Thursday, 15 March 2018

Spring is in the air

This Saturday is Saint Patrick's Day, the day when Irish musicians play their hearts out or we stay home. I have been a SOLO Irish musician for some ten years. On the few occasions that I was honored to play a gig with other awesome musicians on St. Patrick's Day, I had a blast and I will do that again anytime! Being solo on Saint Patrick's Day is like going to a Valentine's Day dance and being the only single person who shows up. There are so many reasons for Irish musicians, both solo and whole bands, to stay home.  Here are a few:
  1. Playing music in the corner of a bar for drunk people who are shouting louder than you can sing with a microphone turned to 11... gets really tiring.
  2. Singing over a bagpipe band literally ten feet away... gets really tiring.
  3. Hearing pickup lines that include something like, "you're probably not as crazy as my first through fifth wife,"... gets really tiring.
  4. Working your fingers, voice, and heart to death while everyone else parties... gets really tiring.
  5. Dragging all your gear from gig to gig while everyone asks if you'll be playing "Danny Boy" soon... gets really tiring. 
  6. Sleeping in the car after the gig because it's safer than driving through Drunk-town, USA... gets really tiring.
  7. Eating junk food between sets because you can't leave because you'll lose your parking spot (where you're storing gear between sets), and the bar is too busy to serve you... gets really tiring.
  8. Having to run around trying to find the busy manager who has my paycheck... gets really tiring.
  9. Having to create my own stage, pissing off the waitresses but doing what the owner said... gets really tiring.
  10. Free beer for the band.... oh, wait, THAT doesn't get tiring. 
All that said, if you go to a Saint Patrick's Day celebration, be kind to the band. Ask if they'd like some food. They'd probably rather you didn't touch their gear, but you could offer to hold the door. Every Irish musician I know loves, truly loves, the music they play. Let them know you appreciate the heart they bring to the celebration. You know it wouldn't be the same in silence!

The herb garden :-)
This year, I stayed home for an entirely different reason. We are less than two weeks away from our spring trip. We are madly taming the property as it comes alive this spring. Things are growing, and we'd like to come home to a home, not a jungle. Bird feeders are up, gardens are planted, and the big old junk-container is nearing a phase of usability.
Bird feeder I made! Here, birdie, birdie!
Old container - redoing the roof and floor.

We are looking forward to this itinerary:

  • Millwood State Park in Arkansas. 
  • Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee.
  • Caesar Creek State Park in Ohio.
  • St. Louis, Missouri with family.
  • Keystone State Park in Oklahoma.
  • Cedar Hill State Park in Texas.
You might notice the pattern of state parks. We like supporting state and national parks. We find that most are well maintained and loved with trails, and simple comforts like showers. However, not ALL have these! In our trip up to Alaska, we found several states that offer only rustic accommodations. I am planning an entire chapter (or more) in our book devoted to states' parks.

We have already looked up what breweries are in those areas. Breweries are another pattern of ours. We like the atmosphere and local flavor found in small passionate breweries. Anne is planning an entire chapter (or more) in our book devoted to the popularity and rise of small breweries, things we have discovered, and other factoids.

In the weeks to come, look forward to seeing some travel-filled posts. This will be our last "test-run" before the big trip to Alaska this summer. So much to look forward to, we can hardly stand it!!

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