Opinion

A time for compassion

'Tis the season for compassion.

I have to admit it, the lack of power is getting old. Crews from Puget Sound Energy and Tanner Electric are working hard to get us power but the windstorm caused significant damage to primary transmission lines.

Experiences like our current situation bring out the best in people. I have witnessed many neighbors helping other neighbors and witnessed a young man cutting firewood for an elderly neighbor so they could have heat. Neighbors are sharing gasoline for generators and hot meals. The lack of power has forced our kids to think of non-electronic ways to entertain themselves and my wife and I actually decided to dust off the old cribbage board.

It's also a time to check on our parents, for those with elderly parents, to make sure they are OK, warm and have some mobility. Our Valley is full of compassionate, creative and unassuming people all ready to help neighbors. It's all about compassion.

On the other side, I have listened to the radio, KIRO 710 to be exact, and have heard many people complain that things aren't happening fast enough, or they have power but no television or their generator doesn't create enough power to fire up their hot water tank. It always amazes me how people can complain about the simplest things.

I hear others who expect government resources to keep them comfortable by providing easy access to gasoline or other amenities that will make their lives easier. I really have to say I would rather pay less taxes and have to prepare myself for a natural disaster then pay more taxes so you can feel a little more comfortable. It's about taking care of yourself and about compassion.

My final whine has to do with folks that insist on running generators late into the night or worse, all night. Give us all a break and let us enjoy the one thing that is good about a lack of power ... silence. People around our neighborhood have been great about turning off their generator after 10 p.m. so the rest of us can sleep. Sure, if you have a medical situation that requires power, by all means keep the generator going, but if you are using it to make sure your coffee pot comes on at 6 a.m., turn the darn thing off.

On a final note, don't forget those less fortunate than ourselves. Donate to local food banks or find open businesses with Giving Trees. We have many in the community for whom a cold house, cold food and a lack of hope are a common element of every day life.

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