Friday, June 13, 2008

Weekly Recap

You may have been wondering why I haven't posted in a week. It's because my personal computer has a virus and won't work. At work we were evacuated today, so I took my laptop home and am able to post.

This week our state has seen destruction every day. Friends and family have lost much to the flooding. The news has been an intricate part of our lives. Pride weekend was postponed until September and Brewfest was cancelled. In short - we were stressed to the max. And then news of Tim Russert's passing reached us and we realized that we were stressed beyond what we know we could handle.

At the point of extreme stress I called my good friend Tim and we decided that we should come together and celebrate the strength of our community. To us, this involved drinking on the rooftop patio of B & B in downtown Beaverdale. I had some margaritas, he had some beers, and we both had some tasty sandwiches. We talked about work, the flood, our personal lives, our MBA programs, and the gym. We pretty much talked about everything in our lives.

On the way home we found Shawn on his front deck. Shawn used to work at our gym. We stopped by, waited for his fiance Angie (who used to work at our gym too) to come home, and had a few beers. The four of us gossiped about our gym for about an hour and then decided it was time for bed. Tim dropped me off, and I decided to post a blog before I hit the hay.

I had a great night, but there is a dark shadow over my fun. So many people have lost their homes. So many businesses were lost to the flood that may never open again. Is it right to have a good time when so many people are hurting? Should I blow off stress by having a margarita or should I be saying the rosary for people who have lost everything?

I really don't know what to do. The Des Moines river is cresting tomorrow and the epicenter of my adult social life, Court Avenue, may be gravely damaged by flood waters. I know that so many people have lost so much, and I shouldn't grieve for a petty social loss. But I can't help it. My adult life has been molded as much by Court Ave. at least as much as it was by college.

My adult friendships developed in CABCo and the Royal Mile. Friends have told me about marriages, pregnancies, breakups, and all sorts of social activities in the Court Ave. district. In short, I am who I am because of my family (with a very large shout out to my amazing parents), Alpha Xi Delta (the best damn friends a girl could ever buy), and downtown Des Moines.

I am thankful that the levees in Cedar Falls and Des Moines have held. I hope that they continue to do so. My prayers go out the the people of Cedar Rapids, and in the communities that have not been so lucky. I don't know that we have seen the worst that we will see this summer. I don't know if the flooding will continue. After the awful winter we went through and the spring flooding, I shudder to think of what may come.

One thing I am sure of is community. From sandbagging the Cedar River to sandbagging Union Park in Des Moines we have been coming together to make our communities stronger. We have come together to protect our state.

I hope we won't stop at sandbagging. I hope we work together to clean up the areas devastated by this flood. I hope we use our vacation to scrub our cities of the scum left by a flooded river instead of using our vacation as a staycation to catch up on our TiVo. I hope we use the tragedy to show our state how proud we much we care. Iowa made me who I am. I want to opportunity to show my state how much it means to me. I encourage you to help me out. 83 of Iowa's 99 counties are now disaster areas. Get off your butt and help out. We need you.


Kate said...

Hello from Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your neighbors during this horrific time. I can't imagine anything like that here. Well that's not true back in 1955 part of our state was flooded during a bad storm.

essjay said...

These floods really did take their toll, didn't they? Thursday night at knitting I could just feel the stress rolling off everyone of us. It took some stupid remarks on my part but laughing finally made us feel better but it didn't make the situation better. I'm so glad DSM hasn't suffered more than it has - my heart goes out to Cedar Rapids and I fear the worst for those little towns in the south east. I've been amazed at how Iowans have come together to help one another through this. I may not be Iowan born and bred, but I'm proud to be one now. I do hope this next week brings better news and that clean up from all of this goes well.

Ivy said...

Like me, you've probably been keeping an eye on the U of Iowa Web site for flood-related info ( If you click on the photos link on the right you'll see some pretty amazing things. My favorite photos are the ones of the Amish men helping to sandbag in Iowa City. Iowans just freakin' rock - I am proud to be one. :)

Winky333 said...

Hi Squiddy,

I was home this weekend, but was visiting my dad and not able to help sandbag. We were going to take my grandpa to dinner for father's day, but we didn't because we were afraid to cross the bridge into Keokuk (there isn't much in the way of restaurants on the Illinois side). We did drive down by the Mississippi and it was pretty high. I think they ended up closing the Hamilton, IL/Keokuk, IA, bridge today.

Not that it is funny, but we were kind of chuckling at the sandbagging news coverage over the weekend. We saw coverage of three politicians showing up to "help" sandbag. First, we saw IL Senator, Dick Durbin, who helped by way of holding a cup of coffee and shaking hands. Then there was dumb IL Governor, Rod Blagojevich, who helped by throwing a handful of sand into a sandbag and smiling for the camera (damn Chicago politicians....guess I can't shake my bias against Chicago politicians who know nothing about downstate IL...). Then there was Obama, who did put a shovel full of sand into a sandbag (another Chicago politician....I'm trying to figure out if I can put aside my anti-Chicago bias for the fall election...undecided.) Now, this is just what we saw on tv, while the camera was not running, they may all have very well filled sandbags full force, but I kind of think that if they were going to do that, they would have done it with the cameras running.

Anyway, the IN flooding has missed us, so we have been lucky in that respect. It has mostly been south of here. My thoughts are with everyone who is dealing with the flooding.

I agree that Court Avenue has had a big impact on me, too...that, college, and camp. I hope Court Avenue is still in working order when I come out in August! (and I hope the bridges are back in working order so I can get out there in August).