BUSY BUMBLEBEE gathers pollen from a rose by the museum: May 29 is Day of the Honey Bee.

The importance of community

When disaster strikes, small towns pull together because everyone knows each other and everyone is in the same boat.

I often use this column to urge everyone to be prepared for emergencies, because it’s too late once they happen, and being prepared gives you some control in a bad situation.

But it’s human nature to ignore baseless warnings of possible danger: we have other things on our minds. I don’t even have an emergency kit anymore.

Even when we prepare, real life has a way of pithing a curve ball that we didn’t expect.

We sure weren’t expecting last Saturday’s hour-long torrential downpour.

Mayor John Ranta said he was sitting in his car in his driveway. He was worried about the hail denting the car’s roof.

I was standing on my covered deck looking at my uncovered trays of tomato and pepper plants worrying that the hail was going to cause a lot of damage to them.

I’m sure we weren’t alone. Who would have thought that 20 minutes later, rivers of mud and debris would be flowing down the hillsides and streets?

There are some things you can just never predict in a thousand years.

But, you can always predict the generosity of small towns.

My plants were battered and bruised by the time I managed to get the to the shelter of my greenhouse, but they’ll survive. Maybe they’ll grow even tougher.

Like those plants, the people of Cache Creek will come through this a little bit tougher. There will be stories to connect us and remind us that we are a community. It might take a bit longer before the thought of rain no longer makes us cringe.

There are already several groups and individuals collecting money for the people who lost their homes or whose homes have been damaged. Please consider that their insurance will not cover this, and if they are approved for disaster assistance (a big IF), it will not be enough to pay for everything. Be generous when donating, because there but for the grace of God could go either you or I.

There’s lots of work for everyone. It’s a slow process, and not without pain, but we’ll get through it, together.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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