Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumn (or, "What I Did on My Summer Vacation")

Happy Fall, everyone! I hung my autumn acorn wreath on the front door yesterday, so I know it's that time of year. Not to mention these cooler days and it getting dark earlier and earlier (makes it harder to get an evening walk in!).

I hope everyone had a great summer. I'm glad to be back in the swing of a more structured schedule, but boy was my summer fun... the first time in I don't remember when that I had no commitments and nowhere to be. So, I traveled! I visited my mother for a week in Virginia, visited in-laws in Michigan for a week and got a behind-the-scenes tour of a 2000 acre cherry farm. Did you know that on a production farm like that, the cherries are shaken out of the tree for only 3 seconds, and then never again until the next year? The entire harvest for an individual tree is 3 seconds a year! Wow, that amazed me. On the Michigan trip we also spent a day at Mackinac Island, on a tandem bike pedaling around the island. Later in the summer I spent a week in Maine with a friend of ours whose family owns a 6 acre island in the middle of Moosehead Lake, no electricity, no bridge:

Looks relaxing, right? Well, it was amazingly relaxing most of the time. However, for almost all of our trip, it was raining and cold and the wind was whipping. The island is 5 miles from the nearest marina, so getting back and forth on the family sailboat was over an hour's trip... and the motor boat over 20 minutes. And boy, let me tell you... an hour on a sailboat in the rain, even with the cover is pretty WET! and COLD! (when you're in the northern areas of Maine). Here are my hosts shuttling to the main boat so that we can load our bags to return home:

I wish I could re-create the wind and rain on this blog. Just suffice it to say that while I was struggling to hold the tarp over our bags on the dock, I felt like I was in the middle of the movie "The Shipping News".

Later in August I treated my husband to his dream trip... one to visit the last 4 states of his endeavor to visit all 50 states! His last four were adjoining... and so we flew into Denver and drove 1400 miles in 4 days, visiting Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. I normally wouldn't schedule every minute of every day on a trip, but I had to for this in order to get all the states in--and we were so busy we both completely lost all sense of time and forgot all about any at-home stresses. In Kansas we visited the oh-so-enthralling (facetious) Wizard of Oz museum, in Oklahoma we were in the tippy point of the panhandle staying in a cabin in a town of 13 residents, and saw some of the most amazing star views I have ever seen in my life. We also visited the tri-state marker on the borders of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado:

In New Mexico we hiked around the crater of an extinct volcano at Capulin National Monument, and saw fossilized dinosaur footprints! We also saw fossilized wagon wheel ruts from the Santa Fe trail (after my GPS at one point told us to turn the car into a field to drive on the Santa Fe trail to get to our destination, LOL). But, maybe the GPS wasn't so far off after all... here is our rental car when we went to see the wagon wheel ruts:

To round up our trip, we went to the Colorado State Fair and saw a rodeo. All, in all, great fun!

My garden is looking spectucular at the moment, despite my having traveled so much. The only thing I regret (sort-of... the trips were worth it!) was that I let my amazing basil harvest go to seed. I had great hopes of making tons of pesto batches... and I had the basil to do it, too... but alas, I guess I can't do everything!

Now the fall schedule has started. I'm back in the swing of piano teaching and planning lots of music stuff. I decorated my music studio with great art and hung black curtains over the french doors to encourage me to sequester myself in there to work on piano projects. Jody and I gave a very fun private concert for Volvo Powertrain last week at the incredibly beautiful Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown. I also spent a bunch of time in my at-home stretches this summer working on a new version of The Lonely Cobbler, including sheet music that will be forthcoming. I put together a kids' show on creativity that I auditioned before a group of librarians last week, looking to get hired for summer reading club performances next year. Now I'm working on a collaboration with guitarist Tim Farrell, and gearing up for my trip to Nashville this weekend for a Whisperings solo piano concert with Joseph Akins, Philip Wesley, and Greg Maroney, and also practicing some Jewish music to perform for at a High Holy Days service at the Nashville Unitarian church. Lots more stuff is coming up this fall... and I'm very excited!

My next garden project is cleaning out my "meadow beds" in order to sow wildflower seeds and plant meadow perennials.

happy fall!

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