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Out the door in a pissy mood but there were no mailboxes to punch … and Charleston to spend $100 million to ready itself for high water

Given all the junk found and bagged over the years, it's somewhat surprising I don't experience more anger issues.

Back in the day when I competitively ran marathons, one of the elite runners I looked up to was the then-best American, Bill Rodgers.

Mr. Rodgers won Boston, the granddaddy of U.S. marathons, several times. His 2:09 PR is light years ahead of my 2:24. He was a force to be reckoned with. He was The Man.

Yet in some respects ‘Boston Billy’ was no different from the rest of us plodders: There were days when it was everything he could do to head out the door on a training run. He equated those days with a desire to “punch mailboxes,” such was his momentary distain to put one foot in front of another. All runners identify with this malaise.

There are current day parallels to picking up litter.

Saturday was one of those off kilter days. I left the house in a snit about 5:55 a.m. and to say I was chippy is an understatement. I didn’t want to get out of bed let alone lace ’em up to head out the door. But habits die hard. At least the coffee was black and stout.


Given all the junk found and bagged over the years, it’s somewhat surprising I don’t experience more anger issues.

The pissy mood came along for the walk. Wrath rained down at the first find; a sheet of plastic used to shrink wrap a flat of water bottles. Wrath rained down on the second find, too. Since there were no mailboxes to punch Rodgers-style, I took my anger out on stuff lying on the ground.

But like my old training runs, residual crankiness abated as things moved along. By the halfway mark, I had calmed down and got into the flow of picking up other people’s junk. Not that there is ever a joyous time stuffing trash into a bag that has me click my heels, but hey, we got through it and, as Rodgers used to say after his temporary insanity, he was the better off for having made the effort.

Poor Charleston. The South Carolina tourist haven about to pay big bucks to keep the rising sea at bay.

One mile of the lowest portion of the low lying city, the Battery, will be raised 2 1/2 feet over the next decade at a cost of $100 million.

The city is reacting to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists that in about 40 years, even a moderate rise in ocean levels will expose a huge chunk of Charleston to “debilitating floods” every other week on average.

Charleston is no stranger to sunny day flooding whereby already rising seas, coupled with strong tides, inundate streets and lap at the doors of some Charleston homes and businesses. Charleston’s Republican mayor has called on climate change deniers to get on board with the overwhelming consensus of scientific research.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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