April, 2000

Preparedness Corner,

Hi, neighbors. I just finished changing the batteries in my smoke detectors. Day light savings time is finally here, yea. My German shepherd hates the chirping sound and tries to climb into my pocket every time. Big baby. Wait until he visits in June for the thunderstorms. Better sew on bigger pockets.

Before each big meeting on the ranch, I receive lots of mail. While reading all that came my way, I began pondering the whys behind the content.

Concerns or complaints, they are all special because they involve someone's feelings. People speak out for four basic reasons: to bring about change, release pressure, get attention, or confront personality conflicts. It is important to listen to the whole subject and try to determine what the individual perceives is the problem, who is involved and what they see as the solution. Only then can you the listener, determine what kind of concern or complaint is before you. Also, remember Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" from civics or business class? (man has it been a long time). The pyramid with basic physiological needs on the bottom and working up through safety, social belonging, self-esteem and finally self-actualization. Only after achieving each level, starting at the bottom, does the next need get our full focus.

I have witnessed a tremendous transformation in the ranch over the last five years. As I am a "thrice a year, quasi" resident, the changes I've seen have been bold, verses a full time resident who may view them gradually and not see the impact as they have lived through them. The transition from raw nature to a thriving community while still preserving the wilderness feeling has been astounding and successful. The concerns or complaints have also changed emphasis while this has taken place and followed the "Needs" theory up the pyramid. Addressing them now allows me to drive home with eggs on the seat next to me, turn on the lights, sit in a warm chair and have a drink of clear water from the tap. What's next, a phone in every home and two turkeys in every pot?

Soon. A lot of us have come from the city where everything was already complete and included in the price of admission. What you have done to our ranch since signing on that dotted line has already become legendary and is spoken of in widening circles. I think of these things sometimes while looking across my property from the warmth of the indoors and I welcome the concerns and complaints from my neighbors. They help make my world a better place in the long run. Without them, Id still be staying with Francie and Paul or paying for a room at the Holiday Inn.

See you all soon,

Paul