A lesson in teamwork atop a high tower

How simple and profound . . . making space in a sandbox to build the community now and for the future. It’s part of the fabulous Children’s Garden at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Elkhart. I can almost recall the sense of joy I had when my parents built a sandbox–and when they took us siblings and a cousin on a day’s outing to Lake Huron.

Cogitation 38/215 Saturday 21 September 2019 Doing maintenance work on an electricity transmission tower takes teamwork. That’s a lesson we observed this week.

On a walk we heard a helicopter and then saw it rise above a grove of trees. A person dangled at the end of a cable. In short order he was deposited on top of the steel tower, where two other workers were climbing a bit lower. The pilot ferried a fourth person to the top. Whatever maintenance task the team was “up for,” they did not dilly dally. No selfies, texting or tweets.

I couldn’t help but think that success in such endeavors takes coordination, cooperation, clear communication, trust, skill, the right tools, proper work gear, backup support, not to mention no fear of heights. Teamwork works.

I can imagine the team reviewing the day over a brew or a cup of tea. I see them–the pilot, the linemen, and any others–tipping their hats to each other and to people like us, beneficiaries of power that reaches the light switches and sockets in our homes, schools, businesses, offices, houses of worship. Thank you, high tower team!

Fitness, health & aquatics center now open

As part of errands and a walk in the City of Elkhart we saw the mostly completed BEACON Health & Fitness and Elkhart Health & Aquatics center in use in the vastly recast near-downtown Elkhart River District. The $80 million+ project anchors one corner of the district that will include at least two apartment complexes, shops, restaurants, and a new grocery store.

We’ve watched developments over the years, having lived close by, and laud the far-reaching efforts to reclaim downtown living, commerce, destination amenities, and enhancement of the surrounding parks and natural environment.

The BEACON Health and Fitness and Elkhart Health and Aquatics complex on the site of the former YMCA, and, in the day of water power, a glass factory. The area borders the confluence of the Elkhart and St. Joseph Rivers. In the 1970s, I wandered through this area when it was a grown up wilderness, with maybe just a small glimpse of its gentrification.
This Martin’s was the grocery store where we most-often shopped when we lived close-by in Elkhart. It’s being replaced by a new store just to the north of the parking lot, on the eastern edge of the new Elkhart River District. We picked up a few groceries there on our walk, impressed again by the wide aisles, sprawling space, deli, cafe and coffee kiosk, pet shop, and other familiar areas. But with construction all around the store there were few early afternoon customers.
We enjoyed a walk in the Wellfield Botanic Gardens on north Main Street in Elkhart.

Closeups from the week

This grasshopper spent a few seconds examining the path on which we were walking, then flew on.
A male Monarch, identified by narrower vein-like lines than a female, and two black dots on parallel veins.
A female Monarch.
A seasonal scene in Mongo in LaGrange County. Tomatoes were $1 a pound.
Historic Nasby Dam on the Pigeon River in LaGrange County.
Harvesting seed corn in LaGrange County yesterday–21 tons per semi load. Teamwork at every level.
Snuggles decided to abandon her nap in the lilac bush to join the chatty humans sitting in the shade of the maple tree.

Let Autumn transmit its wonders, and adults act with children and youth to create a clime where happiness grows on trees and all life flourishes.


2 thoughts on “A lesson in teamwork atop a high tower

  1. Hi John,

    Lots going on in the Elkhart River District! It must have been interesting watching the high towers work. Yesterday we went to downtown Grand Rapids to join the Youth Climate Strike. Gun violence is affecting youth today and climate change will affect us all in the future. It is good to see young people fighting for their future!


    My iPad says that a smile always increases your Face Value!



  2. Signs of autumn are certainly here. On my drive to Kitchener yesterday to celebrate Graham’s 40th and Alexander’s 9th birthday the trees alongside the 401 are starting to change. Very scenic. From the pictures you have many scenic paths too. I’m glad there is a percentage of the population who aren’t afraid of heights. Yikes!


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