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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One Step Away From Getting Hit By The Bus

I woke up late, woke up the daughter, opened my iBook and was greated by the news that seven kids had died in a farmhouse fire.
The mom was milking cows and dad was driving a milk truck.
Click here for link.
The story says the mother was alerted by a 3-year-old who ran to the barn to alert her that they could smell smoke. The 3-year-old and a 2-year-old were watching TV at the time. The whole thing seems to have happened from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m
Two facts were highlighted in the story. The father had picked up his load of milk as was sleeping in the truck a mile away and the mother was milking at 10 pm.
Of course the kids were left unattended.
I linked to the NPR version of the story where the first commenter noted that there was no word of a carbon monoxide detector.
I read this story with a kind of sick feeling, I know this story. This is a smally family farm. The family is trying to survive with poor milk prices. The dad drives milk truck at night (most of the milk truck pick ups are at night) and the mom does the evening milking. The kids have to fend for themselves at night. The older kids who had to go to school were in bed and the younger kids were up watching TV.
I don't see it as bad parenting but rather the result of desperation.
The dad was probably taking a nap because he was going to do the morning milking after driving milk truck all night.
Who knows if they had a smoke alarm. When you are essentially living hand-to-mouth and working every minute of the day, the question of if there is a battery in the smoke alarm, or if you have a smoke alarm is not on your mind.
Sure I am reading into the story, but it fits the pattern.

Further commentary, I wandered off to get more coffee and then started talking to the family and a pretty bird flew by and I got distracted.
It seems to me that you are always won step away from walking out in front of that big old bus that knocks you down and either ends, or changes your life forever.
Life seems to be a series of judgments of should you get back on the curb or should you run like heck. When you get to daydreaming or to busy to look both ways you cast your life upon the winds of fate. Of course there are always those times when the bus driver is texting and runs up on the curb and nails you, I've heard that happens other places than Portland...

And that is me, being profound. Perhaps I could put that on a Hallmark card and make my fortune! Of course, with my luck, I'd walk out the door to cash my 1 million dollar check and an ACME anvil would fall from the sky. It would not kill me, just mash my foot, or break every bone in my body and I would make a heroic comeback, and then go broke and be back to where I started...
Like the time I found a penny, and it was a magic penny, and I wished for a sausage, and my wife said that was a stupid idea, and I wished the sausage was on her nose, and that didn't end well so I just wished it would never have happened... I read that somewhere.
Have a nice day...

In other news, I have found the Radio Birdmen, Aloha Steve and Danno, and as an added bonus- The Beasts of Bourbon singing, "The Day Marty Robbins Died."  (Which includes the lines, My horse it got divoriced/ and the pigs they all cried/My big iron, it won't fire no more/ because today Marty Robbins Died."
I'm sure you will all enjoy the next post. I suppose someone is going to take away my record player eventually...


  1. That bad news story even made it here to the the CBC. Having been close enough to count the stone chips on the buses bumper a time or two myself I can agree with you Budde. Sometimes you see it coming, other times......

  2. the big problem is that there are those who would use stories (anomolies) like this as an excuse for the government to enact laws forcing a family to spend money on things that they cannot afford.

  3. Look at the idiotic comments from the NPR site. People do NOT understand what it is like to work for a living. The mother was doing the evening milking. That means it was a small enough dairy that they could not afford Mexicans. Is not that a small family farm?
    Criticism for having 13 children in 11 years. You need extra hands if you are going to do subsistence farming, oh wait... If you wear Filson hats and scratchy wool underwear that is called "sustainable farming." I wonder if Willie Nelson will have a concert for them. Perhaps Jimmy Carter will build them a new house. Too bad they can't sell raw milk for $20 a gallon. They probably would not have had to work so hard. And they just have to twist the knife a little by saying the father was "dozing" in the milk truck. Screw you smug arseholes, does anyone know what it is like to work 3 days in a row without sleep? Or 20 hour days? Is it leaving your kids unattended if you go out to the barn to milk?

  4. thefrumpyhousewifeMarch 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    In addition, they will be villified the more for having a large family (as if failing to practice someone else's notion of family planning indicates neglect or ignorance), and they will receive more criticism than does the parent who leaves the child alone in the car while running into the convenience store. These are the realities of farming!It is a tragedy, plain and simple--an accident of horrible, unimaginable proportions. May our lives never be touched by such a big bus.

  5. God will settle all those scores someday.

  6. Central Oregon GrownMarch 11, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    I have figured "but by the grace of God, walk I,
    I learned the hard way through an quick accident
    and the death of a young son, not to judge a only takes an instant for your life to change forever...good or bad parent. As for
    Gorges Smythe...You don't need to wait for God..
    you live it everyday.. for me 30 years.


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