I scarcely know where to begin. I feel a little like Dorothy who’s been swept up into a tornado and lands in Munchkin Land with a dead body on her hands. Only in this case instead of the bad witch being dead (what was her name?) Dorothy here, finds the casualty is of another sort. Her restaurant done in by being too close to a river is facing a mob sorely in need of coffee and some answers.
For those of you just joining us, and for me, just landing in Munchkin Land, let’s review the the summer just past.
First of all there was this endless winter. I believe it lasted until May sometime.
And then Brad and I had a porch built. (This seems irrelevant but it comes into play soon).
We finally made it to June and we were casually looking at a new building for Three Crows to move into as the city had offered to buy my present building so they could build a flood wall…. but then Hutchinson got too much rain one Thursday.............and I found out there was a torrent of water making it’s way down the river to Delano.
So amidst dire predictions we starting emptying the storeroom and sandbagging.... and on Saturday morning a whole crew sandbagged in the hot sun some more, and then some more, to protect Three Crows on three sides from the river and the city built a clay dike down the middle of River Street.
Meanwhile it was Summer Solstice and we had a lot of food and a bunch of people looking for a party- so we moved the party to our new porch. (There you see?)
With perfect timing our daughter Liza, her boyfriend Art and Link (their dog) arrived in the middle of the night, just missing the party but in time to help with the flood prevention and aftermath. (Happy vacation!)
On Sunday in less than two hours, a hoard of people came in answer to a Facebook blast, to help us haul things out of the building and into trailers and trucks, before the city closed up the clay dike in front of Three Crows, to protect the rest of the town from the rising water. Meanwhile we were up to 7 trash pumps, madly trying to keep ahead of the river that wanted to come up from the basement under the kitchen, and about to have the electricity to the building turned off. (You will remember, water and electricity do not mix). (And lets not forget there were reporters blasting the story across the US, I heard)
Facing many more days and dark nights of running trash pumps to fight a river that was clearly proving itself bigger and more powerful than us, on Monday, June 23rd at about 3 PM, we pulled out the pumps and let the water in. If it sounds like we disconnected life support, that’s exactly how it felt.
That evening Mitch took the famous photo of me in the river…but in his defense, he kindly got in the river with me.
By the following week, the river was down and the city picked up all the clay from the dike and prepared the streets for the 4th of July parade.
We went up north to our cabin to give our still visiting, company a little peace and quiet.
Over the next few week we worked on securing the new building and gathering up our far flung belongings. The week before we left on our year long planned trip to Europe, the water in the proposed new building basement was down enough to be inspected. With new information and much reluctance, we decided that although this grand old, turn of the century building held promise for someone, it was not going to work for us. And then we went to France for three weeks and had a wonderful time. Thank you. (More about that, another time perhaps).
So, here we are. I think I’m over the jet lag and unpacking and I might have identified the curious, itching rash I developed as hives. Brad is working on finishing the porch and it seems the Saturday market and jam are working well. It’s wonderful to see all the fresh vegetables and familiar, English speaking faces. And there’s much that’s missing; the music, the people, the energy of Three Crows. And it has been made abundantly clear, that many of you miss it too.
I don’t have any answers, in fact the joke is that we’re going to get t-shirts made to wear around town that say, I don’t know! There have been countless offers of help of every kind and for that I am grateful.
I really don’t know what’s next. Another building? Something else? ( I was kind of hoping you guys would have this figured out by the time I got back)
For me, anything good that I’ve done has come from a place of listening, feet on the ground, quiet. Eventually from the quiet comes the inspiration for the next step and from there the next. This is the only way I know how to do things.
I don’t know what the next step is but today it was to write to all of you. I intend to keep writing. It gives me some structure. And I need to have patience, not something I come by naturally. Please remind me.
Enjoy the day,