This week, a treat! Inspiration from the Heartland of the Southwest! This piece of inspiration is a spontaneously-written story that could only be told by my friend Bob Lange. He shares an event from his neck of the woods in rural New Mexico and how The People came together. I love the authentic “voicing” and the way he gets right to the heart of the matter.
“Just reflecting on the long weekend power outage of thousands of homes, including ours, up here in the east mountains. [of New Mexico]
Friday around 3pm we had a “weather event” that took out 19 poles and transmission lines. The neighbors drew on each other, and used FB to stay up on the community. The community rallied around the linemen from Central New Mexico Electrical Coop, and Tri State (they brought CNMEC a couple dozen power poles and crew). People brought food and water and encouraged these guys who worked around the clock to replace snapped power poles and re-string the transmission lines to get everyone back on.
They got Edgewood businesses [back on] first, that saved jobs and supplies. The thousands of homes finally were restored 1:40 am Sunday morning. Truly, it was a remarkable job of community spirit and coming together to overcome a power outage.
So what did we do Friday & Saturday night?
We used FB to identify and alert about thieves trying to take advantage, like color of the truck, license plate, etc. Posts made note of people who were casing houses, pulling into yards they had no connection to, and chased off. We used it to coordinate support, of the power crews, their location, and learn progress.
Some sought help like this post– “Anyone have a generator we could borrow at the base of south mountain to get our well to pump water to our reserve tank so we can water horses and flush toilets? Our reserve tanks drained cause the horse broke a water spigot. Now its fixed but can’t turn on the well with no power.”
And another post– “I don’t live near the outage, but if you have containers, I will gladly fill them with water.”
Then there were posts like…”We made smores by candlelight”…”We had story-time”, and “Is anybody else enjoying the family bonding time with the power out?”
As for us, our new next door neighbors, who saved our food with their RV fridge, had us come over and sit in the front yard and watch the meteor shower. We saw quite a few. It just so happens they are well versed in satellites and showed us one tracking across the clear night sky. Satellites and shooting stars at 6,950 ft in pure dark night sky. Whew.
Unplugging, reaching out, communicating with each other, avoiding the battle of trying to interpret the news on TV, seeing the diverse universe of people as individuals trying to make life better for each other, and the community, was reassuring, uplifting, faith restoring, and good practice for dealing with the zombie apocalypse, and the TV.
We considered declaring the east mountains Amish country, but football was gonna be on later. So the vote was no.
I now return you to your well powered, instant media fueled (for good or evil) Monday already in progress. Be kind. get busy.”
BACKSTORY- Bob Lange came out of the projects in Philly, to grow up in the steel mill stained neighborhood now called the Slavic Village in Cleveland. After middle school and the passing of his father, Bob attended High School on an Army base in Puerto Rico. College and a new career in radio found him back in the U.S.A., where the mountains and prairies of the American West were a creative environment and a beautiful place to raise his family.
Now it’s your turn to share a story or create one!
WRITING PROMPT: “Sudden silence, darkness gathers, the power is out. Who could have predicted…”
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