Inflation: Why are we losing so much so fast?

Half the year is just about behind us; Tuesday was June 7, 2022, and haying is in full swing. Wasn’t it yesterday when we just finished snow-blowing the driveway?

Whatever, the Old Men of the Mountain gathered at the base of the mountain and had breakfast at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh.

There was a topic that came up more than once, and it was how much most everything has gone up in price. The people on fixed incomes and those making minimum wage have to really plan on stretching the dollar. The OFs keep asking why we’re losing so much so fast.

The OFs have many reasons why. Of course there is always politics to blame, but consider too few large producers of many necessary products instead of small independent producers of the same thing.

Adding to that is the war in Ukraine, fuel, too many governmental regulations, and all, in a way, going wacky and culminating at the same time.

One OF said he saw this coming years ago. His thought was inflation is caused simply by the lack of competition, which keeps prices in check, and competition is being eradicated.

No matter, prices were the topic quite a few times at the last breakfast and Tuesday. Probably the same discussions will be next week with even more reasons why things are so out of whack.

One OF said he was going to quit mowing his yard because gasoline prices are so high. The OF said he burns the non-ethanol gas in his small engines and when five gallons of that stuff gets to be close to 30 bucks, to heck with the mowing. Let the weeds, dandelions, bug,s and bees have the yard.

The OFs discussed this situation last week and, with prices going up as the OFs stand there, they can’t help shaking their heads. One OF said somebody has to be making money off this thing.

“Ya think?” was the basic answer.

Another OF said we can thank Harvard for this mess.

Gas, food, and who knows what else is out of whack, and on top of this, the country runs out of baby formula! What in the world did we do before there was baby formula?


Pollen profusion

Some of the vehicles in the parking lot, and even some of the shoes the OFs wore, were the same color or color pattern. That is, a basic color plus yellow.

The pine pollen was especially prevalent this year. At times, when the wind blew, there would be clouds of yellow drifting through the air.

One OF mentioned this stuff will go where water won’t, just like cement dust. There is this yellow time of the year every year but then it stops, and in a few days is gone. Where does it go?

The porch and porch railings that were once yellow are now normal, and the OFs haven’t done a thing to brush it away; it is just gone, like the heavens have sent down a huge, very quiet, vacuum cleaner to suck it all up. However, it is one pain in the nose and a boon to the Kleenex, and Refresh industry while it is here.


Weather jumping

The snowbirds quite often have tales to tell from when they are at their homes away from home, almost to the point of being very good salesmen for the areas they call home during the winter months.

In the discussion Tuesday morning, many of the “things to do” when in these areas were very inviting. However, some, once done — they are done. That is possible to do on a vacation.

One of the topics though was the manatee, popularly known as a sea cow. These huge creatures are gentle, and they seem to be smiling all the time and appear to have no natural enemies except humans and their careless “me first” attitudes.

There are groups formed to bring awareness to the plight of the manatees since this marine mammal is listed as being vulnerable to extinction. Joining one of these groups (along with other activities of the warmer climes) seems to make the trips down south more like home number two, or in some cases home number one, and home in the mountains then becomes home number two.

One OF suggested that family enters into weather jumping too. This OF became one of those who found himself living alone as a member of the run-from-the-snow group, and found living alone in different areas is not for him, so the OF moved so he could be with family.

This OF says family comes first, at least to him. Many of the OFs are lucky enough to have family around as they get older.

Listening to all the varied conversations of the group called “The Old Men of the Mountain,” it is found this small group is quite a melting pot of life, and lifestyles. Just in the little part of our whirling sphere occupied by the souls of the OFs, the variety is so varied it melts into one, like a crazy quilt.

The OFs are part of a greater universe and we bet in all the groups similar to the OMOTM, family will be discussed world-wide, if not throughout the whole universe.

All the Old Men of the Mountain, and a couple of OFs from a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy who found their way through our local wormhole and who joined in the conversation on family met at the Middleburgh Diner, in Middleburgh. The OFs who welcomed them were: Paul Nelson, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Miner Stevens, Doug Marshall, Otis Lawyer, Pete Whitbeck, Jake Herzog, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Wayne Gaul, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Duncan Bellinger, Gerry Chartier, and me.