i went to the santa fe farmer’s market this morning.  it’s a lovely market. there was an abundant selection of local produce. it was high quality, organic or pesticide free and devotedly seasonal (read: nary a tomato, watermelon or avocado in sight… yet).

may i remind you, this is the desert. a desert experiencing a severe drought. and they still manage to grow food sustainably and sell it accessibly (via cost and venue).  our piedmont, north carolina culture has a long way to go appreciate the value of this endeavor.

since i’m in a dorm and have a meal plan, i did not buy any beets or rhubarb or carrots, though they looked amazing.

instead, i bought art from a man named Micahael Andryc.

he does not have a website. i found one image of one of his paintings on the santa fe farmer’s market page. we talked for a quite a while and i don’t think he would mind at all if i shared it with you.

i bought a print of his painting, “The Weird Thanksgiving”

in the painting: Lady of Guadalupe, Sitting Bull, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, The Devil, John Lennon (and his invisible album on Apple Core Records), Picasso’s Dog, and Georgia O’Keeffe.  this painting carries much meaning for me after being here in New Mexico.

i can’t find an image of the favorite print that i bought which is called “My Grandmother and Bob Dylan Singing a Duet”.  it depicts his polish grandmother singing alongside a young, sunglassed Bob Dylan, surrounded by some lyrics from “With God On Our Side”

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

i’ve never considered myself patriotic, but i’ve often said the 4th of july is my favorite holiday simply because of the genre of recreation that accompanies it (being outside, camping, summertime, eating, live music, fireworks).  i always get teary eyed when they ask the veterans to stand at the charlotte symphony’s concert. i appreciate their sacrifice and service. i am thankful for the freedoms bestowed upon me because of the latitude and longitude of my existence on planet earth.  the tears come from the fact i hate war. i hate humans killing other humans.  i cry for the oppression and destruction brought to humans on both end of the gun, grenade, missile or chemical.

quite frankly, i’m mad that my fellow americans have done some very destructive, evil things in the name of “our” country and “our” God. we usually realize, regret and remorse well after the events.  immersing myself in the history and culture of this part of the country brings to me a new level of sorrow for our destructive, oppressive, hateful, selfish colonizing of  native american and spanish/hispanic peoples.

and this holiday just coincides perfectly with my personal desire for peace, forgiveness, and ability to ‘live in the light of the knowledge’ of such.

i went the lovely Santa Fe opera last night (more on that soon) and was surprised the orchestra ushered in opening night with a rousing rendition of ‘the star spangled banner’, all the crowd singing along.  honestly, i could not sing. i just did not feel like it. i’m just not feeling it right now. and i’m ok with that.

there will be no fireworks here this year. the extreme dryness causing the extreme threat of forest fire makes it unsafe.  no backyard to grill out in.  no campfires or hiking as the trails are all closed due to fire danger.

in other words, i may look back on this as ‘the weird fourth of july’.

less dangerous.

more peaceful.

sounds good to me.

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gillian welch FINALLY released a new album this week.

finally.

i want to learn to play her stuff so very desperately, but without david rawlings on guitar it just won’t be the same. they are pie and icecream. wonderful on their own, but oh so much more complete together. auditions to be my personal david rawlings now being accepted.

you can listen to the entire album on NPR for a few more days (another reason NPR is amazing)  here:

Gillian Welch Album

after four runs through, my favorite songs are (in no particular order):

3. The Way it Will Be (mournful, plaintive ballad i expect (and need) from her)

I’ve never been so disabused
Never been so mad
I’ve never been served anything
That tasted so bad
You might need a friend
Any day now, any day
Oh my brother, be careful
You are drifting away

Throw me a rope
On the rolling tide
What did you want me to be?
You said it’s him or me
The way you made it
That’s the way it will be

5. Tennessee (i might soon live in tennessee.  and by soon, i mean… sooner than you expect.  don’t say i didn’t warn you. i need more hills and whiskey in my life…especially (and apparently) if i’m going to amount to anything as a musician or a writer. beef steak, not so much.)

Why can’t I go and live the life rightly?
Why can’t I go back home to apple pie?
Cause your affront to my virtue was a touch too much
But you left a little twinkle in my eye

Now some will come confessing of transgressions
Some will come confessing of their love
You were there strumming on your gay guitar
You were trying to tell me something with your thumb

Now let me go, my honey oh
Back to Tennessee
It’s beef steak when I’m working
Whiskey when I’m dry
Sweet heaven when I die

8. Hard Times (lovely banjo, asheville shout out, great live music imagery, and a worldview that resonates with me. )

They were supping on tears, they were supping on wine

i’ll get to heaven in my own sweet time

so come on you asheville boys

turn up your old time noise

kick til the dust comes up from the cracks in the floor

singing hard times ain’t gonna rule my mind, brother

hard times ain’t gonna rule my mind

hard times ain’t gonna rule my mind

no more

well done, ms. welch.

come august, i’ll be sitting on the front row of my hometown crowd marveling at your talent.  most hopefully wearing a pair of proper cowboy boots to be purchased here in santa fe this weekend.

here’s a picture from the parking lot in carrboro a year or so ago. julie and i (easily) figured out which vehicle carried  ms. welch and mr. rawlings there. given away by the tennessee plates ms. welch’s most excellent cowboy hat:

Everything sad is coming untrue.

I repeat this to myself often.  This truth gives me great comfort today and many days.  The truth is rooted in scripture, and given layer upon layer of beauty by a pastor, a fictional writer,  a musician and a tree:

Literature:  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Sam believes that Gandalph died.   At the very end, Sam having slept for quite a while and then coming to consciousness, Gandalf stands before Sam, robed in white, his face glistening in the sunlight, and says:

“Well, Master Samwise, how do you feel?”

But Sam lay back, and stared with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last he gasped: “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?”

“A great shadow has departed,” said Gandalf, and then he laughed, and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days without count. It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known. But he himself burst into tears. Then as a sweet rain will pass down a wind of spring and the sun will shine out the clearer, his tears ceased, and his laughter welled up, and laughing he sprang from bed… “How do I feel?” he cried.” Well, I don’t know how to say it. I feel, I feel” –he waved his arms in the air– “I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!

All the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.”

Pastor:  Tim Keller, The Reason for God

“Jesus spoke of his return to earth as the palingenesis. “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things (Greek palingenesis), the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne.” This was a radically new concept. Jesus insisted that his return will be purged of all decay and brokenness. All will be healed and all might-have-beens will be.

Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive. He cries, “I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?” The answer of Christianity to that question is – yes. Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.

Embracing the Christian doctrines of the incarnation and Cross brings profound consolation in the face of suffering. The doctrine of the resurrection can instill us with a powerful hope. It promises that we will get the life we most longed for, but it will be an infinitely more glorious world than if there had never been the need for bravery, endurance, sacrifice, or salvation.”

Musician:  Jason Gray, song “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue, Part 2”

The winter can make us wonder
If spring was ever true
But every winter breaks upon
The Easter lily’s bloom
Could it be everything sad is coming untrue?
Could you believe everything sad is coming untrue?

Broken hearts are being unbroken
Bitter words are being unspoken
The curse undone, the veil is parted
The garden gate will be left unguarded

Could it be everything sad is coming untrue?
Oh I believe everything sad is coming untrue
In the hands of the One who is making all things new

When the storm leaves there’s a silence
That says you don’t have to fear anymore
The trees look greener, the sky’s an ocean
The world is washed and starting over

[Listen to and read more about the song here (i think the best of the song starts at 2 minutes):  The Rabbit Room]

The God of the universe, Revelation 21:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

Tree:  The Beauty of the Former Things, Liss, EnglandIMG_7326

L’abri

10/01/2009

I just returned from ten days at L’abri, which is French for ‘the shelter’.  L’abri Fellowship was started by Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland and now there are several L’abris all over the world.  I attended England L’abri in the small village of Gretham about an hour southwest of London.

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It’s hard to explain, and therefore comprehend, what L’abri is until you’ve experienced it.  I will say I had high expectations and reality was both different and more than I expected.

A major theme is space.  There are families who live there who make it their work to create space, shelter, saftey for people to come and be human.  At L’abri, being human includes physical work (gardening, cooking a meal for 25 people, cleaning toilets, dusting baseboards), mental exercise (reading, studying, thinking, asking questions, being challenged), recreation (volleyball and cricket at daily tea breaks, going on walks), being creative (arraging flowers, playing music) and relating to other humans in community (sharing a room with 10 other girls, eating meals together, serving meals, doing dishes).

So, it’s not a retreat center.  You don’t go to “get away” and be alone.  However, you do get to get away from some things we busy ourselves with that eat up our space- both physical and mental.  So, no internet (except on a shared computer and only a few times per week), no tv.  It’s amazing what our spirits do when left to wander…it really forces you to reckon with your emotions and thoughts and fallen natures of our hearts.  No hiding from others or from God…

So, here’s one day:

7:30 AM : Awake

8:00 AM:  Breakfast in the dining room with everyone.  Toast, jam and hard boiled eggs.  Tea.  Morning devotional reading by one of the workers from Dietrick Bonhoffer’s “Life Together”:

“The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves. By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth.

Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it. The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community the better for both. A community which cannot bear and cannot survive such a crisis, which insists upon keeping its illusion when it should be shattered, permanently loses in that moment the promise of Christian community. Sooner or later it will collapse. Every human wish dream that is injected into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be banished if genuine community is to survive. He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.”

8:45 AM : Reading in the “Morning Room” (my favorite room in the house)

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9:30 – 11:00 AM :  Study time.  Here are things I read/listened to while I was there:

The Healing Path by Dan Allender

Beyond Identity by Dick Keyes

Are Women Human?  by Dorothy Sayers

Collected works of Emily Dickinson

Cash:  The Autobiography by Johnny Cash

Some Hemingway short stories

Mars Hill Review (a literary journal with essays, poems, short stories, music reviews.  all around goodness.)

Forgiveness:  Lecture series by Dick Keyes

“Ifs” by Amy Carmichael

11:00 :  Tea Break on the lawn.  Tea, volleyball, cricket, frisbee tossing or chatting.

11:30 – 1:00 PM Study/reading

1:00 PM:  Lunch with half of the students/workers (about 12 of us).  Anyone can introduce a topic.  Topics at lunches included:  How do Christians live out their gender/sexual humanity appropriately?,  What can we expect from God?,  Is it fair to generalize about people groups, gender, age, nationalities, etc?  What’s helpful/hurtful about generalizing?,  Considering the Levitical Jubilee law for modern society- what could we apply today?  How could we treat the poor?,

3:00 – 4:30 PM:  Work time.  Weeding the gravel driveway or helping cook dinner.

4:30 PM:  Tea break.

5:00:  Back to work.

6:30 PM:  Dinner with half of the group in a home.  No formal topic, just conversation.  My favorite meal was a butternut squash and red lentil stew with rice and fresh bread.  My favorite dessert were baked apples with crushed cardamom and sweetened yogurt.

8:00 PM:  Evening activity:  Lecture (topics included:  What is spirituality?, The gospel of Mark, The book of Job)  or film followed by discussion (Babette’s Feast).  OR free time:  going to local pub, painting/drawing/art time around a table while others played guitar/piano.

In the midst of all of this I was introduced to new places around the world:  Hungary, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Canada, Brazil, and Scotland and enjoy the familiarities being around people from my neck of the woods:  South Carolina and Tennessee!

In summary, perspective was the theme of my time there.  My eyes were opened to the sheer enormity and amazingness of this Earth and every thing and every one in it.  Ultimately, a renewed sense of the enormity and glory of God.

I’ll never be able to convey the experience to you.  If there is even an inkling in your heart from reading this that you might enjoy or need time like this, you should go.

I went to London again this weekend.  My friend Suz was in town for a 36 hour layover on her way to Africa.  YEAH!  More on that with photos soon.

Instead of train, I took the bus home.  It was cheaper (5 pounds) and fun because I got to see parts of London I haven’t seen (i.e., the Olympic stadium and village which are under construction for 2012).

The only catch is you must buy your ticket the day before.  I chose an 8 PM departure, but was ready to head home by 6PM.  So, I went to the ticket counter and they wanted 11 pounds to change my ticket (twice the original cost!).  No dice.

So, I walked right up to the bus driver, showed him my “ticket” (which is on my phone because it was sent via text message).  Our conversation went something like this:

Bus Driver:  You know dear, your ticket is for 22:30.  You’re two hours early.

Me:  I know.  I just can’t get used to military time.  Is there any way I can take this bus?

Bus Driver (smiling, cheerfully):  Where are you taking it?

Me:  To Cambridge.

Bus Driver:  OH REALLY!?  You want to take THIS BUS to Cambridge?

Me:  Yes, is that possible? Can I take it?

Bus Driver:  You really want to take it?

Me:  (realising my poor grammar choice…laughing)  Actually, no, I do not want to take this bus ANYWHERE!  There is no way I could drive it!  May I ride the bus to Cambridge?

Bus Driver:  OF COURSE you may ride it.  I couldn’t let you take it though!

I hopped on.  The soundtrack for our first hour weaving through London was classically hilarious:

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
  2. Waiting for a Star to Fall – Boy Meets Girl (i dare you to deny wanting to sing along to this one.  i had delusions of the entire bus bursting out in song…which made me laugh to myself.  which made me think people think i am weird… oh well!)
  3. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette  (sigh.)
  4. To the Moon and Back – Savage Garden (hellllo 1990s!)
  5. Pretty Woman- Roy Orbison
  6. News report on the Lockerbie Bomber.
  7. Heard it Through the Grapevine
  8. Kylie Minogue club mix.

It was then the magical hour of 7:30 when the sound on the bus is turned off.  The quiet was timed with our pulling onto the motorway and driving through the rolling hills of East Anglia.  Always nice to leave the city…

more photos of adventures when julie was in town earlier this month:

More (possibly new) music for you:

Though acclaimed in the Euro/UK folk scene, the name Graham Lindsey remains less than embraced in the states. Not to mention, it’s an unfortunate malapropism of a South Carolina senator. Americana/Folk lovers around the globe must face both of these lamentable injustices.

Released in 2008, We Are All Alone In This Together and The Mine EP were recorded by producer Steve Deutsch and released on Spacebar Recordings. Lindsey penned and recorded them during a sojourn from his native Wisconsin to Montana. The albums afford you all the gracious paradoxes the wilderness likely extended to its troubadour during his tenure there. Listening to them, like walking through Big Horn or Glacier, feels lonely but befriended, vast but filled, instinctive yet uncommon. The guitar, banjo, pedal steel, mandolin and harmonica are raw, empty from commercialism and teeming with honest and natural allure.

Lindsey is from the school of “punk-rock-teen-turned-Americana-man.” Fans of brothers Felice and Avett will settle effortlessly to his sounds. Try as you might to fight the cliché, his vocal envelope is undeniably colored like (good) Bob Dylan, particularly on “If I Ever Make it Home” and “Tomorrow Is Another Night”. He’s equally adept doing authentic antiquarian bluegrass on tracks like “Nobodys Gonna Miss Me”.

A tour through the states would do him well. If you can’t pack it up to the Rocky Mountain wilderness with these albums in hand, a listen on your front porch would do you quite well.

Listen to Graham Lindsey here: http://www.myspace.com/grahamlindsey

(Originally appeared at:  http://consequenceofsound.net/2009/07/08/listen-graham-lindsey/)

Noah and The Whale

08/17/2009

Allow me to introduce you to the band I’m currently enthralled with:  Noah and The Whale.

They’re a little bit Nick Drake and tad DeVotchKa (of Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack fame).  You can download the title track, “The First Day of Spring”, from their new album for free six minutes of  melancholy, crescendo-ing bliss:

http://www.noahandthewhale.com/FDOS.html

Their new album releases very soon with a film.  The appear to be musicians who pour their heart and soul into their music and  have creativity to left to spill over into visual medium.  Their still images related to their album caught my eye, and their pausing, vibrant cinematography held my attention captive.

Check out the trailer to their film:

They are coming to Cambridge in a few weeks.  Goody, goody gumdrops!

(each month i get together with some kindred music loving fools: luke and jules.  we chose an album in advance, write a review, trade, critique and discuss.  it’s a fun way to feed our musical addiction and stretch our creative muscles.  it’s really too bad we haven’t stretched our creative muscles enough to come up with a cool name for our gathering, we’ve just embraced the nerdiness and call it ‘music club’.  this is one such review.)

March 2009

After we fell in love with the quiet soul-baring of Bon Iver’s first album For Emma, Forever Ago, the quick release of an EP begs the question: was Blood Bank to be a chronological continuation post For Emma: perhaps a happy ending to the sad story?  Or a further layering of detail into the tragedy?

The album begins with the strong-voiced title track.  At first listen it leaves us with more questions than answers.  ‘Blood Bank’ is more storytelling than we see in the other tracks, albeit a story we will never fully know.  The song, in similar vein to Justin Vernon’s other work, includes amazingly lyrical sensory detail; this gives us confidence the scenes are real, not imagined.  Although I do wonder if the moon was really “waning crescent” or if this particular lunar phase conveniently rhymed with “just like the present”.  Regardless, lines like this put us in the car with Justin, a girl and a candy bar…and, sad as you think it might end up, you know you want to be there.

While we so easily picture ourselves there, it may be more of a stretch to picture ourselves in an actual blood bank, with our honey, looking at bags of blood.  Taken separately, with attempts to apply logic or full understanding, the pieces of this song’s story stick together to resemble something rather dream-like:  the kind of dream where your brain coaxes all of the scenes, fears, hopes and memories tucked away in the catacombs and meshes them into something rather late-Picasso.

A painting you, the creator, could look at and discern the elements and meanings, but would leave a stranger viewing the same work only to guess.  And it’s fun to guess.  A distinctive about this track in particular is the confidence belongs to the guy for once.  Looking at her, he discerns things about her and himself and their future: “what’s that noise up the stairs babe?  Is that Christmas morning creaks?” alludes in a joyful, hopeful way to a future with children.  He’s thinking happy thoughts for once!  But, the song ends pensively and unresolved, leading us into the track ‘Beach Baby’ which has nothing to do with a child, and everything to do with a man’s perspective of a breakup, right down to anger at the girl, knowledge of her propensity towards brokenness and the remembrance of an, ahem, intimate moment.  Very masculine indeed.  Here we see a return to the quiet, mournful hurt that permeated For Emma.

The track ‘Babys’, with either its unclaimed possessive or misspelled plurality, suggests a man who is perfectly happy with his life but for the first time is on board with the idea of children with the girl, hearkening back to the posed possibility of Christmas morning creaks.  ‘Woods’ takes us down again, in a hypnotic loop of a cathartic nature.

All in all, it seems these songs further illumine For Emma’s story for us.  We continue to see the themes of “death on a sunny snow”, of love lost and dreams dashed.  For me, as the days are now warming and sunlight remains through the evening hours, this album and For Emma with their broken and icy whispers of winter will be shelved.  Right now, the daffodils and tulips are blooming, the season of renewed life approaches and the music just does not fit.  It is inevitable though, for all of us, the cold, gray season of both climate and soul shall return.  And you will be thankful to pull this one off the shelf and find solace in the scenes of heartbreak and longing we all know so well.

listen to the title track, blood bank, here:

ps:  one of my favorite music discovery resources is daytrotter.  they interview quality bands, have them record live tracks and let you listen and download them for free.  you can test drive bon iver here!

You know that death came a knockin’ on my front door
Singin’ come on sister, ain’t you ready to go
So I stooped down, buckled my shoes
And I move on down by the Jordan stream
And then I shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes

the duhks – death came a knockin’


last week, christy and i headed up the interstate to visit dear friends and hear awesome music.  i know:  big stretch, twist our arms, etc.  though i don’t see much of them during the school year, i love my teacher friend’s summertime ability to jet off at a moment’s notice and spend the better part of a monday in our pajamas.

paige, adam and their four chillins left charlotte almost a year ago and it takes nary a shake of the hat (or mention of their fabulous baked goods) to result in a trip.  now, if that shake happens to be of the tambourine of the duhks, one of all of our favorite bands, the car basically starts itself.  and the homemade brown sugar cookies are truly the sweetness on top.

our friends are a part of a new church plant in raleigh (midtown community church) led by  another family we miss a bunch, linz and kara.  we got there in time to go to their sunday afternoon study.  i always enjoy seeing friends ‘real lives’ when i visit; having pictures of where they live helps me pray for them better.

after church meetin’, a quick burrito and off to the show.

windows down, we drove by the venue and the band was getting out of their bus.  christy, being the friendly and cheerful gal she is, shouted hi while waving her chapstick at them.  she didn’t realise this was slightly uncool until oh, about mid wave.  we had a great laugh at the stoplight.

the show was fantastic.  you can read my full review HERE at Consequence of Sound.

this is what it sounded like:

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this photo of the fiddler and drummer is a complete screw up on many levels but i freaking love it.  and since i love it, i’m going to name it.  just haven’t figured out  what yet…

more shots:

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on the way home, splayed in the middle of the sidewalk was this fella:

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we are uncertain to the cause of his demise, but the huge transformer on the pole above was looking quite suspect.

my goal on monday was to stay in my pajamas with the kiddos until noon.  i am proud to report i accomplished this goal.  and ate another (x2) homemade brown sugar cookie to reward myself.  we ate pancakes, played uno, read books, all the good stuff.  then we ventured out on the greenway, anchored by littlest taite’s chunk-a-liscious thighs and with a pretty good ratio (1.33 kids per adult).

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it was H-O-double-T.  but we had a great walk/scooter adventure.  there was some wilting, but we all made it back just in the nick of time to the air conditioning and lunch.

i’m thankful to have “effortless friends”… and i’m not implying friendship is ever without effort.  but people who make being friends with them relaxing, refreshing and life-giving.  christy, paige, adam and their brood are just that for me- the kind of people who can easily (and non-uncooly) chat up the fiddle player after a show, hang with in your pjs til noon and eat homemade cookies for breakfast.  these were a happy 24 hours!