I experienced what I call another “Methow Miracle” last week, further validation of this community’s cheerful willingness to help each other out.
It was a small thing, but meaningful to me. The power cord for one of my laptop computers had frayed to the point where it shorted out and tripped a couple of circuit breakers at my house (no harm done, thank you for your concern). The cord and converter were after-market purchases that had replaced the computer’s original power connection — at a cost of about $35 ordered online.
Going back online, finding the right replacement, paying a lot and waiting for delivery seemed like my only options — it’s an old computer and such accessories are hard to come by.
But why not give the valley a shot at it, I thought, and set out with the damaged cord in hand. I started at the Do It Center Valley Hardware in Twisp, where I thrust the cord at the nice gentleman there and asked, “Do you have anything that looks like this?”
He didn’t. But he suggested I try the Daily Business store on Glover Avenue, which he said might have some computer accouterments that would work. They didn’t. But the helpful clerk directed me across Highway 20 to the Floyd Company, which services computers among other things.
There, a pleasant young woman examined the power cord, then disappeared into some back room for several minutes. When she returned, after a bit of rummaging around I assume, she had the replacement I needed. Cost: $5 plus tax. Dealt with, locally purchased, personal contacts made, less than half-an-hour elapsed time. And the replacement cord is working just fine.
I can’t tell you how many times people here have similarly helped me out with parts, services or professional advice — at little or no cost (you know who you are). That’s especially meaningful because the things each of us do, or make, have real value, including our time. For my part, I feel like I have a reciprocal obligation to assist people in the same way when I can. My staff has observed that in soft-hearted (or perhaps soft-headed?) moments, I may give things to people that we would ordinarily charge for. I figure we’re all paying it forward one way or another.
I’m certain that “Methow Miracles” are common, but no less miraculous for their abundance. If you have any stories you’d like to share with our readers, pass them along to me at email@example.com. Yeah, it’s a lazy way for me to write my column by asking you to write it for me, but I think it would be a pretty good use of newspaper space — which is the most valuable commodity I have to share.
Not that my exhortations in this space last week made any difference, but candidate filings for local, nonpartisan elective offices that will be on the ballot this year actually produced a few challengers for incumbents — notably for Twisp Town Council, interestingly for the Okanogan County Fire District 6 board of commissioners and the Methow Valley School Board. Winthrop’s town elections, on the other hand, will be uncontested unless someone gets up the gumption to launch a write-in campaign (it’s happened).
I didn’t note any incumbents who decided against seeking re-election (or, in the case of appointees to fill board or council vacancies, initial election). While competitive races are, in my view, always preferable, it’s gratifying that local public officials currently in office are willing to continue serving. There’s something to be said for experience and commitment.
November is a long way off, so we probably shouldn’t expect much vigorous campaigning until general election day draws nearer. As usual, we’ll put our news coverage spotlight on the contested races to help you get a better sense of who is running, and why.
Something to keep an eye on for the November elections: a proposed .2% increase in the countywide sales tax to help fund an overhaul of the existing emergency communications system for first responders. With enough support, the request could make it to the ballot this year. It’s an important issue with implications here and throughout Okanogan County, so we will follow the proposal’s progress over the next several months.