My maine – storm gathering _ down east magazine

I carry a cardboard box with cakes up two flights of stairs to the dance hall perched above Bath’s Front Street. Food restaurants near me open now Shipbuilders’ kids once trod these stairs to practice the waltz and fox trot in preparation for dances at nearby Morse High. Healthy fast food restaurants My own boys climbed them to warble folk songs. All fast food restaurants Yoga, belly dancing, fiddling, and hula hooping all get taught here, but tonight isn’t a rehearsal.

Behind me tramps my husband, Dana, carrying Ruth, the 23-month-old baby we hope to adopt from an orphanage in Uganda. Local food restaurants near me Ruth arrived in Maine on a temporary visa to receive therapy for the cerebral palsy that bends her arms and legs into twisted crooks. Good fast food restaurants The family who hosted her, friends of ours, introduced us to Ruth the previous August. Food for restaurants Dana and I already had three young children. Popular fast food restaurants We’d often talked of adopting but couldn’t agree on when or how. Top ten fast food restaurants Not once had we considered adopting a child with disabilities. Best food restaurants But on that August night at our friends’ church, there was Ruth, scrawny and limp and dressed in a shapeless pink onesie that sagged where a round tummy and chubby thighs should have stretched it tight.

The moment Dana held Ruth, she grinned — a lopsided, baby-toothed “Here I am” grin that creased her cheeks and made her dark eyes gleam. Local food restaurants Ruth’s head was fringed with a thin scrub of curls. Top 5 fast food restaurants She was stunning, with skin the color of gingerbread, a high, rounded forehead, and a fat little pucker of a nose. Food and restaurants near me Dana wiggled a finger for Ruth to grab. Restaurants food near me Instead, she wrinkled her nose and let out a deep hee-hee-hee that stiffened her entire body. Restaurants near me fast food Her happiness was powerful, and we found ourselves laughing too.

Two months later, we became Ruth’s new host family and started exploring what it would take to adopt. Find fast food restaurants A lot, we discovered. Best food restaurants near me In addition to completing a home study and hiring two lawyers (one in Maine, one in Uganda), we had to take Ruth back to Uganda and go to court. New fast food restaurants To pay for all this, we would need to raise $15,000.

March in Maine is a good time for a fundraiser: Average temps in the mid-30s and climbing. Chain food restaurants One more hour of daylight than the black month before. Fast food restaurants in the area Often cloudy, but less than a 25 percent chance of snow. Nearby food restaurants All of which makes people itchy to eat a slice of home-baked goodness and dance a jig with their neighbors.

And so, all week long, I’ve been baking. Food restaurants nearby Glazed lemon cake. Fast food restaurants in this area Carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting. Fast food chain restaurants Gingerbread. Open food restaurants near me Chunky apple walnut cake. Fast food restaurants open Molasses cookies. Food restaurants near my location Gooey brownies. Food restaurants around me A couple of weeks prior, I’d rambled from door to door, handing out fliers and asking for donations from the merchants in the shops that line the brick sidewalks of Maine’s smallest city. Most popular fast food restaurants Rally ’round Ruth, say the words above her grinning photo. Food chain restaurants Dessert and Family Dance. Junk food restaurants All proceeds benefit a special-needs adoption.

We’ve sold Christmas ornaments and family heirlooms and cashed in a small retirement fund, but tonight is our main fundraiser. Restaurants and food I’ve invited everyone: neighbors, church folk, friends of friends. Food near me restaurants I’ve posted public announcements in the local paper. Fast food and restaurants We need a good showing. Restaurants american food That’s why I’m anxious as I unlock the door at the top of the stairs and slide my box onto a folding table in the cavernous hall. American food restaurants Out the window, fat flakes plunge to the ground. Worst fast food restaurants The roads are solid white. Fast food restaurants usa The sidewalks are deserted. Restaurants and fast food Forecasters predict the biggest snowstorm of the season — a monster front bearing down on us from the Midwest and intensifying along the coast.

“What if no one comes?” I ask Dana, who’s busy unfolding metal chairs with the help of our sons, Judah and Gabriel.

I’ve never planned a fundraiser before, and I feel foolish. Most fast food restaurants Was I presumptuous to think I could raise all this money without even scheduling a snow date? What would happen to the gifts that were generously donated for the raffle — a basket of old-fashioned sweets, lotions from the beauty salon, children’s books, restaurant gift certificates, a handcrafted cherry keepsake box, and a child’s rocking chair? What about the musicians who’ve volunteered to play? But most of all, I worry about Ruth, wondering what will become of her if we can’t raise this money.

In answer to all my fears, Dana continues about his business with just two words, “They’ll come.”

To keep from staring out the window, I arrange raffle items and desserts on fold-out tables near the door. Fast food restaurants in america Our daughter Lydia, just two weeks older than Ruth, twirls across the ballroom like a leaf in the holly-green dress that I’d sewn for Christmas. Top fast food restaurants 2016 Ruth, dressed head to toe in berry red, watches from her special foam chair. Fast food restaurants in my area I pray the snow will stop, but it doesn’t.

Fifteen minutes before the dance, Sharone, who teaches music here, and her piano-playing husband, Doug, tromp up the stairs. What fast food restaurants are open Their accordion-, fiddle-, and pennywhistle-playing friends soon follow. Famous fast food restaurants Trailing small glaciers of snow, they gather around the piano, blowing hands, coaxing strings. Best fast food restaurants in the world And still the flakes keep falling.

As the minute hand on the clock above the door ticks past 7, when the dance is supposed to start, ours is the only family here. Top 10 worst fast food restaurants We might as well go home, I think, as 5-year-old Gabriel pushes Ruth around the room in her chair, chasing Lydia like a musher trailing her team. How many fast food restaurants in the us Their happy screams fill the hall while 8-year-old Judah eyes the desserts. How many fast food restaurants in america I am more miserable by the moment, sure that our best efforts have failed.

Then, the thump of boots sounds on the stairs. Cheap fast food restaurants near me A moment later, Ron and Mona — volunteer firefighters from church who live down the long Harpswell peninsula — lumber through the door. Close fast food restaurants near me Mona unzips her jacket and throws her arms around me. Closest fast food restaurants near me “You should see the roads!”

Mustache hung with icicles, Ron drops a bundle of bills in the basket by the door. All fast food restaurants near me Soon, two more church families, the Evanses and Smiths, bustle in with their children, exclaiming, “Weren’t sure we’d make it!” “Where’s Ruth?” and “You sure picked a night!”

Close on their heels follows our pastor and his wife, from Woolwich, then another friend carrying a stunning framed photo of the Paul Revere Bell atop Bath’s City Hall to add to the raffle.

Gritty as snowplows, people push in, having braved slick roads in the deep winter dark from the farthest corners of our community — Topsham, Brunswick, Freeport, Phippsburg. Local fast food restaurants near me Some Dana and I don’t even recognize. Best fast food restaurants near me With each arrival, Ruth squeals as if aware each and every one is here for her. Healthy fast food restaurants near me Lisa, her speech therapist, scoops her up for the first dance. Top 10 fast food restaurants in the world A bow slides across a string, and a storm is stomped by the feet of many dogged dancers.

The federal government later declares the March 11, 2005, storm a disaster — but we know better. Chinese food restaurants near my location Get more Maine — Subscribe to Down East magazine at this special rate.

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