There's been storytelling too--last week I was in Abingdon, VA, telling stories and giving a workshop for members of the Southwest Virginia Reading Association. We talked and played with stories and had a fantastic time exploring a variety of ways to introduce participation into telling a story. The drive down was beautiful, with trees more leafed out and more flowers in bloom than we have here. We enjoy being in that part of Virginia, part of the Holston River valley--that river was named after an ancestor of my husband, Stephen Holstein or Holston (spelling of the last name varies widely from one family to another), so it almost feels like a visit to an old homeplace.
More storytelling is coming up tomorrow as I travel to Weston, WV to tell stories to seventh grade students. Middle school age children are so interesting to interact with--they're feeling grown up but there's still plenty of little kid in them, enough to keep their outlook fresh and lively. I always like telling stories to this age group. So tomorrow, Appalachian stories and ballads on tap!
At home we've been into all sorts of projects. The early spring garden is all planted; lettuce and onions are almost ready for picking and Larry is ready to head to the mountains to get some ramps. And I am thinking it's time for some sassafras tea, that tasty spring tonic.
I am almost finished with the little dressing table I showed in a post a while back. It was blue and kinda rugged:
and now it's Coral Crush (General Finishes paint), with a wash of antique white and some stenciling on the top.
I am at a standstill on the tall chest I've been painting, waiting for Larry and I to get a minute to work together on drilling new holes for some bin-type pulls for the drawers. The old holes will be covered thank goodness. I decided on the pulls AFTER getting the finish on these drawers the way I wanted it. They're pretty wild-looking but it's going to look awesome when it all comes together.
And last, this shelf that was ugly ugly and is now looking pretty pert in General Finishes Brick Red paint. Another coat, then flip it up to paint the top, top-coat it and it will be done. I'm leaving the back in the natural pine wood which looks great. The rest of the wood was not nearly so nice.
Besides projects and storytelling, I've been lucky enough to get out to a couple of good music shows locally.
First was a concert given by fiddle students at nearby Cedar Lakes Conference Center, who were taking a masters class from one of West Virginia's finest fiddlers, Dave Bing.
Then last night, Dave came back to our county for a program on Appalachian music at the library. I am just fascinated at how many tunes, and variations of tunes, he carries around in his head. The fiddles he plays are ones that he builds himself. He doesn't read music, learning his tunes from older fiddlers that he visited over the years, building a repertoire based on old music that, but for people like Dave, would possibly have disappeared by now.
So much going on, and all of it good. There is nothing quite like life in these mountains, with all of its richness, work and variety.
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