washing laundry in water above 140 degrees F kills 100% of dust mites.   Drop the temperature to 104 degrees and only 6.5% of dust mites are killed.  The hotter water is also better at removing dog danger and pollen.  Steam cleaning was shown to be equally effective as the 140 degree water on dust mites, dog dander and pollen.

If your delicates can't take that high temperature, another way to reduce dust mites and other allergens is to rinse twice with cold water for at least 3 minutes each time.  This will remove all traces of dog dander in laundry washed at any temperatures.

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   Fathers Day, Fathers Day Gifts, weather stations, gardening gifts, low water, allergens, ocean CO2

Ocean Near CO2 Saturation Point

Climate change has arrested the Southern Ocean's ability to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This makes it more difficult to stabilize carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and reduce global warming risks.

The Southern Ocean has been absorbing less CO2 since 1982, but levels have increased 40% due to burning of fossil fuels. Oceans absorb half of all human carbon emissions, but the Southern Ocean has been taking in less and less since 1981 and is reaching its saturation point. This is the first evidence of the long-feared data showing this could rapidly accelerate the rate of climate change, greatly increasing the cycle of environmental impacts.

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