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 are....how 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.