Resolutions of installing solar, buying a generator or moving are likely on the minds of the thousands of North Okanagan residents who rang in the new year, in the dark.
The snowstorm which hammered the region at the close of 2019 left so many feeling hopeless — on what is traditionally supposed to be a time of year that brings hope.
Hundreds of Cherryville residents (435 to be exact) haven’t had power since Dec. 30, and weren’t expecting it restored until today.
That’s a long stretch without power and heat for those without wood stoves.
Over in Enderby, the situation was similar.
But as darkness fell on many, the situation also sparked humanity.
Calls of compassion were made as friends and family helped each other out, offering up candles or sofas and even generators.
“Is there any elderly that need any checking up on or help?” one young couple commented on a public social media forum.
One mom’s desperate situation was responded with multiple offers.
“How long is it typical to go without power? My son had a bad night (because) no electricity means no breathing machine and I’m worried now.
“Is there anyone who uses a cpap machine, and if so, what do you do when no power?”
In true small-town fashion, extensions of assistance and battery packs came in from numerous neighbours.
For those who previously lived through power outages that lasted for days, they were prepared.
According to one Cherryville resident it was reminiscent of five years ago, when they were without power for five days.
For others, it was a swift reminder to be prepared.
And for many, it was a chance to make the most of the situation.
Some played board games by candlelight, others packed up and made a trip to Vernon for a mini vacation.
Whether it was no power for a few hours or multiple days, the inconvenience also offers a glimpse into the life of those who spend every night out in the cold.
No matter what circumstance brought them there, the homeless population endure much worse.
And we haven’t even hit a cold snap yet.
I often shame myself whenever I start to complain that it’s cold outside.
My mere walk around the block is nothing compared to those who brave the elements all day and night.
Yes, there are shelters, but some are full, or for whatever reason some people choose not to stay in them. Perhaps it’s stigma, or stubbornness?
Either way, as we roll into this new year, may we all cherish the little things a little more and help spread hope to those who may have lost theirs.
READ MORE: BC Hydro CEO on North Okanagan power outages