Generosity comes through when disaster strikes A group of us gathered this weekend at a house south of Colorado Springs to tick down a small list of projects. We cut and chopped firewood, rebuilt a deck and fixed some plumbing on the rooftop solar collector. Most of us had met before and some of us were long-time friends, but working together on these projects brought us together in a way that just hanging out or going for a walk wouldn’t have. We were assembled because a dear friend of all ours had died in spring and, as it turns out, had requested, quietly, from each one of us that we would help Lynn, his wife, with the house. In retrospect, I can see that he could see how that would bring us all together, too, as it did. It was interesting to me how much we all appreciate the opportunity to be part of that gathering. The work we did seemed almost incidental to sense of community we felt as we banged away.

My brother-in-law (Kristin’s brother), Kevin, took the first opportunity he had to head to Houston to help out there. He’s a retired Marine with skills and an unquenchably good attitude. I’m sure he was welcomed. He’s still there and will be for a while.

I was hanging some drywall at my house when the images of flooded homes in Houston started popping up. Folks down there were ripping drywall out to prevent, more like try to limit, the proliferation of mold. I just sat down for a moment thought how crummy that would be and how wonderful it would be if someone showed up and said, “hi, I’m here to help.” It wouldn’t make the damage any less but having a sense that there was a community of some kind behind could, maybe change your view on the devastation…at least for a little bit.

And this just in: another earthquake just hit Mexico and Puerto Rico is completely without power after hurricane Maria passed through.

We’re running several stories this weekend about Halloween, but it seems the scariest thing out there is Mother Nature. In our Family Health Guide, Kim Sharpe dives into how to talk to kids about disaster-related stress. It seems timely.

I guess where I’m going with this is that we (people) seem to be pretty darn good at pulling together when disaster strikes, and that not only helps the survivors but pulls us together in a shared mission. It makes us all confront our own mortality and humanity. And we also see the strength that we possess to persevere through the difficult days and the generosity we share when the chips are down.

Let’s be inspired to maintain that even when disaster doesn’t strike.