OPINION

It was a Merry white Christmas in Sleepy Eye

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Merry white Christmas! (I wrote this column Wednesday morning, still waiting to see what would happen with the weather.) I don’t like bad snowstorms, but I am looking forward to enjoying the Christmas tree out on our deck with some snow around it.

Gov. Walz’s recent order to keep bars and restaurants closed until Jan. 11 has certainly been controversial. You will not be surprised to learn that I support his decision, while fully understanding that it is extremely difficult for those businesses. I believe him and the state health officials when they say too much community spread of COVID-19 originates in indoor settings, where people have removed their masks. It’s not a good situation for these businesses, but the real enemy is the virus, not the governor and public health officials who are trying to keep us safe and healthy.

Several days ago I was in a civil discussion, on Facebook, with a friend who disagrees with the governor’s order. In the course of our conversation, either she or one of the other people who chimed in, said they are concerned for the business owners whose hopes and dreams have been crushed (not exact quote, but something to that effect.)

I contacted my friend Karlyn Armbruster to ask how she and Adam are reacting to all this. Everyone in Sleepy Eye certainly appreciates the risk they took in renovating the Pix and then starting the coffee shop and brewery we all like to brag about for Sleepy Eye!

This is what Karlyn wrote about her and Adam’s thoughts, understanding that I intended to share their message here:

“Although this first year of business has not been what we imagined, we do not feel that our hopes and dreams are crushed. We are frustrated, yes, but with the pandemic situation in general rather the governor’s decisions. 

"Adam and I are in a unique position in that we do have other careers, and therefore steady income. Our managers have adapted to stay afloat (large group orders for lunch, take and bakes, gift cards, merchandise sales ...) We have applied for and received all grants and loans that we qualified for (which has certainly been a big help in keeping us going). We have still been able to pay our staff. 

"I am not fearful that we will go out of business before the pandemic is over. What’s important is that we make the necessary sacrifices now, so that we can open up sooner and more fully. The end is in sight!”

So, me again, please support our local businesses in whatever way you can, because this is certainly difficult. Wear your mask, stay safe and help keep others healthy.

On to some fun news! The Holiday Lights in Motion folks have decided to extend the season. They said because the light show is so popular — a fun and safe distraction for everyone — they will continue to turn the lights on every evening through Jan. 10. Yay! Our holiday beauty won’t end so soon!

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One last thing. I know those phone answering messages that give a long directory are not the most popular option. But, it turns out this is the best way to answer our phone.

Our Minnesota Gannett newspapers have streamlined several business functions so one person handles an area for all the papers, such as subscriptions, obituaries and legal notices. Now that we’ve settled in to the arrangement, we find that a phone message that directs the caller to the proper person right away is best. (If you want me, choose editorial!)