I'm here, and have been so busy that I have not had time to post! It's been a whirlwind for the past two weeks. Now I see some downtime ahead, and I am looking forward to slowing down, catching up, and looking ahead.
Here's where we've been: we got home from Virginia last Sunday; Monday I was storytelling in the southern part of West Virginia while Larry went to doctor appointments. Tuesday we had visitors and a really enjoyable time catching up with my former sister-in-law (but still sister at heart) and her husband. Liz is a midwife in Maryland and such an interesting person, and her husband told tales of his childhood as a military brat, about his dad being run out of Germany as a spy and other such adventures---fascinating. We left Wednesday for Elkins, WV for a storytelling gig at a small camp for inner city boys. The camp was high on a mountain in Tucker county in an old farmhouse with chestnut woodwork, just beautiful. The time with these boys was memorable, something I will not soon forget. They listened, asked questions and hugged me as I left.
After the storytelling we dropped in late for the singing circle at Irish Week at Augusta Heritage at Davis & Elkins College. Last year I attended the full week; I could not do it this year but I wanted to re-connect with the friends I had made last year. Such a welcome I received! I cannot tell you how good it felt. We sang for a few hours, then left for our motel.
The next day we explored Rich Mountain, a Civil Wat battle site, so I could get background information for a ghost story.
We also spent a lot of time in the historic town of Beverly, which had close connections to the battle and a long interesting history outside of the Civil War.
We returned to Irish Week for the singing circle in the evening and for the traditional, rowdy "Country Roads" evening at the Ice House Pub. It was just awesome, three floors surrounding an open well to the lower level, crowded with people singing "Country Roads" with an Irish band. To hear it with bagpipes, concertinas, accordions, fiddles, banjos, guitars, flute, and who knows what else is just something you have to experience to understand. We left the rollicking party at 2am, knowing we needed to be up and out by 9am.
Which we managed to do, getting home just after noon to prepare for our next visitors, my sister Mary and her husband David. They arrived at 4pm and we visited a bit, then took them to dinner in Pomeroy, Ohio to the fantastic Wild Horse restaurant, which is right on the Ohio River. The meal was excellent as always, and we watched boats and barges passing the restaurant windows. The annual Blues Festival was in full swing, so we wandered the streets a bit, listening to the music and looking at the beautiful old buildings of Pomeroy.
Mary and David left last night, and Derek arrived soon after, looking for his welding machine and food. He'd just got back from a training mission to Indiana, so we went to his house to help him clean up and visit with him and his daughter Haley.
Today we just chilled. I made blackberry jam (18 pints, just so pretty) and put berries in the freezer. Warren and Emily, the folks who bought land from us, stopped with their two children to visit a bit and I did some phone catch-up with a few family members, and caught up on email.
The rest of this week is chill time. No gigs. No visitors (that I know of, but they're always welcome). Some tomatoes and cucumbers to put up. Some program things to put away. Paperwork to catch up. Stories to prepare for the weekend's Inland Waterways Festival. Life is back to something like normal and I plan to thoroughly enjoy it.
And I promise, there will be posts and photos this week too. I miss my blog friends. Thank you for waiting for me!