Facing a challenge

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Often, we ignore some things that we consider basics in our lives, then we get a knock on the head as a reminder that we should be more appreciative of those basics. Hurricanes and tornadoes are just two examples. While we received a week’s notice of Hurricane Florence, its path, and the destruction that we should expect, Michael almost snuck in on us. We watched as reports from the Florida Panhandle were broadcast and, before we could turn around, the rain and winds were upon us.

It was sad to hear that at least four deaths have been reported in Southern Virginia. Two in Charlotte County, one in Danville and another in Pittsylvania. More may have been lost and are as yet unknown. Others dared to “touch the flame” by driving through high water that may have put them in peril as they drove home to their loved ones. Many more had trees fall on homes, cars, and power lines from the high winds and soft ground from the rain in the last couple of weeks.

Through all of this, we are so very fortunate to have servants in both the public and the private sectors that worked night and day to return life to normal for you and your family. VDOT and local government employees were removing trees from roadways as quickly as safety would allow. Likewise, they kept their eyes on rising waters and other dangers that were popping up on roads and streets. As soon as trees could be removed from powerlines, the power companies moved in to replace or stabilize poles and repair lines as quickly as possible. As I write this column they continue their work.

We all should thank them for their hard work. As food thaws in freezers and personal hygiene slips, people get edgy. Therefore, as your life returns to normal, step back and think what your life would look like if we did not have dedicated employees working hard for you. Think also about the many entrepreneurs and neighbors who have come with chain saws and trucks to remove many fallen trees. Truly we have great communities that know how to gets things accomplished. We are fortunate. We should let all know of our appreciation.


While we are cleaning up from the storm, we should also fathom the power of nature. Whenever we have what we call natural disasters, some try to tie them to something mankind has done. Some don’t seem to understand that nature often naturally changes the game, based on many unknown number of things. Some may well be caused by mankind’s activities, but more likely we are but one small factor. One needs to look no further than recent hurricanes and tornadoes to understand that some things are far greater than us in nature. Earthquakes around the world often create tidal waves claiming thousands of lives. We work hard to recover, but each of these natural disasters proves stronger than mankind. Yet we continue to have some claim that mankind can control a 1 degree change in the world’s surface temperature over years.

Let us be more humble in our lives, not just after a disaster, but every day.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen. Ruff@verizon.net.