Flood Recovery from A to Z

It’s been too long since I have posted in this old girl.  I would like to blame it on summer, but flood life is really to blame.  It’s caused a lot of external and in my case, internal turmoil, and I am just now getting to a healthier place.  I would have very much liked to have jumped right back into the kitchen, and recipes, and sharing our corner of the world with you, but before I can, I have to work thru this flood and the damage it has caused, and one of the best ways was to write about it. I give you a little alphabetical tour of what the last few months have been like.

A is for
– anger, and a lot of it.  And sadly, it’s not often directed in the right place or the right people.  It just exists.
– acceptance.  It’s a big word.  And it’s really, really lousy to say and process and live.
– assess.  reassess. adapt.
– a divaz boutique, a journey from junk, a la mode, all time toys, antique depot, artists’ gallery, archive vinyl, attic antiques

is for
– badass b*tches.  Say what you want, there are a lot of awesome women in this community, and every day they just keep fighting for new hopes, new dreams, and for what’s right. There are some badass men, too.
– #bringingbackthejoy even when it’s hard AF
– ballet conservatoire xiv, be blends, b&o railroad museum, bean hollow

is for
– cleaning supplies. bleach, gloves, masks, tyvec suits, rubber boots, spray bottles, brooms, buckets, rags, shovels, paper towels, power washer, hose, soap, sponges, trash bags
– classic interiors, clay underground studio, clipper’s canine café, cottage antiques, cotton duck art and apparel, craig coyne, culture lab, curious minds toys, cacao lane

is for
– dumpsters.  All of them.  All the dumpsters for throwing away old hopes and dreams.
– double digits. Because in the midst of all this chaos LT kept reminding me his double digit birthday is coming at the end of the year.  And I refer you back to letter A for anger, and letter T for time.
– discoveries

is for
– EDA.  Catherine, Larry, Vernon, Brian and more
– eco works.  Lori and her team working hard to protect this watershed.
– #ecstrong
– ec pops, ellicott city partnership, envy salon, erin devlin wellness, ellicott city brewing company, ellicott city colored school

is for
– faith.  Because it’s by God’s grace I keep moving.  Sometime forwards, sometimes backwards, but still moving.
-friendship.  Forged in flood waters.
– forms. Forms for permits, forms for insurance, forms for tax credits, forms for grants, forms for testifying, forms for the school nurse, forms for emergency contacts.  JUST ALL THE FORMS.
– flash flood warnings.  When there is a flash flood, the warning comes 32 minutes after the fact, but the remainder of the summer was spent with warnings, that were extended over days, everyone on pins and needles, and no floods.  What gives?
– fear.  Son of b*tch.  Ever present, just like it’s sister anger.
– forget-me-not factory, firehouse museum

is for
– gutting.  Gutting buildings, gutting hearts.
– guilt and grief.  Grief and guilt. Guilt, guilt, guilt, grief, guilt, grief.
– ghost town odditorium, gramp’s attic books, great panes, georgia grace cafe


is for
– hydrology and hydraulics. The true science behind understanding floods.
– hi ho silver, horse spirits art gallery, howard county police museum, howard county welcome center


is for
– ids. Get your identification, get your daily bracelet and get to work.


J is for
– Jon Weinstein, Gary, & Jessie – Hardest working folks in D1
– joan eve classics, junk girl, judges bench, johnny’s bistro



K is for
– Alan Kittleman, Phil, Mark, Scott, David, Mike, Alex, Beth, Sam some of the hardest working people at the George Howard Building

L is for
– LT and L2.  Fighters.  Champions.  Never giving up on Chef or me even when they couldn’t even begin to process this life, the changes, the tension, and anxiety.  They went a long on the ride with us, never questioning whether or not we would come out on the other side.
– late nights.  Insomnia takes over.
– lamp and gift, linwood boutique, la palapa, little market cafe

M is for
– money.  More than you can imagine is lost, more than you can imagine is spent, more money than you can imagine is graciously donated.
– martini.  Bombay saphire, dirty, up, extra olives
– meetings. CAG, CAG reunion, community, flood work group, watershed, master plan, roundtable, testimonies
– made on main, main street ballroom, mat about you, maxine’s antiques and collectibles, miss fit, manor hill tavern, matcha time, museum of howard county history


N is for
– npr.  Yes, I was interviewed, and it was actually really special.  I occasionally go back and listen to it because it reminds me of a time that my mind was healthy.  (Don’t worry, I am getting it back.) #rainbowunicornsforlife
-national news.  In 2016, some of my family and I traveled to Belize a few weeks post flood, the couple we sat next to at a bar one day were from California.  When they asked where we were from, and I responded with “Ellicott City, MD,” they asked me about the flood.

O is for
– Office of Emergency Managment
– operation dom perginon.  There was one untouched case wedged between the collapsing wine bins in the Tersiguel wine cellar, six days post flood, our general contractor got in there to get it.
– ooh la lal salon, oriental trading company, old mill bakery, original howard county district courthouse, out of our past antiques

is for
– patience.  Or not.  You need a lot of it, but you live day to day, hour to hour at the end of it.
-pam long photography, park ridge trading company, pistachio gallery, precious gifts, primitive beginnings, phoenix emporium, portalli’s, pure wine café, patapsco female institute historic park

is for
– quick thinking.  It saved the lives of angelina, gary and joan.
– quit.  Not a word in this town’s recovery or vocabulary, even though some would like to see us give up.


R is for
-rescue.  Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue and Howard County Police Department saved the lives of many, and evacuated that many more to safety.  They monitored our community for weeks on end to keep it safe and sound.
– #rebuildlife
-reyes jewelry exchange, river house pizza, rumor mill

is for
– strength.  Strength you did not know you had, strength you did not know you could sustain.
– sarcasm.  Because this life SUCKS, and sometimes you need a break from reality.  Flood jokes, never too soon.
– salon marielle, 17seventytwo, shoemaker country, simple and feminie, sock shop, southwest connection, sucasa, summer of love, sunflower trading company, sweet cascades, sweet elizabeth jane, sweet suds, scoopahhdeedoo, syriana café, still life art gallery

is for
– time.  Time you lost while recovering, time away from my boys, time away from family, time away from making memories.  I will never get the summer of 9 & 7 back again, and I refer to you back to letter A for anger.
– time.  The frustrating amount of it that is lost waiting.  Waiting for stability, waiting for public works, waiting for volunteers, waiting for supplies, waiting for permits, waiting for contractors, waiting for materials.  Waiting.  I refer you back to letter P for patience.
– time.  The clock until the next flood ticks.  Tick, tick, tick.  Sometimes in the dead of night, I hear it.  Tick, tick, tick.  Boom.
– time.  For action.
– taylor’s collective, tea on the tiber, tersiguel’s, trolley stop, thomas issac log cabin


U is for
– unconditional.  There is unconditional love inside these borders.  We have banded together to make a stronger, safer Ellicott City for generations to come.  There is unconditional love outside of these borders that has given each one of the strength to move forward, however small or large it may be.
– unemployment.  Every business owner and employee lost their job, twice in two years.  Thankful to have unemployment available to us, so we can rebuild.
– umbrellas. Rain coats, life jackets, life preservers.  I refer to letter S for sarcasm.


V is for
– volunteers.  They are the game changer. There will never be a proper way to return all the thank yous, or the time and money and materials given, but one thing is for sure, Tersiguel’s and Main Street wouldn’t survive these floods without volunteers.
– videos.  Live video footage of the riverbeds brought to you by the talented and gracious Ron and Peter.

is for
– work. Technically, I had no job, but there wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t working.
– #wECantwait
-wagon wheel, wind river, wine bin,


X is for
– xanax. At least for some. Lexapro for others.



Y is for
– yesterday.  Finding a way to let go, even when it means big changes need to come.



Z is for
– zero hour.  It has arrived.  The Main Street of our childhoods will change, but the memories will remain.


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