you can hear Robbie playing the tune on YouTube four years ago. He was great then, even better now.
We spent that evening at the home of the library director, whose art-filled rooms were a delight to see. Conversation flowed well into the night; we slept soundly and woke to 2 inches of new snow (on top of the remains of the previous week's snow). I was worried about my van; we've not driven it in bad weather yet and we were on a road with a very steep hill. It's all-wheel-drive, but still I worried. So after excellent coffee and banana bread we said our goodbyes and ventured forth.
I needn't have worried; the van did great, never slipped, slid, or spun. But our day was a bit of a puzzle; we had been scheduled for our next event that evening in Frederick, Maryland but our host decided to reschedule for Sunday evening. It was a wise call as the snow continued to fall heavily and rain and ice were predicted to follow it. The day soon fell into place: we went to Jeff's daughters' home and he put a tune-up kit in the car of his oldest girl, then we went to lunch at a delightful English pub in Shepherdstown. Fish and chips and a pot of Earl Grey tea! What a fine meal.
It is never easy, and yet so necessary; tears and sadness inevitably surround these visits, but I wish I could do them more often even so. He would have been so proud of his girl that day.
I had no flowers or wreath to leave; I had not expected to be in Leesburg so I wasn't prepared. Just stopping for a few minutes is enough to reconnect once again with this beloved son.
Our final stop of the day was at my sister Theresa's house. There is nothing that restores the spirit or soothes the heart like an excited welcome from four little great nieces and nephews! They were all at the door to greet us, and we had a fine evening of singing, stories and talking. After the little ones were in bed, I joined my sister and her daughter-in-law in the kitchen to help make goodies for the following day, when Jeff and I would be presenting our second concert of our trip.
I love house concerts! The homey surroundings, casual setting and ability to talk with the guests while enjoying good food, and being able to share our songs and stories in that intimate setting is truly a joy. Theresa and her daughter-in-law Susan fed us a veritable feast for breakfast and we all pitched in to set up the family room for storytelling and singing. We had a good crowd and a wonderful time, then packed up and headed off for our last stop: the rescheduled show in Frederick, MD.
This performance was also a house concert, at the home of storyteller Susan Gordon, in the gently rolling hills just outside Frederick. We arrived with just enough time to set up, drink a bit of hot mulled cider before beginning our show. Again, warm, art-filled space, two loving dogs, good food, and a great audience combined to make the best possible environment for performing. Afterwards we enjoyed conversation with Susan and her guests. Storyteller Adam Booth had made the trip to hear us, as had Jeff's two daughters. It was a perfect evening, with snow on the ground, an almost-full moon gliding in and out of the clouds, and a warm wood stove and much laughter inside.
Good times, good memories, good people, good audiences, and good food. What more could a storyteller ask?
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.