Sunday, November 24, 2013


The chickens are free again, after a couple of days of no eggs, it seemed unfair to imprison them.   They probably need more daylight, chickens don't lay well during the short days of the year, so they need to have a little supplementary light.  I'm a little leery of plugging anything in and putting it out there (see January 31st's post), so I'm looking into rechargeable or solar possibilities.  There is also the possibility that I just hold off until spring and they will pick up laying all by themselves.

The first thing they did when I freed them was to remove all of the mulch that I had over the front garden looking for the bugs that had been sheltering there.  Thanks girls.

 The book I read most recently has haunted me a bit.  No, it isn't horror or anything, well maybe it is...

American Nations, A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard, it continues the light bulb that lit  when I read Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer, a few years back.  It is an analysis of the different original cultures of the current regions of North America (mostly European, the Native Americans didn't get the option of having their cultures extend to the present in most of the regions--but that situation is partly analyzed in Jared Diamond's book, Guns, Germs and Steel). 

I could write pages and pages about what I took away from the book, but the most important point I took away was a bit scary.   I boils down to the objectives and viewpoints of the Yankeedom  and the Left Coast regions  are irreconcilable with the objectives of the regions of the Deep South (political power to few, no emphasis on education except for the ruling families) and Greater Appalachia (folks from the war torn north of England and Ireland settled here, shoot to protect your family, a few families control the political scene and money, distaste for whomever is in power) and the Far West. There will never be peace or an easy political process, to satisfy one group, the other has to give up everything.  If he is right, then the implications for our nation are chilling.

Anyway, the premise is that the original culture of an area persists in various forms in the current society of that area.  Meaning that the New England, Upstate New York and most northern parts of the Great Lakes region are extensions of the Puritan's beliefs, with the religion watered down as scientific discoveries gave other explanations.  The part that survived is the ethic of strong education, community participation in the government and the need to work toward a stronger society through social experimentation, he calls it Yankeedom.  Being a product of Yankeedom I wouldn't have agreed with him until I moved out of the area and lived among several of the other regions and felt as if I had landed on another planet (with the exception that all the shopping centers were identical, all that differed was the roofing detail).  The book clearly had a Yankeedom bias, the author hails from Maine.

Right now I'm living on the border of Midlands and Tidewater with a tiny hint of Yankeedom from time to time, since the original settlers of this part of Maryland were Puritans.  My mom at one point in her first visit made a comment about a gentleman we met saying, "I didn't know they had Old Yankees down here!" and she was right.  I've bumped into a few of them now and then, one of them runs the saddlery shop where my husband and daughter get some of their horse gear.

The Puritans were overrun pretty early on by Tidewater, who are now being overrun by Midlanders (eastern Pennsylvania-live and let live types, work hard, keep to themselves).   I see more Midlanders as I head toward DC and as I drive away from DC I cross into Tidewater-land. The local Facebook page for information and events sometimes has inquiries about strange booming noises (probably military) or sounds of shotguns, etc.  The Midlanders don't like folks shooting near their suburbs.  The Tidewater folks are still doing what they have always done, even though all their neighbors have sold their farms to Midlanders who developed giant suburbs for other Midlanders, who generally don't shoot near houses  One person posted that these folks had moved to the country and that they need to just accept that they are in the country now. He hasn't noticed that his "country" is being paved and built up. The Midlander's freedom to feel safe in their house is conflicting with the Tidewater's freedom to shoot their gun where ever they choose.

It is really weird that some folks here draw out their vowels in a southern type accent and others have a more clipped vowel northern accent and they can be from neighboring towns and their families have been here for generations.  I heard both the "y'all" and "you guys" shouted from the sidelines of the soccer field, one coach "y'all=ed" the other "you guys-ed".  The blend worked, they won the county tournament.

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