The backstory....

    Laying on the floor, having just slipped on the still-wet tile of the entrance to the restaurant, my feet propped on the wall, the EMT is cutting up the sleeve of my puffer coat with a pair of scissors.  No blood, but the swelling and bruising had started. I can't move my arm, so they begin to position me to slide onto a transfer board. "Dislocation, I see it all the time...but it might be fractured, too." My predominant arm, the strong one.  My livelihood.  Completely useless, dead weight at my side, and rapidly swelling.  Did I need surgery? How long will it take to heal? How can I work without my right arm? How can I work, when there's no work? How will I support my daughter and myself?  What am I going to do??

For nearly every industry, March of 2020 was alarming.  Fears from the rapidly spreading, untraceable Covid-19 were forcing unanticipated, uncomfortable and scary changes. My employer had already released all non-essential staff (retaining a skeleton crew to oversee the several restaurants and catering arm of which I was the Executive Pastry Chef). We could see the writing on the wall, and I knew that I'd be laid off as well, and indeed I was, this same week. Now, on top of the growing panic of the new pandemic, the dull cloud of social unrest and uncertainty around Washington D.C. and the entire country, as well as the bleak employment landscape, now, I had lost my most important tool for my livelihood: my right arm, and employment to use it.
Now, it is February, 2021. Like most humble, unexpected beginnings under strange circumstances, Chapman's is a way to forge ahead. As dire and strained as everything feels, it is equally exciting. Eleven months (and months of doctor's appointments and continuing physical therapy) over the summer and autumn, this project has unfolded, thanks to some ridiculously supportive neighbors and friends. I'm no longer tethered to someone else's concept. Now, my mind is waking up to untested creativity that had nowhere to manifest. My daughter is tickled to see the endeavour grow in front of her, and my biggest cheerleader. The learning curve is steep, but I'm learning. Adjusting the sails, heading into these fierce winds, but smiling as I go.
Thank you all for the unyielding support and kind words. I hope you like what I do. Let's see where it goes, yeah? And as my friend Sara so eloquently put it: Be sweet to each other.

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