A Treehouse, Don Quixote, Mud (Kerrville!), Children Galore and Magical Tears

Went on KPIG…did I talk about this yet? Well, I just love Lonesome John! He’s funny! He asked me if I was on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson or Jack Paar! Sang three songs and chatted for a while. People were emailing in…that is one of the cool things about technology…immediacy! Thank you, KPIG, for having me on! Sharon (I think I got that right) and her honey (the handsome man who handles the mics, I apologize for forgetting his name!) both came out to the concert at Treehouse…they held hands MANY TIMES! Hooray for hand holding, I say!

The Treehouse Concert at the lovely home of Greg and Juliet was, indeed, like being in a treehouse…a groovy wooden house, built in the seventies, with odd twists and turns, hidden among shady trees. After a delightful dinner of fresh salmon, cous cous and salad, I popped back up the stairs, decorated with M.C.Escher prints, and wrote out my set list, la-la-laing to warm up on little Sonoma’s baby Taylor guitar. The window was opened, and I could hear the birds pitching in as the wind kissed my cheek. Gotta love California!

The turnout was smaller than expected, but I sang my heart out, and, on occassion, everyone sang along. The room is cozily carpeted, with an old fashioned iron fireplace embedded in the wall to my right, and bay windows to my left which include a cozy built in window seat, about seven feet long, shaped like the letter “L”. Everyone sat in folding chairs, which were all signed on back by the artists who have performed there….Cliff Eberhardt to Michael “Etch a Sketch”
to countless others….later, when the show was over, and everyone had gone home, I got to decorate the back of a chair while being recorded for a pod cast. I was excited to have a variety of sharpie markers to choose from, drawing and simultaneously answering questions about music, life, parenting, art, hopes and dreams…I think you can hear the podcast at http://www.treehouseconcerts.org, if you want to hear what we chatted about.

The day had been very relaxing…Gene had driven me to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium (Juliet works there and got us in for free….!) What an AWESOME aquarium! You can stand under this dome of glass and a giant tidal wave comes crashing down on top of you. And there is a “cafe” where you can order different types of sea food, and it is an interactive art piece that educates you about what is healthy to eat, and what is not…how it is farmed, what is going extinct, etc…all told from pre-recorded/filmed people dressed as a chef, a waitress and a waiter. You have to see it to get it. Very clever…! Gene and I also walked down by the water and looked into the wading pools….lots of teeming life: snails and fish and slithering things! And we spent a good hour, or longer, in a massive antique barn, too. I bought old postcards from the early 1900s. I could sit and look at those all day…the postage was only one penny! And everyone had such curly-q had writing…written in pencil or quill!

Then, after the gig, Gene drove us back to his home in San Jose. Thank God Gene helped me, I was nodding off every time we drove anywhere. I guess my insomnia can not handle sitting in a car….even on windy roads, my head starts nodding and before I know it, I am OUT like a light. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Got up the next day and made breakfast for me and Gene, talked on the phone with Kathy Turner and thanked her profusely for helping me with the previous shows on Saturday, noticed Gene had some weeds, so pulled those out of his fresh sod…He has such a zen space…even his backyard looks like tiny sprites keep it organized! Gene and I went on to Santa Cruz…wow! Didn’t get to go to it, but drove near the MYSTERY SPOT…where gravity does “not” exist! I want to go there, no matter what Gene says! and then got to Don Quixote’s….Nice wait staff, ate some Mexican food, walked around a little bit, until Lake, the soundman, showed up and got me rockin’ and rollin’. Don Quixote’s has very nice sound and a great stage and a junky green room that looks like it is HAUNTED! So, Gene and I stayed out in the main room. My show went well, I was feeling discouraged, but sang my heart out to the folks who came out. One guy, afterwards, asked why I did not sing “I Couldn’t Help Myself” and I apologized. I just never think to sing it! Gosh. I signed some cds for him and then Guy (pronounced “Gee” with a hard “G”) came up and we chatted for awhile…see his entry he posted on my blog before this posting.

All in all, everyone treated me so kindly, and I am eternally grateful for Gene and Kathy and all of you who help to bring me out into the world to share my thoughts in song.

Played children’s shows on Saturday and Sunday….WHAT SUPER FUN! Man o man….That was a blast, both days. Both times, both audiences ended up covering and flooding over the stage. I like having everyone up close!

Sunday, Lance drove in from Austin to bring me home after the evening show….the rain started pouring…I believe, all in all, Kerrville had about 8 inches of rain! Whoo! Floods and muds, my friends! So the whole she-bang got moved from the Main Stage over to the Threadgill Stage, where instead of performing at 7:40 pm, I went on about 9:30ish and got to play with Brian Ashley Jones (guitar) , Tish Simerall (did I spell that right, Tish? pls. let me know!), Kristin DeWitt (vocals) and Lorrie Singer (vocals). Lorrie, Kristin and I walked out and did our soundcheck to “The Star Spangled Banner” in honor of Memorial Day, and it sounded KICK-ASS. Can one be patriotic AND kick-ass? Well, we were. There’s my 2 cents worth! Everyone stood…and sang along…it was gorgeous and moving and singing that song always takes me back to being a kid in elementary school, back when things seemed right and simple and good and you trusted your government and believed everything your parents told you!

I’m so glad Brian had asked me, back when I played Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, if he could play with me sometime. That night, I had said, “Heck, yea!” after hearing him play with Corinne, and so he then asked if his girlfriend, Tish, could play, as well, and there you have it! They were two of the neatest people I’ve met in a long time, and they had the songs charted out and were real pros. After the children’s show on Saturday, we all went to a restaurant and sat for SIX HOURS chatting…gosh, that was SO RELAXING…just chattin’ and laughin’ and chompin’ on chips! Really good folks.

So, Sunday night, after our set, and talking with friends back stage and packing up and paying everybody, Lance and I got in the rain to the car, and Lance drove us home. We got in around 1 a.m…..I slept until 6 a.m., got up and got ready to fly to Dallas.

Memorial Day:

Flew to Dallas. My dear friends, Doug, Jill and Riley Anna, picked me up at the airport and drove me to the Dallas Arboretum where I played for about 750 kids/parents. That was a blast, too! Then I hung out with Chris and Sarah, and we ate chicken wings galore. There was going to be a big Super Pal picnic, but I think the rain kept people home, although the sun had arrived by then. Nice to sit with Chris and Sarah, and lo and behold! Brian and Cheryl and their new baby, Sam! (Brian Hartig, who is one of my all time favorite drummers…he played with me back in Dallas and on the Austin City Limits t.v. show)….We all talked about babies and life and chicken wings.

Sarah had brought me an incredible gift: the kids in her ice skating class had learned a routine to “Birdhouse”, the song I wrote with David Batteau, and she had a framed photo of the kids on ice dressed as different elements of the song…some kids were the wind, the sun, a bee, a bird (in a “silver” cage), and even a ice skater who represented ME! I was in tears! I only wish I could have witnessed the skate routine as it was unfolding the day the performance occurred. Sarah says she thinks one of the parents filmed it, so if a copy comes my way, I will try to post it so you can watch it, too.

Afterwards, I was picked up by Scott and his lovely fiance, Kate, and taken to their dreamy abode near White Rock Lake, where Scott talked with me about creativity, how I could further shape my career, if I should write a book, and many other things. He gave me some insight on some dilemnas I am facing, and for that, I am very grateful for his generous time and advice! Kate made us some yummy snacks, and we sat out in their garden and munched in the raindrops.
Then, it was time to head back to the airport, and get home to my family….

When I got to Love Field, I decided not to check my guitar, but to just get to my gate so I could sit and think about everything that has been going on lately. I made it through the checkpoint, and as I was putting my boots back on, the man behind me said, “Nice boots, lady!” Funny, but something in my head kept saying, “Ask him if he knows Larry….” I was having an inner dialogue, “Nah…just move along!” which was countered with, “Yes, ask him! Really! Do it!”
So, I followed the advice of my inner voice and turned to the gentleman and asked (as he was putting on HIS boots), “Excuse me, do you know Larry Hance, the lawyer?” and he said he did, and then I asked him to tell Larry hello from me next time he saw him, and then he said, “I know you! I like your music very much!” And then, somehow, of course, we were parted by the waves and I headed for my gate.

Which….I might add….was on the complete other side of the airport, so there I was with guitar, backpack, and a sack of gifts someone had brought to the arboretum for the girls, almost to the gate, when I heard over the loudspeakers,
“Sara Hickman, please return to the main checkpoint…Sara Hickman…” And I was like, “UGH!” cuz I was going to have to lug all this stuff all the way back across the airport, AND make it back in time to board, when out of the blue walked the nice gentleman who I had just mentioned, and he says, “Did you hear your name? Do you want me to watch all your things while you go back?” and I was SO GRATEFUL and then I realized WHY THE VOICE IN MY HEAD had insisted I talk to Spike (that was his name!) because he was on the SAME FLIGHT AS ME!!!! Can you believe it? Of course you can!

So, I thanked him profusely, left my stuff in his care, and started the hike back to the checkpoint….almost there, I was walking down the ramp, when up walked a security guard with a huge smile. He walked right up to me, my drivers license in his hand, and he says,

“You don’t know how many happy memories you brought up when I found your drivers license…”

And I looked at him and threw my arms around him and gave him a HUGE hug and said, “Bless you!”

And he pulled away, and he had TEARS in his eyes, and he said, “You probably don’t remember me, but I used to be the store manager at Sound Warehouse on Greenville Avenue…”

And I said, “Oh, I DO!” and I did, and I started to weep, too….and there we were, two old acquaintances, changed by the years and our circumstances, and we hugged again, and there was this happy, but sad, feeling in the air, as if we both understood how much has changed in the world since those days: the way people treat one another, the way music has changed, the way the world has changed….it didn’t even need to be said.

I walked back to that gate…and I felt so calm, so loved, by all these constant reminders that we are all connected on so many levels. And then….I had an in-depth conversation with Spike about legal matters, about lawyers (he’s a lawyer) about politics…it was all so good.

And then I slept on the plane, and dreamed of someone I love very much, and I woke up, ready to grab my guitar, get to my van, and head home to my children, my husband, my dog, and the resounding sound of,

“Mom’s hooooooooome!”

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