Bob Groeneveld has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with Langley readers for more than four decades.

Odd Thoughts: Insomniac Mother Nature sending out a wake-up call

The kids have been getting things too hot in the attic and basement, and it’s keeping Mom up nights

By Bob Groeneveld


Picture an insomniac Mother Nature in her bathrobe.

It’s about three in the morning, and stuff is buzzing around in her head, making it impossible for her to get to sleep.

She knows one of her kids has been turning up the thermostat on the oil furnace, and it’s been getting uncomfortably warm in parts of the house, especially in the attic and basement, where she keeps the plants and pets that like it a bit cooler.

She knows who’s doing it, but every time she asks, she gets, “Who me? Nope. Not me. I’m not the one raising the temperature.”

Or she gets, “Must be one of your hot flashes. You know that happens sometimes. I can show you graphs and equations. It’s not my fault.”

Or she gets the one that really burns her butt: “Are you feeling hotter? I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s hotter. Do you think it’s hotter? I don’t know where you’re getting that idea. It’s not hotter. Somebody’s lying to you.”

And she thinks, “Yep. Somebody’s lying, alright.”

It’s that dishonesty that really keeps her up nights. She worries about the kids’ future.

It’s like she ranted to her sister Mother Earth the other day, “They don’t get it. You and I will still be here when all is said and done. I mean, the heat won’t shift your plates at all. You’re already radioactive at your core, and let’s face it, they got all the oil and plastic and gunk they leave lying around from you in the first place, so none of this is actually going to affect you. And all it’s going to do to me is change me a bit. I’ll move some of the plants upstairs from the kitchen, and I’ll finally be able to grow some stuff in the basement. Sure, it’ll be a bit rocky for a bit, but a few millennia of evolution, and you won’t even know there was ever a problem.

“We’ll be okay… but they’ll be gone. And, darn it. I’ll miss them. But what can you do? They don’t listen. Especially the old ones. They just don’t get it at all.”

It was that “What can you do?” that had her sitting up this night, a half a bowl of popcorn on the coffee table, a wine glass in one hand, the TV remote in the other, all the problems of the biosphere laying siege on her pineal gland and blocking her melatonins.

Sleep was impossible. Again.

And I figure that’s when it happened. She was surfing through the channels when she stumbled on Logan’s Run, an old movie about a society where nobody is allowed to live past 30.

A light bulb – powered by sustainable wind energy and solar panels – came on in her head.

After some sober thought in the morning, Mother Nature figured that 30 was maybe a bit young for a cut-off.

“Maybe 60 or 70 might wake them up,” she mused aloud. “This time.”


In a past life, Bob Groeneveld was editor of the Langley Advance and the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Times. Now he writes when and what he feels like. He has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with readers for more than 40 years. Visit with him on Facebook.

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