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When we learned about the recent upcoming PG&E power outage Wednesday evening we immediately drove to McKinleyville to get gas and some cash … just in case. Upon arrival to Macktown we discovered the ATM was out of money and we fell short by two cars into 2X gas stations before they both ran out of gas! Nice!

The vibe and the culture out there both on Wednesday night and Thursday morning was tense and palpable. It was evident by the “auto jockeying” both at the gas stations and other places that people were running on a thin veneer of civility! Imagine a real crisis! My wife Joni and I learned many lessons from this PG&E power getting experience—not the least of which was to keep a positive attitude and put others first.

Lesson learning of how to navigate life without PG&E was the most valuable part of this recent outage! Here’s a few lessons that might help all of us:

• First, have an Emergency Preparedness Plan that works for your family.

• Second, have all the Emergency Preparedness stuff bought and stored properly.

• Third, play with your family and go do something fun. We took a hike at Lady Bird Johnson Grove in the redwoods and had a great day together for the first time in a long while!

• Fourth, enjoy your family. We played some board games at the dinner table into the late evening. Again it was a great first for us in a long while.

• Fifth, turn off your screens because you don’t need them. We are so married to our media and screens and TVs. Good lesson to walk away for a while.

• Sixth, go outside. Enjoy nature. Quiet your mind and pray. Good for mind body and soul and spirit!

• Seventh, get some darn sleep. You will go to bed earlier when it’s dark out. This will be a good thing for your mind, body, and soul as well.

So, thank you PG&E for the power outage and the new discoveries. Lessons came and lessons learned and lessons acted upon. We very much appreciate your service — but the lack of it has its own silver lining and blessings that we forget.

Modern convenience may actually mitigate and blur good old-fashioned practices of fellowship, love, good deeds, and taking care of our fellow humans! Let us determine beforehand to not let that happen!

See you on the other side of the next PG&E outage! Next time let’s do it differently!

Scott Hammond works in Eureka and lives in McKinleyville.

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