Carnes: Best way we know how
I live in Edwards; Homestead to be specific.
It’s not really very big, so exactly where in Homestead is irrelevant, but suffice it to say I look down on the Clubhouse, not up.
I enjoy taking walks around my neighborhood. Contrary to the sad delusions of a few local extremists, I wear basic tennis shoes, not cloven hooves.
Just about everyone along the way has a dog. Some have more than one. The pooches say hi to me, in their own special way, and I respond in kind the best way I know how, which means in English.
Strolling down the street a few times each week, I find myself wondering about relatively mundane issues, like how much electricity a house uses compared to mine, or how many neighbors use “illegals” to clean their house each week.
We’ve had a 3,000-watt, battery-backed solar power plant on our roof for almost a decade now, our meter spinning happily backwards just about every moment the sun is sending its clean, energy-producing rays.
I could care less how many “carbon credits'”some “Inconvenient” loony thinks we might happen to qualify for, as long as my computers, TVs, furnace, garage door and refrigerators stay up and running when the power grid goes out, which it feels inclined to do at least once a month.
Considering our Carnes Cars consume more carbon-based fuel each month than probably the entire fleet of Eagle County hybrids annually, “carbon debits” is a more appropriate term. Anyway, we’re not about to singlehandedly solve climate issues, but for now it’s the best way we know how.
We’ve gone through a few housekeepers over the years, each one claiming legal status, although their grasp of the English language usually is pretty slippery.
Each has had children enrolled in local schools, spouses who own their own businesses, claim to pay taxes and have aspirations of buying their own home someday. Surely they could not do all of those things without being legal citizens.
Short of donating a down payment, we help the best way we know how, which means we always pay on time.
Last week I wondered how many of my neighbor’s homes have mortgages that are about to increase anywhere from 10-50 percent over the next month or so.
At least a few will certainly be hurt in the wallet; hope it’s not any of the ones I like. But if any have to leave the valley I suppose my family will handle it the best way we know how, which will be by welcoming the new owners to the neighborhood.
My youngest son joins me on these walks from time to time. Here is part of an actual conversation we had a few weeks ago:
“Dad, how come they wouldn’t let third-graders attend the assembly for 9/11?”
Being a (somewhat) normal parent, I replied, “I didn’t know you had an assembly for 9/11 today. Who got to go?”
“Everyone from fourth grade and older. It’s not fair, we know about 9/11 just like everyone else.”
“Well, my guess is they think you’re too young to grasp what really happened.”
“But I know what happened! Iraq attacked us!”
I froze in my tracks, smiled, and then continued walking.
“Um … no, son, they did not.”
“Oh, that’s right, it was those guys from … um … Talibania, right?”
“Yes,” I said without skipping a beat, but biting my tongue so hard it would make Rob Katz flinch during a council meeting. “It was those dang Talibanians, alright …”
Sometimes, especially with an 8-year-old who has matured enough to no longer believe in Santa Claus but is just now beginning to realize girls are “icky,” we just have to handle things the best way we know how.
NOTE: The preceding opinions belong to Richard and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper … but they should be.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a biweekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com .