It wasn’t so bad for Mrs. Hump, the dogs and I. We have an automatic propane generator that came on at 3 a.m. Friday. I called for a top off Friday morning, received it within an hour, and figured I had a good three days of gas to run my appliances, pump & heat my well water, provide lights and all the creature comforts.
By mid afternoon, surrounding neighbors without generators had been called or visited and invited to come over, take hot showers, fill water jugs and buckets for drinking and flushing, and generally enjoy the warmth of our wood burning stove, hot soup, and ample beer and liquor supply on into the evening Friday. Fortunately everyone around here has an alternate heat source, wood stoves or fireplaces, so no life threatening situations in spite of temperatures dipping into single digits overnight.
The Governor declared a state of emergency. National Guard was used to help clear streets of downed trees and storm debris in the hardest hit areas. Old folks with no alternate heat were evacuated to community shelters or neighbors spare rooms. People’s pipes burst from the cold and flooded their basements. FEMA provided emergency facilities’ with generators and cots; the Red Cross went into action. Thus far there has only been one death attributed to the storm. As disasters go, this one was well handled.
As I reflected on the myriad stories carried by our two local papers and the TV news coverage which preempted all regular TV programming, I realized I never once heard the words “Act of God”; or “Miracle.”; or “By God’s Grace.” uttered by a single reporter, nor any of the scores of storm victims interviewed. Not a single, “Thank you, Jesus!” Not one reference to God’s “merciful divine intervention” nor the angry pronouncement of “ His divine punishment for New Hampshire’s sinful, or stubborn, or … uh… err … maple syrupy ways.”
I realized in some other states (read: Bible Belt), the televangelists, every two bit bible banging clergy and their frenzied faithful, would be wailing in the streets and getting face time on every camera testifying, attributing their lot, lives & narrow escapes to the supernatural; explaining the mystical cause or meaning of the event; declaring its impact on their state as the “LORD’s Will!”, perhaps even a sign of His displeasure.
But nope, not in New Hampshire. Not a single supernatural platitude was to be found.
New Englanders are famously self sufficient and pragmatic. We understand natural occurrences, climatic changes. We are an educated people and don’t tolerate fools lightly. We include the overtly religious under that classification.