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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From My Window

Issue Date: March 7, 2019

On The Bright Side

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

After yet another snowstorm, I traveled at 35 cautious miles per hour to my dentist appointment. I was a little surprised they were open, given the poor condition of the roads; on the other hand, if all our businesses closed every time our roads were in poor condition lately, quite a few of them would lose a lot of money. The alternating snow and bitter cold is getting a little bit "old" right now, but on my way home I saw something, really saw it, that cheered me up quite a bit. It's pretty easy to get grouchy when you forget to notice the things you should be grateful for.

I passed four county or township graders or plows on my junket. I realized these crews have been working long hard hours, in highly unpleasant conditions, for several weeks now. Nonetheless, they all raised a hand in greeting and took care not to impact my car as I met them. You know what that is? That big equipment that we only need periodically? And those hard workers putting in long hours? Those are my tax dollars at work. And in my opinion, my money is being well spent. Thanks, guys.

On my trip, I also saw two wreckers retrieving vehicles from gnarly predicaments along the county highway. (Or as my in-laws say about such stranded vehicles, "Someone put it in the pickers.") Sometimes your neighbor with his truck is up to helping with these situations; but the two buried vehicles I saw would be a tall order for anything other than professional equipment. When you need professional help, it's really nice to know you can get it. And that goes for furnace repair technicians and plumbers, should a pipe freeze or furnace fail. I would not want to be trying to get through this weather without a furnace and those specialists who venture out in these messes to come to fix these things are critically important and appreciated too.

There were scattered power outages around my home in one of the storms due to the high winds. The utility crews were out in the nasty conditions, doing hazardous work, to quickly restore power. Thank you, what would we do without you and your skills? And I was very grateful that the tree trimming crew had come down our road last fall. The woods looked a little mutilated after they were done, but I was awfully happy during the storm that our road had gotten their attention.

People who work in hospitals and care facilities can't just "stay home" when the roads are bad. Residents and patients still need care, food, and medication. So employees of those facilities do whatever it takes to get to work, and then hopefully, get home safely afterwards. And our EMS services, both paid and volunteer, don't stop responding either. It is just one of the many ways they risk their own safety to ensure we get help when we need it. Not all of their responses are as dramatic as the horrific pileup on Highway 41 in the valley, but when it is you during a storm suffering with a broken leg, appendicitis, or an infant who decides to appear in this world at the least convenient time, they will do whatever they can to help. God bless all of you.

My mailperson has only missed two days of delivery through this mess. Several days I was astonished when she battled her way down our long driveway to the porch with a package. Frankly, I'd do without my mail rather than see my carrier hurt " but these government employees have a commitment beyond what I would ask. It is very easy to take such people for granted " but I noticed what she did, and I am grateful.

I have heard and seen countless acts of personal kindness. People help friends, neighbors, relatives and total strangers with snow clearing, errands, and rides. The people helping do not want or expect anything in return, the good feeling you get from assisting is truly its own reward. There are a lot of kind-hearted, thoughtful people in our communities.

So yes, during this siege, the snow and cold are getting tiresome. But we will all get through this together. And to those of you who provide the services we need most at times like this, thank you. We don't say it often enough, but we appreciate you. And we would be really miserable in this record-breaking weather without you.

Song stuck in my head: Enya, "Orinoco Flow." Beautiful " but this one is really tough to escape so be careful with it.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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