I don't know why that little song, "This Little Light of Mine,” keeps playing in my head. I am not complaining. It is a nice little song for all of us to consider.
But today I was reminded about a different type of light that shines to protect us all. The light I am referring to is the luminous tape we are begging to see more and more of on clothing, shoes, equipment, trains, bikes, cycles and toys.
For years, I wondered why they didn't put florescent strips on trains to catch the eye of a driver, especially at night. We are now seeing more and more of the florescent strips on things, but I feel it could be used a great deal more, including mailboxes. I am happy to see the florescent tape or vests on people who serve the public, such as firemen, police and other workers in hazardous areas.
P.S. Whoever came up with the light up shoe idea is a smart cookie. Runners in general need reflective tape on their clothing, cap, hair bands, gloves and shoes. As of late, it’s also being put on raincoats, umbrellas, and almost anything really.
As a result, it becomes easier and safer to see people with that little light. Backpacks, camping equipment, even tents will show up better in the dark. Do not forget snowmobiles, recreational carts and vehicles including golf carts, especially those being used for cheap local transportation.
Farmers will soon be working to get their equipment ready for the field work. I hope they will consider the use of florescent tape on their machinery, especially if it is going to be traveling on roads during the night. A good farmer will also make sure all safety lighting is clean and working.
The reflective tape placed on the sides of equipment should be yellow with red or orange on the rear. It is often a good idea to have a companion car with their flashers on, traveling along with the equipment that is being moved. And of course, equipment should always have flashing lights whether it be day or night. Driving equipment with passing space between units is a good idea and so is limiting the movement of equipment during peak traffic or evening hours.
Protect yourself. Because of farm machinery’s sheer size, many of them on narrow country roads, so take the time to be a good citizen and don't take unnecessary risks. Be patient. Slow down when you encounter a piece of large equipment, be it tractor or truck, drag, planter or what have you.
Visibility isn't always what it should be. The driver of large equipment can see much better than someone in an automobile. Remember farm equipment may turn at different places than an automobile such as a field or farm driveways. They also make wide turns and move out for mailboxes, standing equipment or other roadside obstructions.
Flashing lights are not turning signals. So be aware of slow moving vehicle signs, which are used for just that purpose, not other purposes. Often that causes some confusion. Also remember that flashing amber lights indicate the far left and right of equipment.
Take it easy passing farm machinery. Beware of turbulence or machine instability. If you pull in front of a slow moving vehicle, do not decrease your speed suddenly. Large equipment does not maneuver like an automobile, and the drivers cannot stop as quickly. Equipment drivers do not drive on surfaced roads and the loose surfaced shoulders can cause an increased risk of accidents and even overturning.
If you meet a piece of equipment on the road, be a good neighbor and look for a place to pull over to allow them to safely pass. It could mean his life or yours if the machine should overturn. Take your time, as it is always good to offer courtesy and share the road.
If you have recreational equipment, think insurance. Cost of repair or replacement is one thing, liability is another. Innocently letting someone ride your "toy" can be disastrous.
Hazards are always there, but with the event of spring, the joy of fresh air and fun can cause us to forget to take care. Things can happen so easily and quickly, which can take so long - with painful moments, to mend. And remember that time and weather does take its toll on things, so some emblems that are worn or dirty should be replaced.
Farmers with a late spring have enough to think about. Please take your time. Just remember "This little light of mine" - be visible, watch for others. It is in your (and their) best interests. It only takes a minute. Accidents can last forever.
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented that they like to read about the "local happenings" and family events such as family and school reunions, birthday and anniversary celebrations, and birth and wedding announcements.
In order to read about these important things, we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us, so we can then pass along the news to you. If you have news to share, please contact me.
• Thursday, April 14th: Anna Elizabeth Bailey, Tina Hagen, Jason Vogt, Rachel Oswald, Marcia Hemingway Jensen, David Jensen, Ron Huber, Butch & Gail Ottesen
• Friday, April 15th: Mason Robert Klemmensen, his 5th; Terry Jensen, Barry Troe, James Benson, Sarah Christine George, Cayla Conroy
• Saturday, April 16th: Linda Christensen, Eddie & Arlene Miller, their 60th; Terry & Cindy Vaith their 28th
• Sunday, April 17th: Mike Nesdahl, Suzanne Marcus Cory, Matthew Olson, Diane Van Riper, Kathy Paulsen, Bethany & Terry Mikesell, their 7th, Jerry & Mary Peterson
• Monday, April 18th: Ellen Hanson, Peggy Wallerich, Tim Stollard, Tom Kaphers, Rebecca Lyn Peterson, her 10th; Brian Olson, Danielle Zamora, Levi Michael Den Herder, his 6th
• Tuesday, April 19th: Elizabeth Rose Wallace, her 5th; Cody James Reistad, his 6th; Aaron Utpadel, James Bremmer, Jaxon Branstad, his 11th; Kaden Shaw Tonlinson, his 8th
• Wednesday, April 20th: Jacob Dau, his 5th Sara Elizabeth Hemingway, her 10th; Steve Mumm, Brenda Sorenson, Kathy Haberman, Jennie Korsbon, Paul & Jennifer Wayne, Don & Delores Glynn
• Thursday, April 21st: Helen Pierce, Michael Foster, Veronica Graif, Adrian Kilian, Marilyn Reistad, Elmer Vanden Heuvel
• Friday, April 22nd: Noah Lowell Swearingen, his 8th; Rollie Johnson, David Purdy, Gregory Swearingen, Stacy Thostenson Harold, James Van Riper, Marilyne Dodge, Mike & Sarah Collins, Rodger & Sue Hill
Wishing you every joy as you celebrate your special day!