Two weeks away from work. Two weeks to be home, to be storytelling, to be canning, to be petting the dogs and playing with the cats. Two weeks to hang out with grandchildren. To cook. To clean. To read. And to go to Augusta Heritage Center for Irish/Celtic Week.
I cannot recall having two whole weeks off from work that weren't because of illness or tragedy. This is a first for me and I have a lot planned. First, my daughter-in-law Jennifer and granddaighters Kate, Cassidy and Allison are here, arriving last night on Jen's birthday. We all went out to dinner with Amy and her boys and Jordan, Ethan and great-grandbaby Cadyn to celebrate.
Next, grandchildren Clayton and Grace are coming tomorrow. They will be here for a whole week. I have storytelling performances at libraries in Sistersville and St. Mary's, Center Point, West Union, and Moundsville during the week so we'll do a little traveling while they're here. They've been to Sistersville and Moundsville with me before, but the other places will be new to them. Clayton and Grace are a lot of help too, when I'm on the road. They help set up, help with crafts, and sometimes even help with telling stories. And we have so much fun exploring--last time we went to the Moundsville Penitentiary and stayed at the supposedly haunted Wells Inn.
The tomatoes are coming in now so I expect to do a little canning during the week, and pickle-making because the cucumbers are doing well too. The peaches might ripen this week so that's one more thing to put up for winter.
At the end of the week I'll be packing for Augusta. I've never been to the workshops or festival so this is really a treat for me. I could not afford to go if it were not for the grant I received from the WV Arts Commission. I submitted my application last January and just heard last week that I was approved. The grant pays 50% of the cost which makes the difference between going and not going for me. And even more fun, granddaughter Cassidy will be there too, taking the guitar workshops. I am really looking forward to spending time with her, and I think she's going to meet some swesome people.
When vacation is over, it's back to work for a few days, then head up to Pittsburgh to be a featured teller at the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival. I've been there before as volunteeer and regional teller but this year I will be a featured national teller. I'll be with Tim Tingle, one of the best storytellers I have ever heard. He is intense, digging deep into his Choctaw heritage to bring understanding and hope to history. I will never forget the time he sang Amazing Grace in Choctaw. I had to find a quiet place to sit for the next hour because I was speechless, literally, with emotion and pleasure in what I had heard.
Ah, vacation. Can't wait to get started.