If you don’t remember me, my name is Abbey—I work with Rio Tinto on remediation, buy stuff for the village, and I was one of the privileged few who were part of the wandering band that depended on the generosity of Lake Chelan Lutheran, Celebration, and Grünewald Guild during evacuation this summer. First of all, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for the gift of your hospitality. By opening your doors to us, you made what could have been a very traumatic time into something bearable, even enjoyable. I will never forget those weeks sorting the village mail in the Palumbos’ basement, taking comfort in the company of their dog Xela, making the short trek to Mark and Michelle’s for Vespers ‘86 as the sun went down on Wednesday nights; in East Wenatchee, helping out in Ray’s garden—trying to limit the number of tomatoes I ate on the spot, and making a bed out of 2 pews in the sanctuary; and at Grünewald, taking long restorative walks and digging up potatoes amid the beauty of that place. Yes, we were removed from our home, but I don’t think I would be the only one to admit that we had a lot of fun. We made more good memories during those 5 weeks than I could have ever expected, and had the benefit of community to lean on when the village was threatened and there was nothing we could do but hope, trust and worry. Thank you for making it okay, and giving us a place to find rest and renewal.
I would like to turn your attention to the item on the wall. During evacuation we would play a “game” of sorts where we would go around the circle and share 3 words that described how we were feeling in the moment. These emotions, as you may guess, varied greatly depending on our current situation, but it was always therapeutic. So we asked the folks who stayed at the Palumbos, Celebration and Grünewald to play 3 Words one last time. The prompt was to give 3 words to describe what we think of when we look back on our time with you. You’ll notice that some of the words are bigger. These are the words that were repeated more than once. It’s no surprise that love, friendship, hospitality, gratitude, nourished, connection, generosity, kindness, understanding and welcome are the biggest. Thank you all for getting us through our extended involuntary out.