March 11, 2021
When planning a trip to the Hill Country of Texas, we had to reschedule three times. A terrible ice storm had hit most of Texas including the place we wanted to go. Roads were so icy that traveling on the highways was not warranted unless absolutely necessary. No delivery trucks could travel, so the stores, gasoline pumps and propane stations were low on their supplies. As the storm held so long with the unusual below freezing temperatures, supplies soon ran out. The ice covered the trees, the electrical lines and soon power was off. Some places were without electricity for days.
Most Texans dealt with it. There was no rioting in the streets of the Texas towns and cities. There was no breaking into businesses to grab things and there were few if any demands on the government for not rushing aid and funds. As I checked on social media links in the area where we wanted to visit, I soon saw in this area people were handling it much the way it would be handled in this part of the country. People posted on social media if others were without electricity, they had it at their homes and if contacted, they would invite them in. Those without water posted and many responded their wells were operating. If they brought bottles and buckets, they were welcome to fill them.
Others posted showers were needed. A church opened their doors for people to come in and use their restrooms and shower. Someone posted they had an extra chainsaw if needed. Another posted they were willing to help where needed in cutting down trees. A group of people rallied and planned meals and snacks for the electrical linemen who were working long hours. It was almost two weeks before the delivery trucks were once again rolling, the grocery shelves were being stocked and the gasoline stations were getting tanks filled. Several country people still did not have electricity but they were sure linemen would soon have it up and going. It impressed me how they worked together, helping each other out.
It made me think of this rural area and how people pull together and help each other when help is needed. When loved ones die, food is brought into provide the family with meals when they don’t feel like fixing meals. A senior citizen who can’t drive anymore is picked up by a neighbor and taken to get groceries or to a doctor’s appointment. When a house burns, others rally and collect food, clothing, and donate money to help out. When it’s in the middle of harvest and a neighbor becomes ill and can’t complete his harvest, neighbors and friends leave their harvest fields and move their equipment in to harvest the ill farmer‘s fields. If a neighbor’s cattle gets out, a call is usually made to the owner of the cattle. Some offer to help gather up the cattle and get them back into the pasture or lot. Fund raisers are held to help a family that has large medical expenses.
The helping others list can go on and on. I feel blessed to have been raised in such a community. We have continued seeing and receiving such giving, and trying to do the giving too.
On a much smaller scale, we live in the country about 18 miles away from the nearest store. Recently I went to make a cake I planned to take to a special occasion and found, though I had done my grocery shopping the day before, I had neglected to write on my grocery list the cake mix that was needed. A call was made to a neighbor. Thankfully she had the mix I needed and was willing to give it to me. Another trip was not needed to town. I’ve had to do the neighbor borrowing many times. I’ve been the neighboring provider. It’s just that way in rural areas. If help is needed, we are there for others.