After four years of an increasingly severe drought, the conversation in California has recently shifted to discussions about anticipated El Niño conditions. Preparations are being made. Sandbags have become the hot new landscaping item. People are scrambling to have roofs repaired, new gutters hung, and trees limbed.
I have a new raincoat and I figured that made me as ready as I need to be. But I clearly underestimated the trickery of El Niño. The first significant rainfall of the year rolled in at the start of last week. At Talley Vineyards we had a week of everything from hail and high winds to rainbows and misty showers. What we didn’t have at Talley Vineyards was telephone or email service.
Yep, one storm into the season and El Niño already had us beat. If you are thinking it must be difficult to conduct business with no communication to the outside world, you are right. To complicate matters even more, directly prior to losing contact we had sent a mass email to the many members of our Talley Family Program wine club asking them to be in touch regarding our upcoming wine shipment. I know they tried to be in touch; unfortunately we were unavailable. We had brief glimmers of hope when the phones would return momentarily, but as soon as we spread the word they were gone again. Creatures of habit, we continued to send emails, only to remember they were going nowhere. I ended last week feeling that we might be in for a pretty long battle with El Niño.
Fortunately, a new week has brought us “sunny” news (I have to include at least one bad pun in every blog I write), and we can now be reached without the use of carrier pigeon. I’m grateful for my colleagues who devoted so much of their time to rectifying the situation, I am grateful that our local telephone company finally admitted that our neck of the woods needed a new line, and I am grateful to all of the customers out there who are going to forgive me for not calling back last week. Here’s to not letting El Niño get the best of us!