Rubber Boots and Mr. Rogers

Last Updated by Heather Benson on

For almost a week now, our lives here in flyover country have been wrapped around blizzards and rain and floods and heartache. 

I’ve watched as our entire region has been battered by every kind of awful that weather can throw at us. The after effects have been as bad or worse as the weather itself. Infrastructure has been destroyed, lives have been lost and in many places, reality will never be the same. There will be a before March 2019 and an after, and those two times will be vastly different forever.

As I walked thru our soggy farmyard doing chores, I couldn’t shake the burden of it all. Head down I trudged to bring hay to another muddy pen and that’s when I remembered to focus on what I was thankful in that very moment: Rubber boots. Such a simple thing and yet so game-changing while doing chores in the wet. I can’t imagine farm life without them, especially right now.

And when I started thinking of things to be thankful for, things that make this all more bearable and I felt flooded by relief in finding something good to focus on. Mr. Rogers always told kids to “look for the helpers” when disaster struck and so that’s what I started doing and realized that helpers come in many ways, shapes and forms...and for those helpers I am thankful.

-Our first responders—and beyond. To all the deputies, firefighters, DOT workers, NWS personnel, township supervisors and others too numerous to list—you are our frontline and you have been amazing. Thank you!

-The news media, for all the bad rap it has gotten in recent years, has done a stellar job of getting information out...especially small-town newspapers and radio. I know lots of extra hours have gone in behind the scenes to make sure information was timely and accurate and getting to where it was needed most. Thank you.

-Our modern ability to move people and animals (and heck, snow) in ways our great-grandparents who settled these plains could never imagine. Helicopters and motorboats and giant snowplows are truly God-given miracles when you are the one getting rescued. Thank you for every engineering advance. 

-And the even smaller technologies that we normally don't notice each day-- space heaters, sump pumps (honestly, how amazing are sump pumps!), boot dryers and yes, rubber boots.  Items that bring comfort in incremental but incredibly important ways.  Thank you to the inventors who made them possible and the small town hardware stores doing everything they can to give us access to them.

-Social media has helped spread the word far and wide of those in need. Emergency airlifts, food, water, hay and even cowboys on horseback have shown up in affected areas all through the wonder that is Facebook. Even if the only way you can help is a simple prayer, that prayer wouldn’t exist without a way to connect us. Thank you.

-Our country. Sure we argue and don’t agree with each other’s ideas (seemingly more often than not in recent times) but my heart swells when I see people pitch in, literally and figuratively, to fight this battle together. Thank you for remembering to love your neighbors, from coast to coast and everywhere in between.

This has been an awful, terrible and no good week but sometimes you need to look down at your rubber boots and say a prayer of thanks.  Find your helpers, focus on them and know that the sun will indeed come out tomorrow.

subscribe to sdpb email updates food blog link image learning blog link image living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

Related content from SDPB Radio - Art

The Enduring Simplicity (And Complexity) Of Michael Hall

In The Moment ... September 20. 2018 Show 426 Hour 2 Michael Hall writes picture books that delight and endure. He's...

Art That Takes You Home

In The Moment ... July 18, 2018 Show 381 Hour 2 Jon Crane creates "Art that Takes You Home." After a tour at...

Renowned Artists Visit Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute

In The Moment ... June 19, 2018 Show 361 Hour 2 Art can be meditation, expression, activism, and escape. It can also...

Eagle Butte Artists Learn Tips To Flourish

Artists who turn their passion into a business venture can find it a challenge. They need to figure out the details...

Books

The Multiple Hearts Of Laura Geringer Bass

In The Moment ... September 20. 2018 Show 426 Hour 2 When 13 year-old Briana's dad dies suddenly, she is faced with...

Read, Baby, Read: What's America's Best-Loved Novel?

In The Moment ... May 22, 2018 Show 342 Hour 1 What's America's best-loved novel? You get to decide. PBS launches...

Author Kirk Wallace Johnson's "The Feather Thief"

In the Moment ... May 1, 2018 Show 327 Hour 1 The centuries-old art of salmon fishing fly-tying has a dark side. It...

Jane Yolen Celebrates #Yolen365 And Counting

In The Moment ... April 26, 2018 Show 324 Hour 1 In March, author Jane Yolen released her 365th book. That means you...

Music

Matthews Opera House Season Preview

In The Moment ... September 26. 2018 Show 430 Hour 2 The Matthews Opera House subscription concert series begins...

Fun Approach To Music Theory

Andrew Rogers – in home music lessons designed for children and young adults. Uses a unique teaching style that...

The Literary Style of Reina del Cid

Reina del Cid kicks off her summer tour with a stop in Sioux Falls at the Icon Lounge. She joins SDPB's Lori Walsh...

Eric Johnson Returns For Black Hills Playhouse Opener

In The Moment ... May 29, 2018 Show 346 Hour 2 Leave the ordinary behind at this year's Black Hills Playhouse Season...

Theater

Broadway Choreographer Chet Walker

In the Moment ... April 9, 2018 Show 311 Hour 1 The University of South Dakota Theater Department presents "Cabaret"...

Images of the Past: Stage To Screen

In The Moment ... November 27, 2017 Show 227 Hour 2 A new exhibit at the Old Courthouse Museum tells the story of...

Personalities: From Huron High to Broadway

Singer, actor, and teacher Joseph Mahowald graduated from Huron High School in 1977. He went on to study music and...

In The Moment ... Alex Meyer's Scenic Design

In The Moment ... May 10, 2017 Show 090 Hour 2 Alex Meyer. He's a junior art and theater major at Augustana College...