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San Francisco, CA

As we all continue quarantining in our own ways, we would like to take some time to catch everyone up on how we spent our last days of tour out on the west coast.

We traveled north from San Diego, spending a number of days exploring the beautiful National Parks in Eastern California as a scheduled break from music and performing. After hiking and camping in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite, we arrived in San Francisco dirty and tired, yet happy. The date was Thursday, March 12, and some of you are certainly wondering how these events coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US. As we drove into San Francisco, calls and emails cancelling our upcoming gigs came one by one. We figured we would explore the city from our car, only getting out to take pictures. However, one of our picture destinations got us into a bit of trouble.

At about 5 pm, we stopped at Alamo Square to see the house where the TV show "Full House" was filmed. Upon our return 15 minutes later, we were crushed to find that our van had been broken into. We had left three backpacks in plain sight, and the perpetrator broke through the rear passenger window and grabbed all three. They must have been incredibly skilled and efficient to avoid any eye witnesses in the urban square. Apparently, Alamo Square is the hottest spot for break-ins in the San Fran area.

Many feelings accompanied this event. We felt anger and shock right at first, but as the night wore on, we started to feel sad and violated. We felt sad that many irreplaceable items were lost; items that had much meaning attached to them. We felt sad that many of our most valuable and commonly used items were gone as well (laptops, headphones, microphones, recording equipment, etc.). We felt disturbed that someone was in our car without permission going through our belongings.

An interesting exercise for us was trying to empathize with the perpetrator. We are sure the criminal feels like the draw life has given them is unfair, having pushed them to the point where they feel like the only thing they can do for a living is invade other's space and steal their valuables. Here we are with a wonderful community who will walk beside us in every good time and every bad time. They probably don't have many people who actually care, and that breaks our hearts. We have also gained empathy for those of you who have been broken into!

Moving on, we were grateful to have a place to go that evening where we could safely park in a garage with a gaping window. Our mother's first cousin, Leah Anderson, and her family (husband Mark, daughters Elise and Claire, and son Gavin) were a perfect place to recover from our tough day. They are certainly the reason for our positive memories of San Francisco, and the first days of quarantine. We will never forget connecting with the Anderson family while COVID-19 updates came flooding in, slowly shutting the country down.

We were able to perform at San Francisco Mennonite Church on Sunday, March 14, though it looked much different than our typical Sunday services. There were about 10 leaders gathered, and we participated in a Zoom service (to which many congregations have since moved). It was nice to be able to perform one last time before heading home on Monday. That afternoon we were treated to a delicious lunch of spring rolls by the Kreider-Yoders.

Monday morning, we left for home all too soon, lamenting the wonderful people we wouldn't be able to connect with and beautiful spots in the country we were not going to see, but also feeling grateful for what we were able to accomplish.

Thanks again for all the loving support from you, our dear friends!

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