5.05.2009

Please Stop By and Say Hello



Forgive him, my husband is camera shy and I rarely get a chance to shoot him. I took this shot one day after work and I gotta say, it's one of my favorites of him. That paint stain on his shirt, I was with him when he got that; it was mid-summer and we were priming a wall at the cafe. And those pants he so often likes to cook in? Well, those are the seersuckers he wore at our wedding. But the thing I love most about this picture is that I was able to capture his hands. Oh, how I love those hands! Evan has the most beautiful hands, hands I fell in love with as a seventeen year old girl, and hands that have since remained naturally manicured, calming and familiar, and baby-soft to the touch, despite grueling hours dedicated to manual labor at the cafe.

The above declaration is true: The cafe will be open tomorrow because of Evan. Sure, we all pitched in today, several of us for several hours in fact. There was even a plumber in there, finishing the last of the repair work. But at the end of the day, we all went home. All of us except Evan. He has accepted the fate of not sleeping tonight to make sure he can do everything possible so that we may open our doors tomorrow morning. He went to the cafe around 6am this morning and from what I've been able to gather from him, he will not be returning this evening. When I spoke with him last he informed me he is re-installing shelves, cooking fig jam, processing apple butter, and assembling a strata. This all after a day of financial advisory, lawyer talks, employee briefs, insurance debacles, and seemingly endless sweeping, dusting, washing, clearing, moving, and hauling. So that's why the cafe's reopening tomorrow actually owes itself to the tireless dedication of Evan, and Evan alone.

It is a gross underestimate to say that we are tired. Exhaustion barely holds a candle to the way we feel right now. I cannot remember a time thus far in this journey where our personal and professional lives have been so strained. Over these past two weeks we have clung to one another and pushed away from one another, only to later collapse into an impossibly entangled, inconsolable puddle on the floor. Evan has been fighting the urge to throw his fist into a wall, while I have clenched and pounded mine into his chest countless times. Our tears have flowed freely and without reassurance of an end. We have been battling the overwhelming inclination to stop fighting.

Sometimes we feel like we are losing this battle.

Sometimes we feel like it would be easier to stop kicking; easier to let the water rise over us and sweep us away; easier to just disappear.

Because truth be told, I'm not a very strong swimmer and we are both getting tired. Lord, are we tired.

But Evan is still kicking. Despite the lack of sleep, nourishment, and caffeine, he is still battling for the cafe, for us, for me, and for you.

Because of him, we are opening our doors tomorrow and there are no words to express my gratitude. There are no words to express how hard this man works. There are no words to express how grateful I am to have this man in my corner; how lucky I am to call him my husband and my advocate; and how proud he makes me.

In light of the recent circumstances and subsequent financial hardships suffered, as well as in anticipation for our upcoming dinner service, we have installed a few changes and focused our daily menu. We have also changed the hours for our Sunday service, which will now feature a Sunday Brunch from 9am-3pm. Please stop by the cafe at your earliest convenience so that we may explain these new changes, answer any of your questions, and/or simply wrap our arms around you and tell you how much we've missed you. We cannot wait to open our doors again and see all of your smiling faces. Again: Thank you, thank you, thank you. XO

21 comments:

Deanne said...

I biked over a little bit ago to drop off some dinner/late night snack for Evan, but alas! he wasn't there. Hopefully he was done sooner than expected and gets to have a good night's sleep. :)

Good luck tomorrow! (I'm beyond sad that I'll be on a plane to Atlanta! You will receive a Hug Rain Check when I return!)

Amy said...

Congratulations! My guess is that you will have a line out the door all day long! My hope is that you will continue to know you are loved and admired by many! Good luck tomorrow!

Tara said...

keep fighting and kicking because it is SO worth it today, tomorrow and every day there after. Can't wait to get my hands on an egg sandwich!

Jonlyn said...

I will be there Saturday AND Sunday! Oh, how I prayed this would happen. You both are an inspiration. Oh, and his hands are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is so beautiful in how it expresses your love. And with the love you two share, there is nothing you can't do...

Natalie Burke said...

Wahooo! The reopening of LRBC! Thanks for working so hard and making it happen... the neighborhood has been a less delicious place the last couple of weeks.

Ali and Evan said...

Deanne,

Thanks for the thought. I left the cafe around 10:45pm, to go home and retrieve menus as well as a few other things. I did end up sleeping from about 12:30am-3:15am, then headed back to the bike. Not a true all-nighter. Thank god for Ray, Alice, and Logan, 'cause now I'm home and ready to pass out (as soon as I finish eating pizza (thanks Dove Vivi!). Thank you so much for all the support.

Chris Forrette said...

Congratulations guys! I drove by and saw the lights on and tables out front and got very excited! The Messenger and latte were excellent this morning, glad to have you back :)

Malori said...

Hooray!!!

Ariel said...

Woooo! When I suggested that *now* might be the right time for a beach vacation- well, it became quite clear that I have no experience in the trials and tribulations that your café community has faced these last two weeks. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you for not giving up.

kati said...

so great to have you guys open today. lola and i pulled into the parking lot, and even after so long, she got a smile on her face and said, "puff??!!"
got my delicious latte and sandwich back to the car in the rain, scrambled to get us in... and then drove away with my latte on the roof. its like the universe is determined that i don't get to have one :)
we're hoping that things will all work out and you'll be able to de-stress and get some rest sometime soon.
and i'll be back to try again for another latte :)

sarahsmithinaustin@yahoo.com said...

one of my first portland meals was at your fabulous (!!!!!!!!!!!) cafe. i was feeling particularly homesick, but a latte and a sandwich at lrbc cheered me right up. so glad to hear about this turn of events after a string of rotten luck. hard work and determination made it happen! i'll be seeing you soon!

Bromka said...

CONGRATULATIONS!
I can't wait to get back.

hang in there.
P

James said...

This is the best news Ever!! Glad to hear you're up and running,we've missed your wonderful breakfasts and atmosphere as well. We'll be in for sure tomorrow!

Leanne said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for your tireless work and perseverance... you have no idea how many people were pulling for you! (and how many facebook status' expressed sadness about the temporary closing!). i will be in as soon as possible to eat my sandwich!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on re-opening!!! I'm really happy for you guys. Just got into town today and will be there for a meal tomorrow!

Tom -- Sebastopol, CA

Joe said...

Yaa! Following your blog from the east coast - so glad you're back in business. Best of luck!

Catherine said...

Ya ya ya! Oh dear. So happy. So relieved. You guys are heros.

Kendal said...

Hooray!!!!!

You guys are simply amazing.

Bryn said...

I'm just catching up on all the events at Little Red Bike these last few weeks. Yikes, guys! I'm so glad the cafe as well as you two have recovered (or are on your way to recovery :)). Spring is here -- good things are on their way to you. Go bike, go!

Much love - Bryn

neil said...

Way to be!!! See you guys soon
-N