By Sarah Schrock

Half the town woke up on Sunday to a surprise blackout. Residents reported hearing a bang or pop in the early morning, after what was a late night for many at the Trashion Show.

By midday, the PUD had restored power and by afternoon, word of what went wrong was out. Apparently, a resident from the Poorman Creek area was towing a bus behind a vehicle and rammed into a pole, disabling half the town.

Now, I am not going to reveal who the culprit was or why the said individual was hauling a bus through town in the early morning hours, but thanks to all the recent preparedness training through MethowReady, our neighborhood was equipped to tackle the real disaster that ensued as a result of this accident — the calamity of not being able to make coffee in the morning.

Even if you didn’t attend the Trashion Show, not being able to grind and brew is a real emergency on any given Sunday morning. But thankfully, we had a battery charger capable of operating our grinder and a gas tank capable of running a range to heat water — phew! One neighbor allegedly powered up their generator to ensure their morning cup.

Later in the afternoon, I made small talk regarding our tactical response to the potentially disastrous prospect of no coffee on Sunday morning to an acquaintance at Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe.  She shared her preparedness plan for this type of disaster. She admitted to keeping a hidden bag of not-so-premium ground coffee in the back of her cabinet to make sure she’s never caught without a cup in a power outage. Once again, the resilience and brains in the valley never cease to impress me. Let it be known that in the event of a natural disaster in the Methow, coffee responders will be there.

Each week in May I am showcasing a flower, and the May flower of the week for this week is the ballhead waterleaf (Hydrophyllum capitatum). These flowers look like small spiked lavender golf balls that sit atop stalks of deeply lobed, slivery green leaves. The whole plant is somewhat hairy. It ranges from 10 inches to 30 inches off the ground. The name means “water leaf” in Greek — which is strange because most botanical names are in Latin, not Greek. 

Some years, waterleaf can be quite showy and large. It made an impression on one runner in the Sunflower Classic who asked me to identify it as I worked the aid station at Elbow Coulee during the race. Based on her description, I knew right away what she had seen — so now is the time to get out there and spot it. The ballhead waterleaf can be found in meadows and forests on moist slopes. 

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day, and one regional tradition continues to bring Mothers from all stages of life, culture and creed together. The annual international Mother’s Day Walk for Peace will take place in Oroville on May 13. The walk leaves the Oroville Library and proceeds to the U.S. — Canadian Border where speeches, song, poem and celebrations among different cultures are shared from 2 – 4 p.m. 

To carpool from Twisp, meet at the west end of the Methow Valley Community Center parking lot at 9:30 a.m. This should allow for drive time plus shuttling of vehicles for the return after the walk. Organizers encourage participants to bring signs, cards or posters as well as snacks, water and appropriate clothing for the conditions. For more information, inquire with organizers at (509) 476-4072.


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