Posts Tagged ‘Falcon Ridge’

What I did on my summer vacation

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I don’t recall actually writing the “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” essay when I was in school. Uh-oh may be I still owe that homework. Well better late than never.
This summer was pretty magical. I never use that word. But it works this time. We start with the official kick-off of summer: Memorial Day. Went to Texas. Kerrville Texas to be exact. It was our first trip to the long-running Kerrville Folk Festival and we were New Folk… just when I was thinking I can’t be new. We hung out with other New Folk artists at the Rouse’s Camp. Lindsey and Deb host the New Folk each year and they are the perfect hosts, providing the support we need, a place to land, breakfast, and fun. I feel like we really bonded as a group and for me, it was a change to expand relationships with Catherine and Jay from the YaYas, Karyn Oliver, Rob Lytle, Phil Henry, MaryBeth and Mike from The Twangtown Paramours. And we forged new friendships with Eliot Bronson, Jane Eamon, Roy Schneider and Tom Corbett. The music was crazy good and not just on stage. In fact some of the new folk won me over with songs over breakfast that they didn’t play on stage. At the suggestion of many friends we sought out Bill Nash, who brings a whole new meaning to the love of music. We return to Texas to attend SWRFA at the end of the month, and we’ll get to see a whole bunch of new, old friends.
We came home to a struggling vegetable garden… a few days without water can be disastrous. But food, water, sun, shade and everything perked up. Just like Aidan and me. Zucchini, yellow squash, soy beans, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, and tons of herbs. My neighbor Ted thinks this barely qualifies as a vegetable garden (he doesn’t say this, I can tell) but it has been a while since we have had any sort of a garden and this has been such a fun experiment that I am planning a big garden next year… asparagus, artichokes, melons… I even have a couple of fall crops already in the ground!
July brought the wedding of my niece. She’s the one who sort of inspired “Somewhere to Call Home”. We went home to Falcon Ridge Folk Festival later in July. We had missed last year since we were moving. It was fun to be Emerging Artists this year. A great group of musicians including friends Sharon Goldman and Ellen Bukstel , and new folk folks Grace and Karyn. We spent a night with Leni and David who we know from Florida and had fun catching up, and eating wine soaked peaches! On our return home we drove by a sculpture garden and had to stop in. The sculptor Bijan welcomed us in and knows folks who own a restaurant within walking distance of our place in Greenville. Tiny world.
Then it was off to France for a proper vacation. Ten days in a little corner east of Paris, nestled between the Champagne and Burgundy regions. We drank wine you will never hear of, ate local cheese and bread, and devoured pastries. I could fill a page with stories, but here are two. One afternoon we went to the outdoor food market. We thought it would be fun to put together a picnic and drive into the countryside. But once in the country, we realized we had nothing to drink. We stopped by an apple orchard. Their farm stand was closed, but a young man opened up and got us some cider. Opened up a few bottles and gave us a tasting. The car wouldn’t start! And the kind young man returned, gave us a couple of glasses and offered us the table in the orchard. Great afternoon.
Next day we set off to find the automaton museum. It’s not in your guide book. It is in a small village, hard to find, not well marked. It is closed. But we knocked and were welcomed in by Michel Marcu, the 80 year old creator of moving dioramas. Dolls creep me out a little, moving dolls are even creepier. Still this was amazing. This guy designed and created the gear mechanisms that move the dolls in some pretty complicated ways… horses walking, people dancing, clock towers opening and planes flying. There was a doll that poured a little wine and drank it, his eyebrows raised, he moved his head and smiled, I think his eyes followed us. Really. Michel not only created the mechanisms, he made the dolls, and costumes, and backgrounds. When parts were not available for his gear mechanisms, he made them. We spent a good part of an afternoon with this man who does not speak any English and spoke French to us like we were four year olds so we could understand him. He showed us his workshop, unassembled components, the works!
And so September finds us home for the month after a magical summer. Just how magical? We were so inspired by the musical friends that we spent time with and want you to hear their music too. So our next CD, due out in January, will be covers of music by a few of our favorite duos. We’ll also be hosting a room full of duos at Nerfa. It will be magical.