Day 5 after the flood – preparing for the invasion

Staff mailboxes and a basket of DVD giveaways awaiting pickup by contest winners.

My empty nest won’t be empty much longer. As my staff reports to work today, my home will be bustling with activity.

On the day of the office flood, we moved two unscathed computers here, which will allow us to access our network files, bookkeeping software and circulation management system. I already had a large-screen Mac here, plus my laptop. So in theory, four people could be working simultaneously to keep things going from this 12×18-foot space.

The office we evacuated was 3,000 square feet.

I went over there yesterday to look around for things we might need here. Things that hadn’t been shrink-wrapped, tagged and set aside for removal to an offsite warehouse, where they will be cataloged, cleaned and assessed.

On a hunch, I grabbed our staff mailboxes — the wonderful, homemade ones that Calendar & Directories Editor Mala Blomquist’s husband Evan created for us from wood out of his workshop at home. They now sit outside the door to my home office, just under the framed tickets my husband, two sons and father-in-law carried into Game 7 of the 2001 World Championship Series. When the Arizona Diamondbacks won that game it cemented our community in a way that was unprecedented.

A rainstorm from above had the same effect on my staff.

So today my home becomes “mission control” for Raising Arizona Kids. I called a staff meeting for this morning; everyone who is not out of town will be here. Some of our bloggers and freelancers will be here, and even our intern Emma Zang-Schwartz, who will enter her senior year at Chaparral High School in the fall.

Mala emailed me yesterday to ask if she could bring Bonnie, the office mascot. “I don’t want her to upset your cats,” she wrote. Bonnie, the sweet-natured chihuahua Mala adopted after Art Director Michelle-Renee Adams found her abandoned on the streets, is a source of comfort and laughter. “Bring her,” I responded.

“I’m also bringing cupcakes for the troops,” Mala wrote. Her homemade cupcakes are the best kind of comfort food.

“It’s not going to be the same around here,” I warned my husband, who has taken this change in stride. I think both of us have missed the hubbub of two extremely social sons who now live and work in Washington, D.C.

“I think we can manage,” he replied.

We’re ready for the invasion. Bring it on.


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