From My Window: Graduation a great time—with a touch of reality

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
This Saturday, Rio Blanco’s two high schools are going to turn a bunch of teenagers into adults and turn them loose on the world. Chances are pretty good, I’d say, that the world will be a better place because of it.

On one side of the equation is the reality that these young adults either are or will soon be on their own—legally and, oftentimes, literally living their own lives. They can legally play, have fun, loaf as long as someone is there to support them.
Or they can face reality that the fun can still be had while leading a responsible life that may include the military, going on to some level of college, starting a family, getting a job or working the farm or ranch.
Whether being graduated from high school or college, the last ceremony at their last school was called a “commencement ceremony.”
For those who don’t know, that doesn’t mean “graduation” ceremony; it does mean “beginning” ceremony. To “commence” refers to beginning the next step in life. And it is a serious step.
After your 18th birthday, you men and women are on your own. Mom and dad may bail your rear ends out of trouble; they may pay your bills; they may protect you in any number of ways.
But it is a record that will go with you a long time—whether it is good or bad. You can start out on the right foot and soar to success or you can jump off a cliff and crash land, making your life dismal.
The choice is yours. I repeat: the choice is yours. And so are the good or bad circumstances.
The first year or two out of college will likely set the course for what lies ahead. That can be a good thing! That can be a bad thing! But, whether you realize how serious life is just about to become, it is your life and no one else is going to live it and no one else is going to receive the praises or suffer the consequences.
There is a wonderful world “out there.”
Get “out there” and at least get a glimpse of what is there.
It is a vast world and it follows all around the equator, which is roughly 24,000 miles wide and 24,000 miles around the globe from top to bottom of new experiences, joyful experiences, dreadful experiences and learning experiences.
It is all a part of life.
The more tastes of “life,” the more wonderful the world becomes.There are new people, new places, new languages, new lifestyles, new customs, new foods, new societies, new beliefs.
Some of these you will embrace; some you may not. But this all comes together under the title of “spice of life.”
Get out. Get a taste. Embrace those things that are new and good. You can ignore or reject those things that are new and not so good.
But realize the two truths I have long lived by: the first being taught by Warner Earhardt in his Earhardt Seminar Training (EST) classes that go back to the height of the ‘60s and Big Sur, Calif. That is, “You are the master of your destiny; you alone are the person who makes the world in which you live.”
The other, from people I have known, predates the 1960s, and we have heard over and over and over during out even short lifetimes. That is, “You can be whatever it is you set your mind on to become.”
You were just graduated. Get out and take in at least a part of that outside world.
Embrace what is new and what you perceive is good. Then latch on to that good life, figure out how your goal or goals can be reached, and go after it. Don’t give up until you get to where you want to be.
If you are fortunate enough to reach your goals, no matter how small or grandiose those goals are, continue to set new goals and go after those.
You won’t lose. You can’t lose.
You will hit road blocks; you might even find a closed road.
But there is a way around any obstacle, and only you are to blame if you find that road too tough to travel.
Best of luck on your journey…

We are only four weeks away from it being summer officially, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
On a trip to see friends in Glenwood Springs on Saturday we ran into snow between Meeker and Rifle and when we arrived in Glenwood Springs, it was quite obviously snowing heavily on not-too-distant Mount Sopris.
On the way back on Sunday, we ran into snow in Rifle after having left Glenwood Springs, from which we could tell that Mount Sopris was again getting snow.
There is one good thing about the weather we have been having lately, and that is with the cool days and nights, the mountains aren’t seeing really severe snowmelt warmer and windier days might bring.
On Monday afternoon, I took a quick glimpse at two watershed or precipitation measurements in the area: those of the Snotel snow stations in the Flat Tops north and east of Meeker and at Meeker airport. They tell different stories.
What an examination of those two metering methods shows is quite a different picture around the valleys and at the much-higher altitudes.
Regarding the snowfall, a quick glance at the entire Yampa and White River basins shows that as of Monday morning, we were at 64 percent of the normal snowfall at the area snow measuring stations, but we were at 81 percent of total average precipitation for the date at those same locations.
Using the measuring devices at Meeker Airport shows that we have had 2.52 inches of precipitation since May 1 at the airport, an increase of 1.63 over normal for Monday’s date. Since Jan. 1, the airport has reported 6.71 inches of rain, which is up 1.12 inches over normal and that since March 1, we have had 5.44 inches, which is up 1.74 inches above normal.
What that tells us is what most people already know, and that is that we have had much more rain than normal at the lower altitudes and valleys but that we are down a fair amount in snowfall at the higher altitudes and mountain tops.
I’m not certain which I prefer. I like the precipitation, which is always a good thing. But I also like the warm, sunny days, which make Meeker a great place to be in the summer—not too hot and not too cold.
Either way, it is much better than being minus-29 degrees, like early this past winter. But hopefully we will see the 80s some day soon—at least for a few days.

And lastly, hooray for the NFL, which finally did something to the New England Patriots, who have been fairly well known for skirting the rules for years, even before they were spotted filming other teams at practice years ago.
I am openly surprised that they suspended Tom Brady for four games come the start of the season, and perhaps as a single incident, that might be going too far.
But, we don’t really know how long this practice of deflating the footballs has been going on in New England. And I don’t think we can’t imagine—I have a feeling— all the “rule stretching” that head coach Bill Belichick is capable of.
Not only that, I am not much of a believer in the NFL’s strict ethics code and I will be one surprised Broncos fan if the NFL enforces the four-game suspension for Brady. I don’t see that happening…