Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Whirlwind Weekend: The Beginning

When there is no time to write even a short post, you know things are hopping at Granny's place. This weekend was filled to the brim with good things. Here's what we got up to on Friday and Saturday:

Last week we worked hard getting the gardens and yard ready for spring. 70 bags of mulch later, it looks pretty good. There is still work to do, but we're ahead of the game now and had time for fun over the weekend.

The fun was provided by my storytelling friend Lorna Czarnota of Buffalo, NY, and her husband Thomas. They arrived Thursday afternoon for a long weekend with us that included lots of storytelling. Lorna and I were contracted to perform at the Parkersburg Celtic Festival on Saturday, the first time we've actually performed together. But both of us have many Irish/Scottish/English stories and songs in our storybags so over the winter we worked out a program to present together, weaving our tales and tunes together into three sets, two for general audiences and one for children.

We spent Friday singing and talking and going over our stories. I was also putting final touches on our plans for a house concert here on Sunday, making sure we had everything we needed and checking the weather to see what to expect on the concert day. I have never tried hosting a house concert before, but I liked the idea of them and thought they were a good fit for storytelling because of the intimate space provided by having them in the home.

Lorna and I were up and out early Saturday morning. We grabbed some breakfast and coffee here and headed north to Parkersburg. We found the festival site easily and were glad it was an indoor event since the morning was a chilly 35 degrees.

Inside the city park paviolion were men (and women) in kilts, bagpipes warming up, vendors setting up tables and general bustling around. We set up a table to sell our CDs and books and were onstage by 11 am. The first set went very well--an appreciative audience that listens intently is every storyteller's goal, and that was what we had.

The festival filled up quickly and the place was packed for the dancers who performed Highland dances while we told stories to children, and Lorna showed them how to use the drop spindle to make yarn. I was happily surprised when two of my grandchildren walked in with their other grandma! Michaela enjoyed learning to use the spindle and I got to enjoy some very fine hugs.

James listened intently to the stories, and requested one of his own favorites, The Gunniwolf. I love it when children remember a story I've told them and ask for it again. I also wonder about what they might have found in the story to make it so memorable. In the Gunniwolf story, perhaps it is the ingenuity of the girl who uses her wits to get away from danger, a reassuring message for any child.

The ceilidh band from Akron played some fine music; I loved their music and their style. The blonde fiddler almost danced as she played, making it a lively set to watch. Lorna and I were back onstage after the band for our last set of the day, sharing several Child ballads along with our stories.

Again we were gifted with an attentive audience; I was pleased to see some old friendsin the band that played the last concert of the day, the Appalachian Celtic Consort from Charleston. Great music, great fun, and a great wrap-up to the day.

We finished the day with dinner at the local Mexican restaurant with our menfolk, then came home to relax and talk about plans for Sunday.

Tomorrow: House Concert

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Rob Hunt said...

I sure enjoy your posts I feel like I'm there. Thanks!

Nance said...

me too; I'm there at every post. Or wish I were : )

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