Friday, August 24, 2012

The Scorched Earth

It's hot in my new book. I write about Western Kansas and the whole state is burning up.
One of my son-in-laws, David, comes Hoxie, Sheridan County, Kansas, the town I regard as my home town, even my husband and I were both raised in Anderson County in Eastern Kansas. Our happiest years were spent in our little house on the prairie. Don managed to keep our truckline afloat for 23 years, although, he was overjoyed when he had a chance to sell the business.

I’m usually happy to go back to Kansas and visit, but this year it’s painful. Although David and our youngest daughter, Mary Beth, live in Denver, he has farmland back in Sheridan County. This week David and I talked about the drought devastating all of Kansas. He was worried about the possibility of water wells going dry.

He wasn’t talking about irrigation wells. Kansas is all too aware of the grave damage done by those. He was referring to water wells on people’s farmsteads and the possibility of those wells drying up. What then? If there is no drinking water? What if the water dries up for whole towns?

Can that happen? Of course it can.

The Great Plains is watered by the massive Ogallala Aquifer. The water table was depleted at a tragically rapid rate before folks understood the supply was not endless.

I started the book I’m finishing now before I realized it would be such a dry year. Up the road from where we used to live, the little town of Norton set a national record this summer—118 degrees. Hoxie had a whole week of days when the temperature was 115. That’s Death Valley territory.
The corn crops burned up. Corn is in everything from food to ethanol and crayons. The financial impact will hit in another six to twelve months.

It’s creepy to start a book and see events I’ve imagined start to happen in the next week. This happened with one other book too. It gave me a gloomy feeling that I created a disaster.

It’s not true. But still!


Anonymous said...
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dia mirza said...

Your post is very like to read.I like your way of writing and approach.Its so clear and neatly manner.


Charlotte Hinger said...

Dia, thanks!