Stormy Weather

Dear Feastlings,

I don’t mind hanging out under a sheet of clouds, and the drizzle works for me as well. I live with a mild but perpetual fear, one that’s still steadily gathering momentum, about Tucson being nearly the last stop for Colorado River water- and how that will add another to our growing list of challenges- so this cloudy, drizzly winter has been a godsend for me, despite the fact that it inhibits my bike rides.

Still, this week’s stormy weather has been more than just the literal stormy weather. We’re still shut on Sundays at this point, and we experience a nearly daily surprise shortage of one or another member of the skeleton crew we’re working with. An illness, an injury, a death in the family or a sudden failure of personal responsibility- there’s invariably a shortage of staff that compounds our, well, shortage of staff.

As much as I appreciate that the literal stormy weather brings much needed water to our desiccated aquifer, this figurative stormy weather is steadily grinding us down. And it’s grinding us all down- I think we’re mostly past the point where we were during the pandemic where we’re all so lost in our own storm that we can’t see that the storm is affecting everyone. Everywhere. I see it every day, and I know you do too. If I go to the grocery store, there’s a Now Hiring sign in the window. There’s a sandwich board propped on the street a block from my house advertising an upcoming job fair. A plumber’s truck next to me at a stoplight the other day was slapped with a sign suggesting that plumbers should come apply for work. My restaurant compatriots all list the new days or hours that they’re temporarily closed on their websites and social media.

All the while, I’m grateful that people are still dining out to distract themselves from their own personal storms, or, God willing, to celebrate something positive in their lives. Because as rough as we all have it, we still have it pretty damn good. I look at this weather and I think of the encampments I see when I do get out on the bike, and I think of the shopping carts half-mired in mud and slung with dull blankets and salvaged items, and the campfires pushing thin smoke into the drizzle, and the abandoned pizza boxes and Styrofoam cups and rolling suitcases with broken zippers. Then I realize that the wind that whips through my sleeves for an hour or two is whipping through tents and lean-tos throughout the night and the day that follows, and that people are waking up damp and cold, assuming they’ve slept enough to wake up from something. That’s why, short-handed or not, we’re holding our second benefit dinner to help raise money for the Sister Jose Women’s Center a week from Monday. There are still seats available for the April 3rd dinner, a repeat of the dinner we held on March 6th, and you can find the information about the dinner here:

The good kind of sellout

And we’ll do this in the midst of keeping things as normal as we can- our customary Saturday wine tasting this weekend,

Springy sippers

followed by our customary Last Sunday wine tasting (via Zoom again) despite our being closed on Sundays.

Old World, Old Vintage

Plus we’ll open up on a Sunday we can’t afford to miss, because so many of you want to go out on Easter Sunday.

Easter specials

And then, as we’re wont to do, we’ll be participating in Dine Out for Safety again this year, so if you’re unfamiliar with the event, you can what that’s all about here:

Dine Out for Safety

If you haven’t clicked on enough links just yet, I leave you with one more, because I’m all for the haunting beauty of stormy weather, and for the haunting beauty of Stormy Weather. Thanks, Harold Arlen.

Thanks, all of you.



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