Saturday, December 15, 2012

Minnesota Highway 210 Bridge comes full circle: Thomson, MN Flood 2012


Ruins of 210 Bridge, June 2012
Well things came full circle today.  On a dark and gloomy day we had a celebration.  The highway 210 Bridge between Thomson and Carlton, Minnesota was officially opened.

Why such a big deal?  It was a big deal for a bunch of reasons, not least because about six months ago, it and our town were nearly wiped off the face of the earth because of record flooding.  However for me it was a day of emotions and reflections as this event was pre-empted by the terrible tragedy in CT.

I spent the full day with my son preparing for the 210 Bridge Celebration and it was an emotional roller-coaster.  Joy because we are finally starting to see some normalcy around here, joy because I am truly blessed with a wonderful family and an amazing child and yet terrible sadness because of what went down in Newtown and also a sadness and reflection because of what my town had to endure (and for some still endures) in June.

Big spoons yield big results

Loons, snowflakes and gingerbread men
Because of the up coming party at the Thomson town hall, Tae and I decided to make Christmas cookies to hand out.  We made the dough, made the frosting and we talked about the flood and about where we live and our neighbors.  It was a pretty cool afternoon.

People make it all happen

Big scissors, big results

Linked back to services and to Carlton
I thought it was important for Tae and I to bring something to the celebration.  To give of ourselves especially to people who have taken a big hit this year but also to people who have worked so hard to fix our town.  We are an all volunteer city government and there is no doubt a lot of stress and strain on those few who were on the city council have dealt with on the recovery.  Plus we have gotten to know our neighbors through this tragedy and they are truly good people, much deserving of gifts of sugar and flour.  There is also I think a catharsis in creating something and then giving it away.  It reminded me personally of the feelings I had during the flood, that nothing is permanent and that material things came up with no value compared to the feelings I had for my family and for the people in my town.

Offerings 
The ribbon cutting was great.  A lot of folks showed up despite the rain and the sleet and the river looked complacent and depleted compared to how it looked in June.

Severed ties

The St.Louis River, pissed off and redolent, June 2012

The celebration in the Thomson Town hall was amazing.  The place was full and there was cake and coffee (and of course cookies).  A local resident Bruce, who lives on Vermillion Street, one of the worst hit sections of town during the flood, came with a bunch of his musician friends and played for the town.  It was cool to see that others had come in a giving spirit as we had and I hope that Bruce felt as much weight unfold from his shoulders as I did.  Hopefully the whole town did because certainly having the bridge back on line feels good, it feels like home is back from its wanderings.

Friends filling the Thomson Town Hall with music

People, getting together, getting stuff done and celebrating the good times, after dealing with the bad

Life is really simple

1 comment:

Griff Wigley said...

Great post, Hansi. It's cool thing to do, ie, take the time to tell the story and make note of the values and characteristics of the people of Thomson who helped the town recover... and who can now celebrate it a bit.

Griff