Local folks know that we had major storm here on Monday night. The storm moved in at about 11:30, lasted only 15 minutes or so, and left downed trees and power outages all over Hampshire and Franklin County. The power remains out in a lot of places and some schools are still closed. I had to pick up some canning supplies in Wal-Mart yesterday and heard and saw things that made me want to scream. Some people just don’t learn.

First, the place was packed with people buying flashlights, batteries, lanterns and camp stoves. I just don’t get it. What if they had not been able to get out to buy that stuff or didn’t have the cash or found the shelves empty? I just don’t understand how you live in the Northeast and not have storm supplies. Every place has its vulnerabilities. Why not be ready to deal with them?  But honestly, it was the conversations were what really got to me.

There was so much anger. “I’m going to lose the stuff in my freezer if they don’t get the power on”.” I don’ t know what they’re doing out there. Leaning on their shovels?” “What do they think I’m suppose to about work if the schools are closed?”

Who is this “they” I keep hearing about and what exactly would you like “them” to do if there is a two hundred-year-old maple tree lying in the road? Leaning on their shovels? I know some of these linemen and they often go 24 hour shifts in the midst of a crisis. Here’s my point. Don’t count on “they” to worry about your freezer or your childcare or whether or not you have batteries for your flashlight. “They” will have the big picture to worry about. The small picture is your problem. Only in past 30 years have we been aculturated to believe that we are supposed to be cared for by government every time something goes wrong. Things are changing and we all better get used to being responsible for our own safety and well-being.

All of this brings us right back to Gulf disaster. I think the reality is finally sinking in. No magic. No miracle. Just throwing things at the problem until the relief well can be drilled. In the meantime, I keep hearing that people want TPTB to do something. Who and what?

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