Monday, October 29, 2012

The last weekend

Friday night, after we'd calmed the kids down from the scary movie, it was grown up time.  The Big Lebowski -- surprisingly, the first time Don had ever seen it.  Daniel was given the DVD by their friend Peter, enclosed in a little plastic bowling ball, of course.

But first, White Russians!  Daniel made them up for all of us -- although Tarah opted to stick with wine, because she apparently drinks them like milkshakes and usually regrets it.  Perhaps we should have paid attention... the rest of us definitely had more than one over the course of the movie.  We blame the dairy, yup, the dairy...

Saturday was sailing day -- Tarah and Daniel had already taken the boat to its winter home in Dartmouth, but it still wasn't out of the water.  It was a gorgeous day, so they picked us up in the morning for one last sail.  Beautiful but chilly -- we were wearing many layers!  The kids had survived the night nightmare-free and were bright and cheery.  Grammy packed a picnic, and we had a grand sail from their dock to downtown Halifax and back -- the boat will be being packed up Wednesday (hurricane-permitting), so it was a lovely final sail of the season!

After the sail, we took everyone out to the pub for a thanks-for-taking-care-of-us-all-week last supper, then brought the kids back to Grammy's for their usual Saturday sleepover.  More reading and snuggles, and then we got all our stuff packed up ready to leave the next day.

Sunday morning was the usual breakfast club -- a group of multi-generational friends who meet regularly at a local restaurant for breakfast at 8:30 every Sunday.  Yes, we were awake for breakfast.  Yes, even Alyssa.

Then it was time for us to hit the road.  Big hugs for the breakfast crew, hugs and good-byes for the family.  Gigantic bear hugs and good-byes from Lilly.  And Wyatt... Wyatt... Wyatt?  Sitting on the sidewalk, not meeting our eyes, refusing to say good-bye or give a hug.  Lilly used to do a similar thing at his age -- I always interpreted it as her punishing me for leaving, but perhaps there's just something at that age?  Where they understand that people are leaving them, but don't know how to process it or express it... (Or maybe they were just punishing us, I don't know -- he was super-cheery and cuddly earlier.)

Then we hit the highway for the l-o-n-g drive.  Halifax had been preparing for the hurricane, but according to the weather reports, we were actually going to be driving INTO it.  So we opted to make it a super-long driving day, so we could hopefully get home before the worst hit.

And so, Sunday was a 12-hour drive -- oy!  Halifax to Dorion (just west of Montreal).  The time change was with us, at least, so we arrived about 10pm, checked in to the Super 8, and headed next door for dinner, just before the kitchen closed.  It was the same place we went on our way home in June -- you may remember the dinner plate full of mashed potatoes -- so we were wise and asked for steamed vegetables instead of mashed potatoes this time.  It was a much better portion, thank goodness!

This morning, we checked the weather, and it seems our route is clear.  So far, the skies are grey and there are a couple of gusts starting up, but we've gotten past Kingston now, and still no rain or ridiculous winds.  Should be home by mid-afternoon, so we should beat the worst of it.  Hopefully there's some food in the house, just in case the storm does get bad... can't remember what's in the cupboards!

Oh, there we go, just before I hit "publish" the windshield got a little spattering.  Watch our Twitter feed (, if you're concerned.

Alyssa & Don

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More reasons to love doing what we do

This little "tourette" has been chock-full of reminders of why we do what we do -- what we give, and what we gain by saying to hell with security and stability.  :-)

Discovering the town of Tatamagouche, Fables Club and its owners Hanna and Chuck, and its members and patrons was one such reminder -- well probably a handful of reminders all rolled into one biggie!

So many things to tell, it's hard to know where to start...  It was a beautiful drive up from Halifax, with lots of fall colours.  Tatamagouche is on the north shore of Nova Scotia, in a land that Rogers wireless service has forgotten (Hanna warned us, fortunately, so we had our map ready to go, rather than rely on our phone's GPS.)  As with coming in to NS, the first thing that welcomes you to Tatamagouche is a sea of windmills, scattered throughout the hills.  As Chuck later told us, Tatamagouche's electrical system is entirely wind-based, and they sell energy back into the grid.  As we also found out later that evening, despite a local population of about 700, there are THREE charging stations in town for electrical cars, and several electrical car owners in the area.  The store owners have also all agreed to deal in local organic / sustainable products, or fair trade if they have to go outside for things like coffee or chocolate.  Unlike most small towns in the province (or any province, really), Tatamagouche actually has young people moving here to start family farms -- and the established families are happy to see the influx, as they know these new folks will keep the area alive, unlike some of its neighbours.

Again, despite the population of 700, Fables Club has been running for four years now, with events at least four days a week, live music being at least two of those nights.  Chuck and Hanna have created a wonderful establishment that seems to have become a cultural centre for the community -- a live music venue, poetry and spoken word, art lessons and workshops, photography and art on the walls, book exchange on the shelves, philosophical and political discussion groups... as we were setting up our gear, one local author came in to autograph a few of his books they were going to sell for him.  A super-artistic and environmentally aware community, that seems to be doing a number of things just right.  As Don commented, they should really be held up as a template for other small communities.  All it takes is a few people to create the spark and bring folks on board.

We set ourselves up and did a wee sound check, and then Hanna came out with our dinner -- chimichangas to die for!  She's originally from California, and loves to cook, both of which shine through in her creations.  Just the perfect blend of spice, without hiding the natural flavours of the food. She offered us seconds, and we would have been tempted if not for the fact that we'd have been too stuffed to sing!

There was still quite a bit of time before the show started, though, so we followed Chuck to their house for a bit of relaxing.  And what a house -- which Chuck designed.  Right on the water, lots of windows, and a whole dorm-like apartment above the garage, where they apparently welcome many musicians coming through, as there were at least five beds up there, including one he'd brought back from his time in Saudi Arabia, which was even bigger than a king sized -- we could sleep starfish-style and still not get anywhere close to each other -- and super-comfy.

Before seeing the bed, though, we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen recently ("I got it just for you!" Chuck assured us).  Tried for a photo, but it didn't do it justice.  We were greeted by geese as we walked up the driveway.  Then the friendly grunts of Porkquois, the "miniature" (but still over 250 pounds) pot-bellied pig in his outdoor pen.  As we came through the house, though, it was time for the fierce hounds -- three yellow labs, wiggling in excitement that company was here.  I warned Chuck he'd better count the dogs before we left.  :-)

Chuck headed back to the club, leaving us to nap and get ready for the show.  We found our way back a little before 7:30, as folks were starting to arrive.  As it was Margarita Thursday, Chuck offered us a couple, but we thought we'd better wait, so opted for the water bar instead.  We started chatting with a few patrons, including a local playwright -- so many artsy folks in this town!  Nobody, of course, had heard of us, as we've never played anywhere near the area before, but they all trusted Hanna's taste, so came to check us out anyhow.

As we started, a number of folks moved up into the tables right in front of us -- perhaps they'd originally been worried we'd be too loud, or were hoping to make a silent exit if we were horrible.  ;-)  It's definitely a listening audience at Fables -- any conversation still lingering quickly got "the eye" from other patrons.  We'd been asked to do a few shorter sets, so drinks could be served on the breaks without interrupting the music.  It had the feeling of a very large house concert, in your favourite (quiet) pub.

In our final break, we gave in and accepted our Margaritas, made by Chuck -- and cursed ourselves for not accepting them earlier (while simultaneously patting ourselves on the back, because we probably wouldn't have remembered any lyrics if we'd started earlier!).  Don never fancied himself a Margarita man, but Chuck has convinced him now!  (Next time we come, he's going to ply us with Singapore Slings, instead -- this could be dangerous...)

Before we'd finished our last song, Hanna had already invited us to come back -- but on a Saturday next time, so more people would come out, and our fee would be higher.  Well... twist our arms!  :-)  A handful of people stayed behind to chat with us for a bit after the show, and we learned more about the town and all the incredible things going on in the community.  Truly impressive.  Having gone stir-crazy in a town of 1200, I don't think I could handle 700, but if we weren't such city-people, we would be very tempted...

Another Margarita (mmm!) and a bit of tidying-up, and then the four of us headed back to the house to unwind.  We learned more about our hosts, and really enjoyed talking with them.  Chuck was also from the States -- New Jersey in his case -- but had spent many years in Singapore and Saudi Arabia.  He had an environmental "epiphany" while he and Hanna were driving somewhere and heard an interview with Noam Chomsky on the radio.  He had to stop the car, to finish listening, and he says that interview switched his life around -- he went from being a former worker in the oil business to being an environmental and social activist.  Hanna was already pretty much there, but this was a big change for him.  His family thinks he's lost his mind, but he feels like he's finally seeing things clearly.  He's on the committee that brought in the wind power, and the two of them seem to be a part of many of the initiatives in the community -- something the Fables patrons are more likely to tell you about than they are.  An amazing couple!

We headed up to bed (saying goodnight to the dogs on the way), and fell into mini-comas.

The next morning, Hanna had been up to her culinary magic again, making us omelettes with chuckless beans and salsa.  Anyone who knows my breakfast tendencies will be shocked to hear that I ate the whole darned thing, and loved every minute of it.

Sadly, we had to get back to Halifax for lunch / babysitting the kidlets -- next time we will make sure to schedule more time to just hang out in town and with our hosts -- so we had to depart with big hugs for our new friends, and a promise to keep in touch.  We also worked out the date of our return -- Saturday, May 25.  We can't wait to come back!

As mentioned, Friday was our day to look after our niece and nephew (they had a P.D. day from school, but Daniel was at a conference in Fredericton and Tarah had an afternoon teleconference).  When they got to Grammy's house, we told them we'd thought we'd go to DeeDee's ice cream for lunch -- expecting whoops of joy.  But they didn't want to share us with the world, they wanted egg salad sandwiches at home.  No ice cream?!?!?  Who ARE you children?!?!?  So we enjoyed a quiet lunch at home, and played a bit, but then instead of going to the art gallery as planned, all they wanted to do was read books with us -- ah, ok, you DO share some genes with me, phew! (not that I have anything against art, it's just that reading books was always my favourite thing to do, too)  Lilly and Uncle Don got a bit sleepy, and each decided to go off to their own corners for a nap, and Wyatt and I made it through all the "Mister" books on the shelf.

Uncle Don was down for the count, so once the kidlets were up, we left him to his snoring and headed back to their house, where their mother was equally shocked that they hadn't gone for the ice cream!  It was a good thing Uncle Don was still snoozing, though, because Tarah was just finishing icing his (belated) birthday cake (shaped like a guitar, of course!), and Lilly still had to ice the cupcakes.  Some of that icing ended up in her hair, much in her mouth, but she did an amazing job at decorating them -- each cupcake had a white icing base, and she used the icing bag to squeeze two chocolate eighth-notes on each of them too.  (Icing ability obviously comes from genes that skipped me...)

Daddy came home, with new moccasins for the kids (they LOVED them!) that he'd picked up on the way home.  We gave Uncle Don a call and got him to come over -- he didn't know we'd even left.  :-)  Tarah made us Dark'n'Stormy's while we all chatted away -- a NS specialty of rum, lime and ginger beer.

The kids had earned a special pizza-and-movie night (a rarity for them, as they've only seen 4 movies, and don't watch TV), so they were... let's say a LITTLE excited.  Picture Mexican Jumping Beans on speed...  I can't remember the name of the place Tarah & Daniel get their pizza from, but it's not your ordinary pizza.  The kidlets just had a basic cheese and sauce, but the adults got to choose between a red pesto pizza with gorgonzola, or a smoked mozzarella with wild mushrooms and heavenly seasonings.  I don't think that's how the flyer described it, but it works.  Can't remember what the wine was, either, but I do believe there were a few different bottles... might have something to do with the not remembering?

The movie the kids had wanted to watch wasn't available yet at the video store, so they'd picked The Muppet Movie: Treasure Island.  Note to parents, this might be a little TOO scary for five-year-olds!!!  Of course, it did mean that the five-year-old wanted extra snuggles, so this aunt is not going to complain.  :-)  Lilly found it scary too, but seemed to be able to separate it a bit better -- as Wyatt told me later, he forgot to remind himself it was just a story.  The word "pirate" was not allowed to be used for at least 24 hours after that.

Tarah and I got to do the bedtime snuggles, and we tried to find as many silly stories from our childhood as we could find, to get Wyatt's brain off of pirates.  I think we succeeded, because the next morning he was smiling and cheerful again, and happily announced he hadn't had any nightmares.  We'll see what happens when he goes to therapy in his 30's...  ;-)

We're about to stop for lunch, so I'll post this now, and fill you in on the rest of the weekend later.

Alyssa (and Don, who is driving the car, so not typing, thank goodness...)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Double Trouble in Shelburne

We set off down the highway Monday morning to Shelburne, NS -- the furthest down that part of the province we've been.  It was a gorgeous day for driving, and the colours were spectacular!  Unfortunately, Alyssa's nose decided to do a spontaneous re-enactment of Noah and the flood -- playing the part of the flood, of course.  Ah geez, just as Don was getting rid of his cold, he handed it on to Lyss -- argh!

We pulled into Shelburne just after lunch -- a very sweet-looking town -- and easily found the Charlotte Lane Cafe, where we were meeting our hosts and co-performers, Naming the Twins.  We were a bit early, though (Don seems to shave quite a bit off the GPS's projected arrival time!), and nobody else was there yet.  So we decided to walk down the hill to the waterfront, and see what we could see.  We saw one of the Twins, Kathleen, walking up the road with her husband, Roland -- the chef at Charlotte Lane.  They gave us a wee tour of the lakeshore, but the wind was picking up, so we quickly retreated back up the hill to the restaurant -- meeting a neighbour and an ADORABLE puppy.  One of three remaining unsold from the litter.  And did we mention adorable?

Alyssa was strong.  You would be proud.  (Don was relieved.)

Our concert was to be held in the apartment above the cafe -- most of the chairs had already been brought up (the restaurant is closed on Mondays), so we didn't have too much set-up left to do.  The cafe is just beautiful -- do check out the website, although we did take a few photos that I'll try to upload soon.

Robbie arrived (the other Twin), and we got down to rehearsing a bunch of tunes we could play together.  We were able to get a bunch done -- 11 in all.  Our voices were holding up, which was a good thing -- although we had a box of kleenex and a rapidly-filling garbage bag next to us the whole time.

We headed next door (Kathleen and Roland live in the house next door -- a beautiful old place that they had to gut and completely refurbish, but it's now absolutely SPECTACULAR, with a big, gorgeous eat-in kitchen.)  Roland made us up some delicious fish cakes (I ate more than the boys, they were THAT good!), Kathleen whipped up a salad, and we sat around the huge kitchen table, chatting away. Whoops -- perhaps a little too long!  We rushed back to the apartment to finish the last-minute set-up and get changed, just as the first guests were arriving, right on the dot of 7:00 ("doors open" time).

The show was set up as a double-bill with The Brights and Naming The Twins (or The Brights and The Dims, as Kathleen introduced us) -- we swapped songs back and forth, and played together on over half the program.  The audience was filled with people who knew The Twins, but we were completely new to them.

Kathleen had been taking phone calls all day from people who had reserved tickets, but were too sick to come.  I joked they might as well join us in our misery -- if we had to be there, so did they.  ;-)  But... I completely understood how they felt, as the bed was looking mighty snuggly and inviting to me as well.  So the numbers weren't what she had hoped, but there were still well over 20 people there who were healthy (at least until they shook our hands!)

And it was a really fun crowd, too -- and boy, did they like to sing!  We heard at least one person singing along on "My Cup" which was our first song, and one that nobody there had heard before.  We later asked them to join us on a few others, and boy, did they ever -- I don't think we've ever had that many people singing along so confidently on anything we've done before (other than when our audience is packed with friends who already know all our stuff).  They liked to ask questions and joke around with us too.  We chatted with a bunch of folks over the intermission and after the show, and it was a really great bunch of folks.  We might even have another house concert in Ontario out of this one!

Fortunately, our bodies behaved during the performance -- our voices held just fine, and the kleenex box went unused.  The only problem was a few coughing fits by Alyssa when the others were singing -- sorry!  (You'll have to let her sing along on EVERYTHING next time! )

Once the show was over, however, the floodgates opened again.  Oh well, at least it held off for the show.

We deconstructed the concert room and sat down for some wine and more chit-chat.  Then Kathleen and Robbie headed out and left us to our own devices in the apartment, leaving a note for the restaurant staff to please be quiet in the morning.  :-)  We crashed into the bed and remained in a coma until morning!

The staff did a good job of tip-toeing in the hall, which was very good of them, since they did have to come up and down the stairs a number of times.  We got dressed and headed over to the house, feeling guilty to not be up before 9:30 -- and found that Kathleen had just gotten up, herself.  Phew!  Robbie came over, and we all had a nice breakfast together, before Kathleen had to get started on payroll, and we had to hit the road.  Big hugs to all!

As we were leaving town, we took a little jaunt around to take a peek -- we definitely want to go back for a longer visit sometime, it's a delightful town!

We got back to Halifax and spent the afternoon moping and whining about our colds.  :-(  The kidlets were out at gymnastics and didn't get home until bedtime, so we treated ourselves to dinner at the Brooklyn Warehouse -- where we try to go every time we're here.  So now, the all-important Food and Drink Report!

We had a bottle of Juan Gill Monastrell -- which we hadn't tried before, but is absolutely delicious.  We shared a Caprese salad -- a selection of (juicy) NS heirloom tomatoes, marinated boccocini and basin in a lemon-thyme vinaigrette.  For mains, Don chose the Short Rib -- a bourbon-glazed pork rib over white bean ragout, sweet valley corn in a rosemary jus.  I went for the Gnocchi -- roasted potato gnocchi, oven-roasted tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, wilted spinach, ran-cher acres goat cheese, marinated olives and arugula pesto.  I actually managed to eat the whole darned thing, too!  (Probably because we shared the appetizer.)  Service was lovely, as always.  Our only complaint was that they don't have as many vegetarian options as they used to -- what Alyssa ordered was pretty much all she could order.

Today, we've spent the morning whining and moaning again.  ;-)  Although Don did make it to the closest Starbucks to try and re-download ProTools on his laptop -- didn't work, unfortunately, since his purchase code is on the computer at home.  Poop...

Later, Don will be heading to a massage to try and fix his sore arm, and Alyssa will be picking up the kids from school -- then we'll all meet for a family dinner.

The food-and-drink lunch report is egg salad sandwiches, made by Mom.  :-)

Tomorrow, we're off to Tatamagouche, to make our debut at Fables.  If you know anyone in the area, do send them our way, so we aren't sad and lonely.  :-)

Musically -- and a little snottily and whiningly,
Alyssa & Don

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Off to a great start

We weren't feeling too optimistic about our first gig on this eastern 'tourette' -- Don was getting a cold, his injured hand was still bothering him, our host had been saying things like "I hope somebody comes" and "you can put CDs out on the table, but people don't buy CDs here", we were crabby after two days in the car together and not enough sleep, we were woefully under-rehearsed, due to numerous pressures on our time pre-departure, and the fact that while it's easy to catch up on work at the computer in the car, it's not so easy to practise lap slide and cello in the car (nor is it likely legal).  We figured we'd just put a brave face forward, visit some friends and call it a glorified rehearsal.  We were, thankfully, mistaken.

As we pulled in, Kathryn was watching out the bay window for us -- meaning she obviously saw us drive too far and double back.  Oops...  Kathryn is an old friend from Alyssa's Cannington days -- an avid folkie and a United Church minister.  She'd actually been brave enough to hire Alyssa on several occasions to replace the church organist on summer vacations for services in "her" churches in Wilfrid and Eudora.  (Considering Alyssa had quit piano lessons after a crash-course in Grade 6 for university entrance, we can only hope that God is forgiving... or at least has a sense of humour.)  She'd transferred out to lead the parish in Clifton, NB a little over three years ago -- we visited her and hubby Roger on our way home from NS shortly after they'd moved, and given an impromptu house concert for the choir after their rehearsal.  Since then, we'd all said we should play there again, but the timing had never worked out.  This time, though, the timing worked perfectly, and we were invited to be part of Central United Church's 50th anniversary celebrations.  Still, Kathryn was nervous about attendance, as she thought the community's tastes ran more in the country side, and she wasn't sure if they'd come out for some unknown Ontario folkies.  She was, thankfully, mistaken.

We pulled in to the manse and sat down for a cup of tea with Kathryn and Roger, shaking off some of the stress of the road.  This is not, mind you, a typical manse -- there are Buddhas everywhere, as well as First Nations, Celtic, Norse and other sacred symbols and art.  Roger, the Buddhist, has probably been a source of much perplexity to this small town parish, but he still leads the church choir, and they seem to have gotten used to the concept.  :-)  Both have such a sense of openness and curiosity, it's not difficult to see how they ended up together -- but it must have taken some adjustment for a very traditional community to wrap their heads around the idea.  The congregation really seems to have embraced Kathryn and Roger, though, so good on them.

We finish our tea as Gordon and Kay arrive -- Gordon is the church's sound person, and Kay is in the choir.  They help us load things into the church and get set up for sound check -- which Gordon leads, assisted by Joanne and observed by Muriel.  We opt to keep it simple, with a nice juicy condenser mic in the middle, and a vocal mic each, just to boost the lyrics up a bit when needed.  Gordon says he's never had to do sound for this type of ensemble before, but the entire set-up and sound check takes only a half hour.  Gordon and Kay come back to the house with us, where Roger is busy in the kitchen, preparing a light dinner for us.  It smells fantastic!

The six of us sit down to poached salmon, a delicious quinoa dish, salad and warm bread -- and lots of fun conversation.  Sure beats road food.  :-)  The church choir has prepared two songs of welcome to us  to start out the concert -- Don asks if everyone thinks they might want to join us on a song, Kay thinks they'd be up for it, Kathryn's not so sure, but everyone agrees we might as well ask them!  They head next door for the choir warm-up, and we do our own warm up and get changed before heading over.

Don brings his guitar down to the last bit of the choir practise, prepared for rejection but that was, thankfully, mistaken.  :-)  The choir is super-enthusiastic about singing along, and I can hear their voices coming up through the floor -- a joyful noise, indeed.

The church starts to fill up -- we got over 70 people by the end of it, much more than anyone was expecting -- and, contrary to Kathryn and Roger's warnings, they aren't all hiding in the back pews.  There are also many people from outside the church who have seen the newspaper article and posters, and thought they'd give us a try.  We are grateful to anyone who takes a chance on new music (especially ours!).

The choir files in, and begins with a song about the area, written by a local woman whose name I'm afraid I've lost, accompanied on piano.  The second song is about the women of Baie Chaleur (which we're looking out on), accompanied by Joanne on guitar, and some other music on Roger's laptop.  Unfortunately, there's a technical glitch, and while the audience can hear the recorded music, it isn't being fed back to the choir, and their voices get very very quiet, hoping to find their way back to the beat of the recording.  The technical error is corrected, and they start again, this time with the choir being able to hear their accompaniment -- their voices are much stronger and their faces less strained on this second version.  :-)  A great job, and a lovely welcome -- we're already having a wonderful night!

We started our first set, and any doubts that the folks wouldn't "get" our rootsy music were quickly dispelled.  Don asked during one introduction whether folks were interested in hearing the stories behind the songs -- heads bobbed everywhere, they wanted to know it all.  We were home.  :-)

A very quick stretch break, where we were warned half the audience would probably leave -- but very few did.  We commented to each other how much fun we were having, and what a great community feel there was.  Rather than disapproving comments from some of the older churchy folks, they were most enthusiastic, and even the apparent great-grannies stuck around.

The second set began with the choir joining us for Don's song "Oh So Much Pavement" -- another fabulous job.  If only we'd had more foresight and time to bring them in on more songs!

After the concert, the UCW had prepared a reception -- and folks stayed to chat and nibble for quite a long time.  We got many comments about how the concert felt like the old coffee houses, and one woman seemed positively thrilled when I told here they were starting to make a comeback in other parts of the country.  And once again, we were pleasantly surprised when the CD table was surrounded by folks who wanted to take us home -- one woman even grabbed a handful of our postcards, to give to her brother and other friends who she wanted to tell about us.  We were asked many times when we'd be coming back -- we feel loved.  :-)

After packing up, we headed back to Kathryn and Roger's with Gordon and Kay for a glass of wine (or three) and more fun conversation.  Kay and Gordon are both Clifton natives, with many generations ahead of them, so have lots of knowledge about the area, which was interesting to learn.  They managed to pry themselves off home around midnight, and the rest of us kept chattering away.  Around 1:00, Kathryn said it was time for bed -- but we still didn't actually make it there until about 2:00.  Not such a big deal for we night-owls, especially with the time change, but I have a feeling the other four aren't used to such crazy bed-times!  (Surprisingly, we weren't the ones keeping the conversations going, though.)

We all fell into comas (a very comfy futon -- Don didn't move once before morning, which is unusual for him) with big smiles on our faces.

In the morning, Roger demonstrated his electronic bagpipes for Don (he assured me it wasn't a hint to get out of bed, but I don't entirely believe him...), and then we had breakfast and yet more conversation.  (One woman from the audience called to tell us how much she had enjoyed our concert -- warmed the cockles of our heart, it did!)  We could have probably gone on for several more days, but there's a niece and nephew waiting patiently for us in Halifax, so we bid our adieu-s and frapped la rue.  It's been a bit drizzly today, some places downright rainy, but the fall colours have been gorgeous, and we managed to avoid any close encounters with moose.

In a week where we've been busy, stressed, and perhaps a little on the cranky-pants side, this was EXACTLY the type of gig we needed -- the kind that reminds us why we've ditched stability for a life in music, and why we haul ourselves across the country to share it.  Sharing our ideas with others, learning others' ideas and seeing how they all fit together.  Music, religion, philosophy, science, tradition, integration, it all weaves together.  Friends, community, communion.  Music, love, wine, conversation and some really good food.  What more could we want out of life?

Musically and movedly and moving rapidly toward Halifax,
Lyss & Don