We open on Thursday. Hard to believe, but true. I've been gone for a week for work (awful timing for a trip) and I can barely believe how much was done while I was gone. Jb's family, my family, our friends have all been coming by and painting, scrubbing floors, disinfecting bathrooms, de-greasing ovens, and supporting jb as she pulls off the impossible. I'm so grateful, not only for the help, but for knowing that jb was surrounded by help and love while I was away. I felt so guilty not being here, but it was a lot easier hearing about the constant stream of people helping out back home. Luckily, there is plenty left to do so I can start appeasing my guilt with a little elbow grease.
Today was the one year anniversary of the day jb's mom passed away. We had family and friends over to remember her. My mom and Rik came over while jb's family was at church and cooked and we hosted downstairs in the cafe. While in a lot of ways her death is still so raw, so much has happened over the last year it's hard to believe it hasn't been a lifetime.
My work trip was for a leadership retreat in Sonoma, CA. The retreat is part of a fellowship I was accepted into earlier this year and focused on women working towards racial justice. It was a great training, even if it was a bit Berkley-tastic for my taste. Once I was able to let go of my east-coast cynicism and get past the the cheesier pieces (we actually held hands and sang) there were some really valuable exercises in identifying our strengths and areas for improvement as well as strategies for achieving goals. The best part though was connecting with other women from around the country (well maybe that and the food). While I wish it would have been at a time when my head wasn't stuck at home, it was really good for me because my work was beginning to feel stale to me and now I'm feeling much more motivated and full of potential. It was also nice to be in such beautiful surroundings, cut off from internet access and television, and in the midst of California's finest wineries. Whole new respect for California wine.