So grateful to live where we do

Another late summer, another devastating hurricane in Florida. Hurricane Idalia rumbled into Florida (and other states) last week, and with it brought catastrophic wind, storm surge and rain. It seems to be a broken record for Florida, as seemingly every year another devastating hurricane ravages a part of the state. It blows in, causes havoc, and blows out. In its wake, the state and its people are left to deal with millions of dollars in damage and shattered lives. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
It makes us that much more grateful to live where we do.
Think about the complaints we have on a macro view with where we live. Some people are annoyed by the tourists. Others are even more annoyed by the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Some complain about the heat, or this spring’s constant rain. One member of our staff despises winter with every fiber of their being.
But, if you step back, and look at the natural disasters we have to deal with—or lack thereof—you realize we really don’t have it that bad. In fact, we have it downright great here in our little slice of heaven known as the Black Hills. The worst thing we have to deal with is the occasional flash flood, rare F-1 tornado or a bad blizzard that shuts us down for a day or two. Forest fires are always a threat, but so far we have escaped the kind of fire that wipes out a town or takes out building after building, thanks to a combination of luck, skilled firefighters and firewise preparedness that mitigates the effects of a fire once it breaks out.
Truth be told, we shouldn’t complain about the rain, because it prevents us from having a large forest fire. It appears that we have made it through another summer without a large fire, although the fire in Custer State Park a few years ago in December of all months showed us that as long as its dry, we always have that chance. Let’s hope we continue to get adequate moisture to mitigate the threat of fire now and into the future. As the population of the Hills continues to grow, so do the chances that a large fire would be much more devastating to people and property than fires in the past.
All in all, we are very lucky to live where we do. Of course, most of us don’t need someone to tell us that. It’s something of which we are well aware. Heck, even our blizzards aren’t that bad compared to other areas of the country.
We really do live in one of the best places in the country—and on the planet for that matter—and we should never take for granted how great we have it here. From the friendly people to the beautiful scenery to the relative safety, the Black Hills pretty much has it all.
We send our best wishes to the folks in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Hawaii. Please donate to help if you can.

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