all the singing is in
the tops of the trees - Mary Oliver
As our cold weather settles in it I am reminded of the sounds of winter.
When I first lived in Spearfish, South Dakota. I rented a room from a widow. After she would leave for work, I would shower and wash my hair, towel dry it and rush off to class at Black Hills State College. It wasn't a long walk.
Fall was quick there and the temperatures dropped and as they dropped way below freezing, I would hear the most peculiar sound. It might have taken me a week or two to finally understand where the sound was coming. It was my hair. It was my long hair hanging down my back. I was leaving with my hair not totally dry.
That cold was really nothing I had ever experienced. And each individual hair was freezing. The sounds were them clinking together as I walked.
I am like many people finding the cold settling in the thing we have to endure to get us closer to spring and spring gets us all closer to being outside without all these layers of clothes we have pulled out from the closets and bottom drawers to be able to tolerate these few days that may end up being a longer stretch than we thought was coming.
But the cold brings time to think about and ponder and that may be why questions have surfaced ranging from particular health questions to what is really happening with GRDA and are there any next steps to step into with them and where and how do I get my water tested.
Those and a multitude of past questions are why LEAD Agency organized over 24 years ago. We had questions ourselves and believe we will keep generating them. There are a couple of organizations, some colleges and universities who have professors with students who want to help communities like ours that have questions and want real answers, based on facts. So keep asking. Call us, reach out, wonder with us. As they say we are stronger together. AND LOUDER!
Currently we have a couple of scientists helping us create the interactive map that will be of use for those of you who may not know you will be in deep water if and when the lake rises 2 feet. We need it now so you will be able to get your gear to higher ground because you will know you are at risk. We are working with a college on air issues and would like you to contact us if you might want to help them help us all. The Harvard School of Design has a class full of graduate students working on what Tar Creek Remade might look like. We need those designs because that creek will be clean one day and we want to be ready with ways we can enjoy being near her!
Another project we are starting we can't really start without your help. Young women, one from the University of Arizona and another from the University of Oklahoma want to help us collect the inspiring stories some of you may want to share about your work or how water has been part of your life. Water and Work we are calling this.
Again, health questions got us started all those years ago. And there are still questions on health coming in that are puzzling us since they weren't on our list of what to expect so they weren't on our list to ask about. We didn't know to ask about Aspergillosis or low iron. Before we leap out with the new health survey, please update us on what you are experiencing yourself or in your family so we can include these in that new survey. What we had no idea was coming on us when we formulated our health survey almost 2 decades ago was of course the corona virus COVID-19, which has infected many people and caused too many here and around the country and around the world to die. We will have time to gather and organize the health survey we need, because we will be waiting to conduct it until it is safe to be doing it.
It will be cold, layer up, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook, call our office at 918-542-9399. We will pile your questions in on what we have already, we will layer them in, we will seek the answers or look for solutions.
We will keep you posted on the next layers EPA is putting out there about the what's next in their take at the largest superfund site in the nation right here in Ottawa County, OK and how we get to learn what they are looking to do and why.
Stay warm, lay on another blanket, keep your faucets dripping, bring in your dogs. Take some time to ponder and keep your questions coming.
Respectfully yours ~ Rebecca Jim