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In Memory of Bobbi McCrea

Simply Food

July 5, 2011
Wendy Monro , The Journal

By Wendy Monro

Each week, I write my article about whatever is happening in my life. I wait for something to occur, and it usually does without much effort. Something is always bound to happen, right? At some point during the week, it hits me and I think, "That's what I'll write about this week." Usually, what happens is happy or interesting or funny. This week, I write about my broken heart.

When this article hits the streets, it will have been three days since the tragic fire in New Ulm. As I sit here and type this, it is the night of my heartbreak. It is the night of heartbreak for so many people. Today, we lost lives at The Bohemian Bed and Breakfast. The loveliest person in the world, Bobbi McCrea, perished in that fire along with her two beautiful daughters, Savannah and Abby. She was a dear friend to my family and me. We loved her and her girls deeply.

Article Photos

Photo courtesy of Wendy Monro
Bobbi McCrea (right) and Wendy Monro shared a happy moment recently at The Bohemian Bed & Breakfast.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about Bobbi McCrea called, "Bobbi McCrea Serves Food Sprinkled With Blessings." The following is an excerpt from that article,

"I first met Bobbi McCrea at a party a few years ago. I was immediately attracted to her enthusiasm and vibrant personality. Bobbi is a tall thin brunette who exudes confidence and warmth. She revealed a passion for food and wine that rivaled mine. That did it for me. We have been friends ever since.

Bobbi is an amazing person, who listens when I talk and takes me into her home when the weather makes it scary to drive. She has offered me a comfy couch to rest and a glass of wine while my kids were at a party nearby. She cares about being a mother and preserving the planet. She cares about the community. I've seen how she adores her teenage daughter, Abby, and runs around after her toddler, Savanna Grace. I've seen her compost heap and her recycling bin. I've seen her at every community event I have attended and she's in photos of those I've missed. So, who would be better to run a Bed and Breakfast than one of the most loving, compassionate and fun people I know?"

Fact Box

Bobbi McCrea's Hoppel Poppel

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total: 1 hour

Servings: 10

1 C. Sauerkraut, drained

6 large potatoes, peeled,

boiled and diced

6 large pre-cooked sausage links

1 carrot, grated

1 tsp. dill or 1 sprig fresh dill

Pepper to taste

1 C. whipping cream

8 large eggs

1 C. Swiss cheese, grated

(or your choice)

Boil peeled and diced potatoes until tender (can be easily pierced with a fork), about 15 minutes. While these are boiling, cook sausage links. Strain the potatoes and mix together gently with the sauerkraut. Spread in bottom of greased 9x11-inch pan. Slice sausage links and place over potato mixture. Add carrots, dill, pepper and cream. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Pour the scrambled eggs over the rest of the ingredients in the dish. Sprinkle grated cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until set.

I must disclaim that there is no way I could write words which would justify the impact and the love that Bobbi blanketed over this community. She was truly magical. Today, I have read news reports and posts about Bobbi and the kind of person she was. I have read words like, "eclectic," "artistic,"and "eccentric," However, to me, the perfect description of Bobbi is "love." She was pure unadulterated loveand that is it! She oozed love. When I sat in her presence, I felt itunabashed love. When I saw her holding Savanna love surrounded them. When she and Charlie looked at each other, with or without words, it was the love I sensed. When she talked about Abby's accomplishmentslove was all I felt. I could literally feel the love when I was near Bobbi.

Bobbi loved everyone's children (New Ulm students, foreign exchange students, neighbors, children of friends, stranger's children, at risk youth, you name it). Bobbi treated everyone she knew like family (guests who returned each year, new guests, citizens of New Ulm, strangers, friends, anyone). Nobody was out of Bobbi's range of love.

Bobbi taught, mentored, spoke publicly about causes, took care of children and adults, and loved living. She took nothing for granted and savored every moment of life, each and every breath of it. Bobbi was the perfect example of love and kindness and friendship. So many people will feel the void of not having Bobbi in their lives anymore.

I savored my time with her. I was always just so happy to be near her. She had a way of filling my entire being with happiness and joy. I am hoping when the pain in my heart and the torture in my gut subside, I will try with all of my heart to not dwell on the tragedy of losing a friend. Instead, I hope to feel blessed to have been a part of her life at all. How can I be anything but grateful to have been given any time with her? I am so incredibly lucky to have known and loved Bobbi McCrea.



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