Wonderful neighbors part of country living

Three weeks ago, a fire started in our upstairs bedroom. It accelerated quickly, so I called 911 and within seconds was connected to the Wales Center Volunteer Fire Department.

Once the firefighters arrived, it was an extraordinary experience to watch them fight a fire that was hot enough to melt anything, and did, with flames coming out windows and acrid black smoke all over the place. Nevertheless, they bravely charged up those stairs and fought it with all the aggression and skill that you can imagine.

As soon as they had left, our longtime neighbors, Tom and Kim Krantz, arrived to gather me up and take me to their home where they had prepared a very nice bed for me in a warm room, and offered food and beer and shoulders to lean on.

The whole experience has inspired me to say something about country living, especially because there’s a popular “country” song out now, the point of which is, “Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun, and you just might meet with both if you come ’round here son.” My recent experience proves that country folk will go to great lengths to protect and care for others, whether they be friends or strangers, without any thought of personal gain or cost.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Love and compassion are not luxuries. They are essential to human existence.” In today’s world, way too many people are focused on themselves and their material things and they forget that when we don’t treat even the least of us with brotherly love, we are eating away at the core of our humanity, and of our beloved land of the brave.

Maggie Haselswerdt