By Karen Reynolds Dilks, Sedona Resident
(August 17, 2020)
When I first sat down to write this letter my intention was to complain about the jinx ridden, worst timing construction project that I could recall in the 44 years I have lived here. And I planned to take blame too for missing email meetings that discussed the project ahead of time. If they came, I never opened them.
I wish I had now. I would have strongly objected that they tear up State Route 179 from Hillside: to include Exposures, and Hozho at the exact same time of being able to reopen our businesses. The financial devastation of having unprecedented closure to commerce during the best and necessary season of the year had created unimaginable anxiety by itself. But I was truly disheartened when returning to work to find the entire corridor torn up with driveways closed; remaining ingress and egress extremely dangerous with site obstruction, lack of directional signage, complete with war zone appearance exaggerating the present chaos of the times. And now this task is at a complete standstill, already months behind schedule and no end in sight. I would have advocated this undertaking take place during the months of shut down. It saddens me to see businesses closing due to circumstances beyond their control. And understandably the City, the contractors too probably at odds and anxious with their normal procedure uprooted in launching and maintaining such. Has to be maddening.
A perfect storm that our entire community is living through can take no complaint, only ideas to fix. We are all still climbing out of our cocoons to see the hardship a pandemic brings. But I think the first start is just coming together as a community. What can we do to help schools, essential services, hospitality and small business?
I always like to look at the hearts of children and hear their voices or think of what we can give back to them as inspiration for correction. For some reason driving into work today instead of feeling the dread of coming up to the construction zone I recalled what intrigued me as a child driving down the road. I flashed to the Burma shaving signs of 1950s…probably seen on my first cross-country road trip.
Then I thought about the children still learning remotely and imagined wouldn’t it be absolutely wonderful if we could give them a creative project to break up their isolated routine. Surely we can find donations of art supplies and ways to distribute them to let children create little inspirational signs that could be installed along corridors from VOC through the City limits for a few weeks of time (A mini version of the cows art exhibtion in Santa Fe).
Whether this fast idea that came to me while driving or other ideas to bring us together doesn’t matter –the start is just taking the time to think about such. Is there anybody out there that knows how to figure out a way for us to communicate remotely as a community on such things? Positive thoughts are the starting point.
Take care and stay healthy,
Karen Reynolds Dilks