Lighting one candle

It may be better to light one candle than to curse the dark, but when you spend a week running a motel on batteries and breezes while the temperatures approach triple digits, you get kind of sick of lighting candles.

A violent storm blew through Coldwater last Sunday afternoon. The Tumbleweed didn’t have any serious damage, but the power was out all over Coldwater for an entire week after lightning hit the substation northeast of town and high winds downed half the power lines in Coldwater.

There were a lot of hassles, but it was pretty great to see the community come together in the face of a potential disaster. On Sunday evening, while Grant was smoking all the meat I had on hand to keep it from spoiling, Brother Jerry came by to see how we were doing. He and Grant got to talking, and by Monday morning, Brother Jerry, Grant, Bill, and all the deacons from church had set up grills and smokers at Veterans’ Park and organized a sort of communitywide barbecue/potluck to keep everybody’s perishables from going to waste.

Despite being thrown together on the fly, it turned out to be a really nice event, and everybody loved it so much that we’ve just about decided to do something similar as the centerpiece for our fall festival — maybe a chili cookoff or something.

Brother Jerry also got a couple of generators on Tuesday and set them up to create a cooling center at the church for anybody who needed to escape the heat. Here at the Tumbleweed, we handed out a lot of PBJ’s and bottled water, and a local Girl Scout troop came in and used my old treadle sewing machine to make enough cool ties for everybody in Coldwater to have one. Joey thought this was a brilliant idea and jumped right in, helping the girls measure out the little water-absorbent crystals to put in each tie.

The fire department got into the act Wednesday, deciding that this was a perfect time to flush the lines by opening a hydrant at Veterans’ Park so all the kids could come and play in the water.

The weather still sucked, and we were all still pretty glad when the power finally came back on last night, but it was good to see people pulling together and pooling their resources to keep each other as safe and comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

— Sierra

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