Out of the Deep Winter

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As the last snows melt, and the sun begins to warm more than the top inch of soil, I’m starting to really believe that we made it – spring is here!


This was a long. long. winter, in all senses of the phrase.  We had, like many places, deep snows (which we often do) and unusually long stretches of deep cold – weeks where the temperature didn’t go above the teens.  At our house, we had an entire month with no water in the kitchen sinks because the pipes were frozen (but thankfully didn’t burst).

Personally, and in almost every area of our life, we also experienced a severe winter.  We had a lot of struggles and changes to manage with our business, including suddenly finding out that we are required to install a handicapped accessible public bathroom if we want to keep our tables & seats for customers, and we have to install an Ansul system (fire suppression over our panini press and stovetop) if we want to keep cooking with butter and be able to serve cooked meats like burgers and sausage.  Add that to every sort of equipment malfunction, employee challenges, and general chaos and insanity that you can imagine, and you have an idea of our last four months.

At home, we’re still trying to restore our water – we’ve installed UV lights and a reverse osmosis filter system (which got damaged by the severe temps), and we still don’t have safe drinking water.  Now that the ground is thawing, we have to have the wellhead dug out and examined/repaired – I’m praying we don’t have to dig a new well.

So – holy moly.  There were many, many days of crying, darkness, and wondering if we should give up and walk away from it all, wondering if we had wasted the last ten yea.  To those of you who offered kind words and help – we are so, so grateful.

Amidst all the darkness, we’ve learned a lot, and the challenges have, thankfully, fueled our passion for our work and our love for what we do.  Everything always changes, sometimes very quickly, and sometimes very painfully.  We’re doing our best to humbly take any lessons we can from the experience, and keep moving forward.  I’ve been reminded which parts of life are deeply important to me, and which are not.  And how sometimes life chooses for us.

We’ll be launching a community fundraising campaign this week to help us install our public bathroom and Ansul system – please keep us in your hearts and thoughts.

For myself, I have found the relentless hard physical work a good distraction from getting stuck in negative thought patterns.  When I’m not at the cafe, I’ve been cleaning the house or hoeing in the hoophouse, getting the soil ready to plant.  Like many of you, I am so, so relieved to feel the sun’s healing warmth, and looking forward to more of it.  I’ve thought of this poem many times during our dark hours, and even though I shared it here years ago, I wanted to share it again.   Blessings on your week, friends, & Happy National Poetry Month.


Last Night, As I Was Sleeping

by Antonio Malchudo, translation from Spanish by Robert Bly

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! -
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! -
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! -
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept,
I dreamt — marvelous error! -
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.


6 Responses to “Out of the Deep Winter”

  1. 1
    Kimberlie Ott

    It is overwhelming to me to think you had no water in your kitchen for over a month with two little ones…….let alone faced all those challenges in your business, and yet you always put forth positive light and words here. Amazing! I admire you, and enjoy this space so very much. Blessings to you and yours as you work through each and every challenge!! :) P.S. the poem was just lovely! :)

  2. 2

    Adrie,It all sounds beyond overwhelming,I am so sorry!!!I cant imagine NO water and having to function!!!ugh!!!I had no water for 3 weeks and I went crazy!!!Is there a website for donations for the bakery,I would love to post it at the daycare,my parents are great givers for great causes!!!Miss you and sending huge hugs and blessings your way!!!!Poem made my day!!!!Love ya xo

  3. 3

    Yesterday, as I drove across the JI bridge to downtown, the sun was not quite above the horizon, so there was a pink/orange glow of light at the waterline that was luminously beautiful…the harbor was quiet and the water was a mirror reflecting the glory. in those brief moments, I thought of you and Bruce and Graham and Susan and wished you could all see iit with me…love, Mika

  4. 4

    Happy spring, and may the flowers begin to fill your days–well composted from these long winter struggles. xok

  5. 5

    Oh Adrie! I’m so sorry to hear that your winter was so difficult and so happy to hear that things seem to be taking a turn for the better. You are an insperation for me on so many levels, your bakery, homeschooling, gardening… I really hope that spring brings you its long awaited releif!! Best wishes from the south of France!

  6. 6

    Thanks so much for your kind words and wishes!

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