A couple posts ago I mentioned that we tended to see what we wanted to see, and that how we perceive the world around us depends on that perspective.
I also mentioned that I had neighbors who despite our political differences, I knew would have my back if I needed them to be there; and last week it actually happened: I needed their help and they needed mine, and we were both there for each other, just like we always are.
Last Monday many of us in east central and northern Iowa experienced what was called a “land hurricane”—or a “derecho”—with winds 110 mph blowing steadily for nearly an hour in the worst locations.
It snapped trees and power lines all across the state—demolishing buildings like an F3 tornado. And there was little warning prior because frankly, most folks had never seen anything like it on land here before.
Of all the people in our small rural town, we were probably the best able to weather extended periods of power outage because we’d had a large propane generator-system installed a decade ago after a winter ice-storm power outage had kept us constantly babysitting our portable gasoline generator for three frigid days until power was restored.
Our old portable gasoline generator-on-wheels (it’s a heavy beast) was pretty basic and limited in capability, but with a lot of personal effort to babysit it and every few hours to alternate power cords inside to different appliances within the house, it got us through the situation as it had in previous, less-lengthy ones. During the first 10 years of its existence here, we had been forced to use it many times, so it was a good investment at the time because over the decades, due to our rural location, we had relied on it because we had lost power on many occasions.
But after that grueling, mid-winter 3-day experience, we decided there had to be a better, more reliable solution to any future power outage here because we were getting too old for that labor-intensive BS; so the next summer we decided to have a large ‘whole-house propane generator’ installed for likewise ‘big bucks’. (And after 6 solid days and nights of it running non-stop, we think it’s worth its weight in GOLD now. Best money spent EVER!)
So last week not only did our large propane generator operate dependably during the wind storm’s ferocity and for 6 days and nights after the storm’s remaining devastation (even though the generator’s electrical control box outer and inner metal covers had been ripped off by the wind, exposing the raw wiring to the rain before we could get it protected again after the storm blew through), we also still had the old portable gasoline generator as a backup system if necessary.
And we are very fortunate—our neighbors are great. We always look out for them and likewise they look out for us. On our acreage we had some storm damage to trees etc, but thankfully nothing to the house and out-buildings. After the second day of our cutting branches and gathering limbs for the burn pile, the neighbor guy saw us out there sweating away and brought his chainsaw and his two teenage kids over to clear out the larger downed limbs for us—even hauled it away to the dump area for us.
And we in turn gave them our old sturdy, portable gasoline generator-on-wheels to give them greater power flexibility than the tiny generator that they were using—and told them to keep it—it is theirs now. We also then helped them clear out their limbs and storm debris which they had stopped clearing away to help us.
That’s what neighbors do. You help each other. You may not always agree on every aspect of neighbor concerns, but you do what you can for each other because someday, you might need it yourself.
It’s a ‘WEB OF LIFE’ thing. You might feel like you’re out there all by yourself in this big world, but if you looked closely, you’d see that gossamer strand exists between you and the ones closest to you. You are just one tiny droplet on that larger web, but you still are connected to every other droplet existing there in some invisible way.
In the big picture of existence, biased opinions and political inclinations mean very little to LIFE when your actual humanity and survival are at stake.
Look out for each other—BE THERE when others need you. And they will BE THERE for you!
Because that’s what we do: We care, share, and stick together!