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In Texas a steady procession of out-of-staters are finding our prairies, woodlands and waterfront properties appealing for their families. Compared to housing in California and New York, no question that Texas comes out ahead. Only problem Texans face is that many of these new comers may bring their baggage with them—more government, more regulation and more congestion down the line.

Meantime, our Texas population continues to expand. I just hope it expands without our citizens losing our heritage. Looking back our forefathers had a lot of sense when it came to planning. Two major events for our rural dwellers was the arrival of electricity on our farms and ranches. This opened up a new day on the farm. Then there was the developing of our rural water cooperatives that brought clean and abundant water to our rural folks. Kerosene lamps for reading after dark were no longer a must. And not having to draw water from the nearby well via a metal bucket was a real relief. Water flowing from a tap not only made kitchen chores easier it also enabled many rural residents to have a real, functioning bathroom in the house. Replacing the outhouse, always located some distance from the main dwelling, was a game changer.

While country living is a way of life for many Texans, sometimes it gets dicey. In our timber areas, loggers are having a tough time. Even though lumber prices at retail are at all-time highs, the timber being sold by our landowners is an absolute disaster in pricing. There is no correlation between what a landowner is offered for a timber harvest and what it costs to buy lumber for any sort of building project. One estimate is that it now costs an extra $24,000 for the wood alone for an average new home compared to years past. All the while the timber raiser is getting less for trees than ten years ago. Timberland owners, loggers, truckers and all the other folks involved in getting timber from the stump to our mills are hurting. Something is haywire!

Again on the home front don’t get carried away with lawn and pasture fertilization. Until our Bermuda and other lawn grasses emerge strong and healthy, just hold off on the fertilizer and chemical weed controls. Not much sense in wasting time, energy and money on a lawn or pasture until the grass starts growing.

That’s –30—horace7338@live.com

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