From Sand to Snow and Home Again
My goodness! What a whirlwind! Where to start, where to start…?
BACKWARDS TIME FRAME:
Starting with yesterday, Wednesday, March 22:
Went to Super!Alright to film two new videos…one for kids and one for adults. It was an all day shoot, but Ralph of Blue Tractor is incredibly professional and had his shot sheets all prepped. We rented gear from Gear, including a mammoth sky backdrop. This is all you get to know for now. But if you are on my newsletter list, you’ll get a special sneak preview when the videos are ready!
Then, last night, the whole family went to Lily’s first volleyball game of the season. Oh, it was close: first game was 6-25 (our loss)….second game, closer! 24-25! I wanted to cheer, “Go….” with a team name, but the official name had not been announced. They are the Killer Whales. I was thinking they might go with the Dominoes in those black and white outfits, or the Oreos, re: iolana’s suggestion. Now I’ll have to yell out, “Go, Killlllaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzz!” Is that ok for a mom to yell at young girls behind a net?
Going backwards to Sunday, March 18….
Flew to Philadelphia on American Airlines, which used to be what I considered the classiest airline, but…sadly…no more. All the flight attendents seemed to think all the passengers were hicks with stewed prunes for brains. I couldn’t believe how annoyed they were with us. And, trust me, we were a quiet group, what with everyone wearing iPods or working on their lap tops or watching their in-flight movie with headsets on….We were easy breezy! So, when I asked for some ice for the warm cup of cranberry juice, the flight attendant rolled her eyes (it was not my imagination), took back my nearly overflowing cup and gingerly plopped two sarcastic ice cubes into the drink. She sat it down in front of me as I burst out laughing, rolling on with her cart and bad attitude. Whatcha gonna do? It was pretty funny. Those sad ice cubes!
Anyhoo, I got to Philly and it was bright with snow and sunshine. Rob Litowitz’s daughter, Dana, picked me and Kelly Willis up and took us down to baggage. Kelly’s back was partying in the back somewhere and took a while to show up, so I bought some water for each of us out of a cool vending machine with a robotic arm thingy that made me buy another water, just so I could watch it work. Now that is a stupendous use of technology. I guess that explains why they can now charge $2 for a bottle of water (or Coca-Cola.) My goal is to someday own one of those old gas station coke machines where you deposit a DIME and open the long, skinny glass door and MANUALLY pull out a skinny-necked smaller glass bottle of Orange Crush. Now THAT’S a drink! AND entertainment, by golly. (Can’t you just hear the summer cicadas buzzing in the background and the smell of Alabama dirt in the hot, dry air as you gulp your refreshing, ice cold drink down?!)
Got to the hotel. A very nice Hampton Inn. We picked up Nathaniel (Dana’s beau) and Chuck Prophet while at the airport. I had in my mind all these years that Chuck was an old black blues singer. He is a cross between Aimee Mann and Todd Rundgren in straight legged shiny black fancy pants. (I KNOW you are trying to picture that.)
We ended up that night at the College of New Jersey and performed for the Parkinsong event: me, Kelly, Chuck and Ana Egge. It was a blast, but way too short in my mind. Everyone was just terrific! I think we could have gone around at least another hour, really. The fun aspects:
Hearing Chuck sing and his songs. I really, really enjoyed that. His voice is soothing and rumbling. He has an interesting way of capturing lyrics, and I liked his guitar playing very much.
Having Richard Kind emcee the event. He is the man with black hair/eyes and the square jaw who was on the tv show, “Spin City,” with Michael J. Fox. He was funny, and even funnier backstage with his nervous worries about whether or not he was funny enough. Personally, I was glad he talked about Michael. That was touching and that says more about him, his ability to pull you in, than anything funny can do, really. And the event was to raise money for Parkinson’s research because Rob’s mother had Parkinson’s, and she taught at this college, and Richard and Jon Stewart and many others were her students. A very magical night. I will try to get some photos from the event and post them here.
Hanging with Ana again. I hadn’t seen her since the last time I hopped on stage at the Cactus Cafe and sang “Edelweiss” with her, many years back. She has such an aching voice! And she’s a fine guitarist, not only as a player, but built her own, too!
Of course, one can never say enough nice things about Kelly Willis. She is graceful and lovely, and her voice is unique and magical and childlike and womanly all at once. Plus, we had some great conversations in the airport about God
and church and kids and singing with our husbands…
And a BIG THANK YOU to Mary Robinson and Nancy for driving in from so far away (3 hours). They yelled out “TRAIN SONG!” so I got to rumble! And then they graciously hung out at the meet and greet afterwards, where I put chocolate shavings on Nancy’s hot coffee saucer and they melted and it did not look right at all. We ate some divine desserts and met Richard Kind’s kind parents, and his sister. (They are all now referred to by me as Father Kind, Sister Kind, Mother Kind…you get the jist.) Later, Mary insisted on driving me back to the hotel, which I debated because I knew they had to drive home and then get up and go to work!, but she said yes yes yes and I said yes yes yes because if you know Mary you’d say yes, too! She’s the sweetest soul, truly, so me, Mary and Nancy piled into their car with my guitar across my knee and we drove…and drove…and I would say things like, “Hmm…yes! This is the right way! That looks like the houses we passed by earlier!” and then there was more driving until all the snow and dark of night seemed to start looking the same and the driving went on and I would say “Please stay over in my hotel…I don’t want you driving 3 hours in the dark!” and they’d say no no no and we’d laugh and drive and finally we pulled over and I called the hotel and then wouldn’t you know it a police officer flashing lights whoo whoo up behind us and walking towards the car and now Mary has the phone and she was so calm! I would have hurredly hung up the phone and brushed my hair and been at ATTENTION! for the officer, but she leans out the window into his dazzling overboard flashBEAM and says, “HiWe’reLostandTalkingTotheHotel..” and he says, “Oh, the Hampton Inn?” and she is done by now and disconnects the phone and he points us to the hotel…um, right on the other side of the high way. Oh, that was funny! But the best part is he didn’t give us a ticket, not that we deserved one, but that is what I was expecting. Isn’t that sad? I see a police officer and I feel scared. I remember as a kid I saw one and felt safe. And so, a big shout out of gratitude to our police hero in New Jersey in the snow and cold from three lost, but found, women who have nothing but good intent up their sleeve, I swear!
So, back at the event before we left, I was telling Richard’s parents how much I love Rosemary Clooney and they said, “Oh, we knew Rosemary!” If I had dentures in I would have dropped them, that’s how happy I was! So we talked about Rosemary and then they mention her nephew was the best man at Richard’s wedding, and I look at them quizzically, and they say, “Oh, Richard’s best friend….you know, George Clooney!” Ok, so you can pick YOUR dentures up. I am now
one Kevin Bacon away from George Clooney! Isn’t that cool? I have to say, though, Richard’s sister, Sister Kind, was one of my favorite meets that night. Her joy is so evident, and she has lovely teeth. I must have hugged her at least 7 times. It was a beautiful event. Thank you, Rob, for having me on the cd and including me in the concert. I’d love to do it again!
BACK FURTHER IN TIME…
To the night before this event…
Saturday, March 17
We flew home from St. Thomas…the four of us in my family…after a week on the island…We had flown down for my performance at the Arts Alive!’s series at Tillet Garden. Which, I believe, was sold out and so so so so much FUN. Fun is not a big enough, nor long enough, word for all the festivities and whamma-dimma-ling-long we had there. You must go to Tillet Garden should you ever be in that vacinity! Little art shops and candle shops and delicious food and trees and flowers and, well doncha know, live music! All the way from Texas!
Teresa, my monkey butt friend (long story!), and Kristin deWitt (pal and superb vocalist), Kristin’s best friend, Ann, and Eddy Hobizal (plays keys with us and all over my albums) also all came down. So they had some yummy drinks during their stay at the Mafolie…a terrific hotel that looks out over the whole of the islands. I’ll find pics, yes, I will, and I will post them for your eyes to feast upon HERE.
My arm is starting to cramp, so here is the run down of this fun week:
My family stayed with one of my longest best friends, Alice French, at their mountaintop home. Joe is Italian, drives a Harley, and is a pilot for UPS. He can COOK like no body’s business, so we are all overweight now. Alice is a sea captain and she has no body fat, even though she eats Joe’s cooking all day long. They have a black and white dog named Chili Dog. They have an outdoor shower and potty. You can feel the breeze on your skin and hang your wet bathingsuit on the volcanic rock as you are naked with water flowing from the shower head above. It’s waaaaaaaay cool, and relaxing! Iguanas everywhere. Alice and I have known each other since day one at East Texas State University. We were both in the art dorm for women. She discovered me as I was playing my guitar in the community bathroom and invited me to come hang out with her. Bingo, presto! Instant friends. Alice, I love you. Thanks for all the happy memories you share with me.
Played at a wonderful school for 350 island kids, and we had a ball. Those kids were so well behaved, friendly and ADORABLE! We sang, we laughed, and at the end, I told them if they lined up by class (kindegarten – third), I’d hug anyone who wanted a hug. Guess what? Yep. And some even went and got BACK in line. My arms and heart were so happy!
Played at The Blue Moon for my friend, Julie, who owns this exquisite establishment. Please, do yourself a favor and eat here if you go. It was just yummy and gourmet at it’s finest. Plus, I don’t drink wine, but she has a top notch
wine cellar. Brought my guitar, whipped it out, sang songs, Lily sang the new song we wrote together, iolana danced and entertained, and Lance got up and sang “Take Me With You” with me and magic was abounding. Ice cream to top off that evening. I got Howard, Alice’s brother, up to dance, and sang him a special rendition of “Over the Rainbow” and that was taped for all posterity, too.
Went snorkeling, went kayaking, saw upside down jellyfish (really!), went to Coral World and saw a big fish with his mouth opening/closing/opening/closing, so the girls and I started chanting that he was saying, “Help. Me. Help. Me.”
We saw sea cucumbers (now affectionately dubbed GIANT SEA PENISES!) and we went to Hull Bay and Skinny Beach and Sapphire Bay and we fished and we found wondrous seashells and we shopped (Hello, Kitty!) and we, overall, had an excellent working vacation! Thank you to Doug Dick who believes in me and plays my music on his radio show, and to Larry and to the news casters that came out and captured the event with the children (I have a copy…I’ll add it either here or on my website.) St. Thomas, you rock!
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS:
Since last I wrote, I played at Joseph (Stripey Shirt Man)’s birthday party, where I presented him with two songs I had written as a special gift just for him. I had asked that his friends all send me emails about what makes Joseph special, and wrote a funny song out of those, and then felt God move my heart to write another song (Joseph used to be a minister) entitled “When God Created You.” I like this song so much I will put it on an album soon.
Had Mother/Daughter book club on Tuesday night. We had all read “The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane.” Whenever a mom hosts the club, you create food/snacks that have to do with the book, and a craft related to the reading, as well. So we had fried chicken, baked salmon, biscuits, cherry pie, cinnamon cookies, salad, strawberries, blackberries, celery sticks, corn on the cob, and our craft was to create your own Edward Tulane, who is a rabbit. I also had purchased some cascarones, so all the girls went outside and cracked!whooped!Hollered!confettied each other while we moms relaxed inside.
I dyed my hair red. I’m catching up on emails (and blogging). Booked some more gigs. Played with my dog. Watched the rain come down outside and turn the world green. Ate a gyro.