READERS: Cyclone Marcia helps people find silver lining

WE could live in the same neighbourhood for years and not know who our neighbours are.

We may spend much of our daily lives running around, from one task to another, not stopping and taking time to relax or spend with our loved ones just talking.

Cyclone Marcia may have devastated the region, bringing down hundreds, if not thousands, of trees and powerlines, leaving many residents without power for a week or more.

But, it has been during this natural disaster that we have reconnected with the community. We have introduced ourselves to our neighbours, given them a helping hand, check in on our elderly neighbours, made sure everyone has a hot cup of tea every now and again.

We've also learned that we don't need to have the TV going all the time, or other electrical devices. That we can survive on cold showers and very few cups of coffee.

On the weekend, we asked readers what they have learnt or taken from their post Cyclone Marcia experience. Here is what they had to say:

Susan Tanner - Meeting new neighbours and everyone helping and working together to clear the street .

Before

After

Graeme Hermann - We helped an 80 year old couple that live up the street from us with 2 meals a day and hot water so they could have a cup of tea while we had 5 days without power . The other day they came to our place with an envelope and said this is to say thanks . When we opened the envelope there was a card and $40 , we took the money and put it back in their hands and told them to get a card saying thanks was payment enough and to spend the money restocking their own food again .

Veronnike Johnson - Needs to be more people in the world like you and your family Greame

Marion Collins - Great story Graeme, good on you!

Roslyn Svensen - We went out around dusk one night to try and get some food and l was so happy to see Mum and Dad outside playing in the yard with their kids. No mobile phones, no X boxes or I pads. And saw it so many times.

Christine McKee - Love reading these...keep them coming. My husband spent three months staring at 3 tons of bouganvillea that had overtaken our two mango trees wondering how best to get it down...problem solved.

Kerri Groves - He needs to focus on winning lotto - somebody up there likes him!

Jodie Marie - It allowed my kids to realize there is life without wifi

Laura Tingle - My fridge and freezer got a good airing out...

Sarah Schuemaker - The silver lining for me was to see the community come together and help each other out!

Alex Glover - Realized electricity isn't really all that essential and we would do good to conserve energy more. Cold showers and candlelight really aren't bad at all.

Jodie Hewatt - Met my neigbours and got a whole lot of eye candy watching the ergon workers around town!! Thanks guys

Maureen Halligan - My fridge and freezer have never been so clean

Melody Gee - Met our neighbours and helped each other out, got my two month old daughter into a sleeping pattern coz there was nothing else to do, taught my six year old daughter how to do find a words, my house got a great clean and my fridge is all white and sparkly again

Leanne Wells - The stars at night were brilliant, many shooting stars you see so much more beauty in the night sky when there is no power

Julie Mann - Yes, you're right. When the power was out I stood under that sky several nights in a row and it felt like I was physically stepping into the Milky Way Leanne.

Marion Collins - Agree, night sky was just glorious & I saw so many satellites going over.

Stacey Sheather - My neighbours who I haven't really spoken to came and checked on me to see how I was going and saw I had 2 small children so offered me their camping fridge that they ran off their generator.

Tiara Dowdle - Helped me and my partner connect again and to spend time with our son rather than doing assignments or working. Also got a few books read that I've been meaning to for a while

Kelly Thompson - Watching my kids come together to help wherever needed - at home, neighbourbood , school , and appreciate the things that they may have taken for granted as none have ever had to experience what they did with TC Marcia before. Also the Community coming together as one - something as simple as a nod of the head, a smile , a thumbs up went a long way in lifting spirits , not to mention helping each other out where needed .

Andrew Balaam - Helped my elderly neighbour who is nice felt good doing a good deed

Michelle Harrigan - With no electricity, mobile phones or internet and single fan running of batteries, we were all forced to spend real time together and the game boards were hilarious. We all learnt to work together (including the teenager) and really appreciate the unique roles and values of one another.

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