Be a Good Neighbor

A week ago today much of my County was hit by record winds. I live in the Northern part of my County and we were extremely lucky. The Southern part of my County was devasted. Houses were left without roofs and I have heard more times then I can count of grain bins that aren’t there anymore. But, as one of my Veteran’s said, it doesn’t matter because there won’t be much of a crop because the wind flattened the corn.

I was at work in town when it hit, seemingly out of nowhere, the last I had seen there was only a 40% chance of a scattered thunderstorm. The lack of visibility outside amazed me. I always assumed in town wind didn’t get that bad because there was enough structures to block it but I was wrong, we couldn’t see 10 feet out the window at times. One of our Deputy’s at our building had his wife call sobbing in the phone that it wouldn’t stop. He lives in an area of the County that was hit hardest. It wasn’t just the 110 mph wind gusts that caused so much damage but also the fact that it lasted so long. I just had a Veteran report today that it lasted 45 minutes where he lives. Usually a storm comes and goes like it did in the town I was in.

Then the phones cut out. A popular Midwest cell phone service, which the majority of us had, stopped working. The probation officer in our building has a different cell service and let us all call to check on loved ones, Scarlett was with my Dad and he lives further North then I do and just said they had some wind and rain but that was it. I almost got the vibe he thought I was goofy for even calling they had had it so easy.

The first thing I saw coming home after the storm. I felt like Scarlett from Gone With the Wind, “The house, is it still there?”

When the power didn’t come on for another hour, even with the town having a back-up generator I figured there must be some serious damage and decided to check on my own situation at home. As I was driving through town I passed one of my Veteran’s houses with a large branch on the roof. He is an elderly gentlemen who lives alone and doesn’t have any family. I had to check and make sure he was alright. Luckily he was fine and the branch just looked horrible, he didn’t think it had actually done much damage. He was actually in his enclosed porch and watched it come down! But, as I was there he had a friend stop and check on him too and another was on the way to assess the damage. The way that a community can come together after a devastating event is beautiful.

Checking On the Home Place

My first thought as I was topping the hill to our house was to ensure the house was still there. We had a large branch come down but it missed the house completely! It was blocking my part of the driveway but that’s pretty minor. My next thought was check on the horses as they were in the corner pasture that would have taken the brunt of the wind. I jumped out of the car and started yelling, “Boys, boys!” There they came, running around the corner of the windbreak ready for some feed!

This is the worse damage we received, plus a few trees in the pastures. If that’s the worse that happens, I’ll take it.

Since we have a circle drive I wasn’t too worried about jumping to clean up the tree because we have a circle drive, I’ll just use Coby’s drive. Plus, I needed to get gas for the chainsaw and since we were the only town with power for quite a distance we had LINES to get to the gas pumps and the gas stations in town were worried of running out within hours, there were people that needed it a lot more then me to clean up a lot worse damage and to run their generators to keep their families comfortable and their food cold and safe. I could easily wait.

Good Community, Great Neighbors

Tuesday evening Scarlett and I pulled into Coby’s drive and circled around to our normal parking spot by the house. In front of me was one of the sweetest sights. An anonymous neighbor had come and cleared our driveway, they even cut up the branch for us to use as firewood. The kindness brought a tear to my eye and made all of the ugly in the world melt away and goodness shine through.

Our passable driveway! Scarlett and I did find out which neighbor graciously cleared our drive and gifted him with delicious cookies my Dad’s girlfriend had baked and a card from Scarlett and I!

There are a lot of horrible things going on in the world right now but there is also a lot of good. Let’s all be a good neighbor, check on those around you and lend each other a hand.

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