Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a week!

January 24, 2009

What a week! Boy, after feeling like I was holding my breath, things seemed to blast open on Tuesday. And I held my breath again, waiting for it to be Tuesday and then waiting for it to be daylight and then waiting for it to be morning and then waiting for it to be noon.

Around 11:00 we turned on the radio at work and, at 11:50 we lined up chairs in the café and sat, rapt, as our new President took the oath of office. It was a magical, magical moment. And, in that moment, I felt like I started to let some air in, out, in, out.

The afternoon was quiet and I had no idea if all the people who were supposed to come to our party would come. It was cold and I wouldn’t have blamed anyone for staying home. But right at 6:00 people started to drift in and by 6:25 the café was packed, people carrying their chili and beer to tables, pushing the chairs around, rearranging things, making themselves at home. At one table, a cluster of friends leaned in, sharing the highlights of the days’ celebration. Up in front, people who had not known each other shared tables, shared stories, shared friendship. Someone had given us some balloons and they made the place look very fun.

When everyone left I, still quivering from the energy, started to let in all the voices of all the people who have been saying that they’d like to come to our place at night. It suddenly began to make sense. This place is a nice place and so I just felt like, well, why not? So we’re going to work it out and pretty soon we’ll be open for you. (And this very weekend we’re going to start with Sunday breakfast. Fun, eh?)

So on Wednesday I was still feeling spirited and began to feel like I was emerging from a major slump and emerging felt really good. The balloons were still full of helium and the place looked festive still and I was so happy about our new President. (I was not thrilled that the balloons set off my shop’s motion detectors, making me go in to work in the middle of a nice dinner I had cooked at my house for my sister, but she’s good company so it didn’t matter that much.) And I got an e-mail from our new President and hooked into the new White House website. Amazing.

On Thursday I was part of a fancy dinner for a couple hundred guests, a fundraiser for the scholarship program of our Independent Restaurant Association. I had a BLAST! All of us chefs helped plate each other’s courses and it was a very, very fun night. Big time teamwork. Great food. Big fun. We all want to do more so stay tuned.

And by Friday I was still in a good mood. The balloons were still full (who has ever heard of balloons staying inflated for that long?) And at night I made a birthday dinner for a friend who had gone to the Inauguration and a bunch of friends and I sat around making her tell story after story. “And THEN what happened?’ “And then!?”

Today is Saturday and it’s taken me until night to finish my newsletter because there was a computer glitch. So I left work, took the pup for a walk, and just took a deep breath. No reason to sweat this small annoyance. And when I left work the balloons were still full of helium. And I still felt good.

I’ll be in touch next week.

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