Stories from the corner of 37th and Nicollet

Eight

One week's worth of work - signs appeared, trees cut down, most of the surface has been removed, exposing pavers, wooden ties, sand and rock.  The jackhammers and concrete saws have taken apart the sidewalk.  Covers to the sewers have been stranded like little orange cone rafts. Our temporary water pipes are ready for next week's transfer.  The project is a continual motion of preparing and staging for what is to come, current activity and piles of material as reminders of what has taken place. 

It is all carefully orchestrated, much like a conductor bringing in one section of instruments while quieting another.  I watch the little huddles that happen in the middle of the street - news, developments, strategy, what's next...decision making while dust flies around the small group.  Lines of dump trucks circle in and out. We're starting to recognize crew members out front. Who gets to drive the big backhoe, who's on bobcat, who's got the shovel.  It's beautiful and messy.

I've heard comments today that go both ways.  From "I'm coming more often to help you pull through this," to "See you in August." I want to try to reward my loyal customers with something special, but then realize that just being open with "business as usual" in the midst of this is indeed something special. 

The front window counter is turning out to be a bit distracting for those who come to work because there's quite a show going on out there.  We're just on act one - where the conflict is introduced, the characters arrive, and the scene is set.  We kind of know how the end will turn out, but it's in the "how it gets there" that will be the ongoing drama. 

Tomorrow, another week begins.