This job is sometimes weird. Only because of the range of emotions that you go through in a single day.
Most days begin with cracking open the laptop to see what needs to be put on the website. That means looking through obituaries from around the area to see who needs to be included aka who is from Benton County. Sometimes the ages of those who have passed affect me with, "they're younger than I am" or "they lived a very long life." So either I'm thinking, "Yikes!" or I smile and am glad that the family had so long with their loved one.

Then there are all of the government notices that roll in from those in Washington D.C., the state level, and county information. It's easy on anything from the county, that falls into the "definitely going on the website" category, and most of the state info makes its way on. Unless it's Paul Pate telling everyone to get involved in the straw poll at the state fair and I'm like, "Nah, they will if they want to."

Then there are the notes that come in about things that I need to follow up on, so I add them to my calendar, I have yet to figure out how to do that on my phone, it's one more electronic thing that I really SHOULD figure out but haven't.

Then there are days like the other day. I was wrapping up a 12 hour day away from the house and drove to McDonald's to grab something to drink. As I get my drink the gal says, "What's going on in Newhall?" Well, needless to say, I have no idea what's happening in Newhall. She continues, "Some guy from the Salvation Army just picked up 60 cheeseburgers." I tell her I don't know but I think this requires a road trip!

So off I go, heading to Newhall. I have no idea where I'm going but I suspect if the Salvation Army is involved it's something big. I arrive to see firetrucks filling up their tanks and hightailing it out to the country. As I follow, at a safe distance, I pull over several times as I meet trucks coming in. My heart sinks and I'm praying that no one has been hurt in whatever this fire is.

We arrive at the farm and I park away from all the traffic and next to the field where the cows are not happy and are letting their voices be heard over the chaos. The bellowing from the cows about the oddness of the traffic on their normally quiet farm almost made me want to go and pet some cows.

I didn't even count all of the vehicles that were there, but it was a ton. I snapped a few pictures with the phone, careful to not get underfoot.

As I watched my heart swelled. The amount of people that showed up to help this family, was heartwarming. Yes, I know the fire departments are supposed to respond. But without kindhearted people who have a desire to help others, there would be no fire departments.

The EMS vehicles are there just in case any of the firemen need help. And I appreciate the fact that they are there to have the firemen's back.

A bus was sitting there whose job is to keep everyone up and running with air tanks and I would guess other gadgets in case of equipment failure. I thought, "what a cool idea, I'm glad someone thought of it!"

As I drove by, I saw a tractor lifting a bale to be extinguished. Later I saw another farmer head home on his tractor. He didn't have to make the trip, but a neighbor needed help.

I'm probably getting old and a bit softer, but the scene brought a tear to my eye. I mean it could have been the smoke. But as I saw all of the people there simply to help a neighbor, my heart swelled in appreciation. And this is why I love our little corner of the world. If someone says, "Help!" we all come running. We don't expect anything for it, but we know that this is what small town living is all about, even if you are in the country.


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CL August 9, 2023, 5:21 pm Thank you for all you do, Valerie. A hard and thankless job at times, I'm sure. We appreciate you keeping us informed.
PK August 9, 2023, 5:23 pm Val...You are so right. It's wonderful to have a precious "our place" in this chaotic world!! And as a person grows older, it isn't the smoke that brings a tear; it's looking out for each other. Thank you for the reminder!!
JS August 15, 2023, 9:52 pm good one