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Regans say ‘thank you’ to recovery workers

Date: 11/15/2011

Nov. 14, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW — Laying on her living room floor in front of a gas fireplace to keep warm during another sleepless night with her husband and two young boys, Christine Regan was trying to figure out how to keep her sons occupied for another day as they waited along with the rest of the town of Longmeadow for the electricity to come back on.

“It was tough because it’s tough to keep inside, but the yards and parks were not safe,” she said. “I was trying to make sure that this situation wasn’t scary for them because it was a break in the routine and things could get scary.”

That was when she recalled how her sons loved watching the parade of Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) trucks come through town. Then she started thinking about the people who were working as hard as they could to reestablish that power.

“I started thinking, ‘What can we do for those people?’” she said.

The next morning as her sons Matty — 3 years old — and Sully — 1 1/2 years old — played in front of their house on Dunn Road, Regan pulled out her laptop and started playing around with designs for stickers.

Having the benefit of some power from their generator (“Thank God we at least had that,” she said.), she printed out stickers that read, “Thank You,” loaded the boys in the car and headed out on a new adventure.

The family spent the day visiting WMECo and tree company workers throughout the town, offering gratitude, along with water, soda and snacks, as well as the “Thank You” stickers.

“The guys loved it,” Christine said. “It really is a thankless job, so they were very receptive to having someone come up to them and show some appreciation. Later in the day I saw some workers we had visited earlier and they had put the stickers on their hard hats.”

Christine admitted that, for her, talking with the line crews gave her a new perspective on what they do.

“It was really rewarding for me and it was eye-opening,” she said. “Some of these guys who came from Oklahoma and other states didn’t have places to stay. Some were staying in hotels, some in shelters. I never thought about the life of a line worker before.”

In addition to being a fun activity for her children, Christine believes that, while still very young, the boys also learned some valuable lessons.

“The little guys had a lot of fun and got to see a lot of the equipment, which they loved,” Christine said. “But one of my intentions with this was to teach some values, to show them who the good guys are and to thank the people who help you.”

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