Letter: A privilege to live in a place like Meeker

As I sit here in my motel room the same day my home, possessions and beloved pets were destroyed in a fire I realize why I live in small town America and especially Meeker.
The fire started about 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 10 and had finished by 5:30 a.m. but for the smoldering.
As I sit here stunned by the enormity of my circumstances my phone has not stopped ringing all day. From the EMT who took money out of her pocket to help, the friend who went straight to the bank and forced cash into my hand, to the numerous people that I know and those I didn’t that offered me clothes, food and a roof over my head, I thank you all.
I tried to reassure everyone I encountered that day I would pay them back, but not one person would hear of it! They merely stated “that’s what neighbors do.”
I can never repay the young man who lent me his boots and truck and drove me around to get the essentials I needed… the neighbors that rescued me are watching over my horses and property and found me a place to move into for now. The business owners who have offered me clothes, motel rooms for me and my family, my church and the Red Cross, my family who thought it was Christmas in February with the new beginnings I so desperately needed.
I can NEVER pay back the hugs, shared tears and the emotional support from everyone I’ve encountered today.
So when I get caught up in the gossip and meddling of some folks as often happens, it’s still time to thank God we have the privilege of living in a place like Meeker, where your neighbors still care.
It’s small town America at its best.
May God Bless You All,
Jeri Gilchrist
Meeker