photo courtesy of Oskar Blues Brevard on instagram
Last night was the culmination of the labor of more than half a year.
I dropped the girls off with some of our heroic friends, put on a black dress, and joined my husband at the brewery just as he was getting off work and the place was beginning to fill with the first of over 1,200 revelers who had scored tickets to the sold-out event. The first time we saw the building, it was a truss manufacturing plant. Since July we'd seen it empty down to a lifeless shell, and then, within the last six weeks or so, begin to fill with shiny tanks and a canning system and kegging lines. A dusty, concrete mezzanine had been transformed to a packed and hopping tap room, with a beautiful curved bar, booths, and a racecar hood with the Oskar Blues Thunderbird on it. It was decorated and lively with Christmas lights and silver ball ornaments hanging from the lights. Noah took my hand and led me up to the bar and introduced me to the women working the taproom in vintage red dresses. I got my first taste of Brevard-brewed, husband-brewed beer and we stood along the railing, looking down on a stage where a local bluegrass band played and what seemed like all of Brevard, including many of our new, dear friends, drank and cheered and danced below us. The whole OB crew was there--the three other families who moved out from Colorado with us and many people from the Longmont location. We posed for pictures and hugged our new friends and shared relieved beers with our old ones, looking around at the throbbing, growing crowd with wonder.
It was so much work to get there. Noah and his coworkers have worked exhaustive hours for weeks upon weeks, hitting and overcoming nearly every bump imaginable. These weeks have been trying for me too, home alone with the tireless daughters day after day, away from my family and my home, missing my husband so very much. We cut a Christmas tree while Noah worked, and hung it with lights. While he worked, we baked cookies and made ornaments. While he worked, I shopped for gifts and went to the post office and bought wrapping paper, often not seeing him for days at a time. A time I would not have survived without the help and friendship of the many people we have met in Brevard. Months, and then suddenly this: the end of the deepest challenges in sight, the firepits and food trucks and everybody in glitter and suspenders reveling in a finished, running, working brewery.
After a count down and kiss, we got home around 1:30 am and the doggie we are fostering was chirping in her crate. I put the leash on her and, in my boots, walked like a prowler across our neighbor's backyard, down the hill on the soft earth, to the place where there are trees and a wide dormant cornfield and a nearby creek, and we could hear the creek telling secrets in the darkness. There was a veil of spotted clouds stretched in the sky, and they raced with velocity across the moon, or maybe the moon flew swiftly through the sky without getting anywhere at all. Then the clouds broke and I turned up my face and felt the moonlight on my pale skin, a wild thing. My breath was in the air. All around us was darkness and corn husks and tall trees, but in the distance I could see my neighbor's porch lit up in the night like an old campfire meant to stay the shadows, and rising and falling over the creek were their voices, near and far away. To the east a long silent path stretched before us, blue and chill, but the dog didn't like it. So we walked on the places where our feet made stones shudder like shells. Everyone was sleeping. There was none but us in the world of frost and darkness, but we turned our noses up toward the moon and never felt afraid. The night aware it was new and everything around us, breathing softly with the untroubled huffs of the earth.