“Helpless In Blaine”
We live four miles from the railroad, and day and night our peace and quiet is harassed by its screaming horns and throbbing engines. I can only imagine what it must be like for the people in their beds and at their dinner tables who live closer to the rails; let alone those who must spend so much of their valuable time at road crossings waiting on yet another load of coal on its way to Canada. And to what benefit for our community do we suffer this? None! And if the coal companies get their dumping area, how many of those promised jobs will really go to people currently living in Blaine? Get real, people! Five jobs, two maybe, or how about none?
The coal dust flies over our communities like the black plague scourge of centuries past, our ambulances can’t move through intersections to save our lives, and our thoughts are besieged by wailing horns equal to the sirens that haunted Ulysses.
There is little or no profit in any of this for the good people in Blaine or elsewhere along most of the line. What profit there is flies past us everyday into the hands of others who live far away from the trains and coal they command.
In the best of choices, the train as it now exists would go away, and at the least stop bringing open cars filled with coal and its poisonous debris through our communities.
Given that is not likely to happen, we should at least get some small profit from the railroad in the form of a train stop here in town. But no, even in this we must beg the kings of rail, coal, and government for our handout. Are you enjoying feeling helpless in your own home and community? We’re not!
As we get ready for our annual 4th of July festivities, perhaps we could give a thought to the many combat veterans among us, for whom the bombs bursting in air provoke unhappy memories and reflexive nervous reactions. They deserve a break.
Let’s show our patriotism and honor our vets this year by foregoing the fireworks and instead take a moment to reflect on the true price of freedom. Thanks and a happy Fourth to all.
Many thanks to the wonderful people of Birch Bay who helped Rufus, the dog, survive his mad dash down Birch Bay Drive during the Sand Sculpture Contest last Saturday.
We were babysitting our sister’s dog when Rufus escaped from our condo and ran off to find his owner. He started by running madly through the parking lot of Jacob’s Landing, where he failed to find her – and we failed to catch him – before he then took off down Birch Bay Drive, weaving in and out of traffic and causing minor heart attacks on the part of the many people who had to slow down to avoid hitting him. Miraculously, he survived – only to disappear down a side road.
We jumped in our car to look for him. No Rufus, but we finally located some folks at the leisure park who had seen him swim down the drainage ditch by their RV! From there he apparently took off through the huge field behind the cottages. Several anxious hours later we were able to retrieve him from the swampy area behind the golf course, just as Whatcom Humane Society arrived to help.
This happy ending would not have been possible without the assistance of many caring people who went out of their way to help us. Many thanks to Katie from Whatcom Humane Society for racing out to help us extricate Rufus from the swamp.
A special thanks also to the people who offered to babysit our other two dogs while we searched, to the people of Birch Bay Leisure Park who reported the strange dog swimming past in the ditch, to the ladies who donated dog biscuits and who put out a bowl of water with the hopes of stopping him and to the many motorists who slowed down or stopped.
To the lady who couldn’t avoid hitting him, thank you for stopping and being so concerned. Rufus is just fine. We appreciated all the kindness you all showed towards a frantic, scared dog!
Joannie and Jim Challenger