Saturday, June 16, 2018

There and Back Again

After a long break from storytelling, I jumped back in with both feet--two programs in the same day, with different stories for each one.

You can imagine I spent a lot of time preparing last week, reviewing the stories, working on the parts for audience participation, revisions to make them what I wanted them to be, learning songs, etc, etc, etc. It all came together and everything packed into two suitcases.
The Summer Reading display. Lots of stuff for old-time fun.

We left Thursday morning and drove to the central part of the state to the little town of Craigsville for the first presentation, the library's summer reading program. This is my third year to present for them and they are so welcoming! The librarian was afraid turnout would be  small due to a summer program at the local school but we had a nice-sized group and the first airing of this set of stories and songs went well. This year's theme is "Rock the Library" and I took off from that with a program focused on Appalachian stories and songs--the old-timers knew how to have a good time without lots of electronics or even musical instruments, and that was what I wanted to do too. So we sang, played with puppets, and they listened so well to the stories. We ended with the nonsense song 16 Chickens and a Tambourine, and I taught them all to play kazoos. They did great.

From there we drove north and east, to West Virginia's eastern panhandle, for a presentation of Appalachian Songs and Stories for a 4-H camp. 144 campers and their counselors gathered at the Council Circle beside a pretty creek for the stories. For this group I brought along the coal mining artifacts and we had an interesting time discussing those; they also sang along and were great listeners. For a change, I sat down for most of this program. Usually I am standing.

Being in that area gave me an opportunity for a visit with my oldest son and his wife and daughter. His son had left a couple days before for Navy basic training; poor guy! I'm sure he'll be fine though. We spent the night then left the next morning to have breakfast with our granddaughter. Then it was back on the road to home. Basically, we had driven almost across the state and back again. The purple line was going, the red is coming home. Not exact, but close.

We stopped for a while at beautiful Seneca Rocks, a nice break.

We got home with just enough time to unload the van, take showers and change clothes, then go back out for a nice dinner party at a friend's home. It was just perfect, an evening of good conversation and good food, and an opportunity to see the amazing stained glass lamps and other items her husband makes. What talent he has.

Today was town day. It was so hot that it seemed like a good way to use the day anyway. We saw lots of friends in the course of the day and took a few things to our booth in Ravenswood. The only bad thing today was an accident that happened outside of one store. A young man didn't see a car stopped in front of him, swerved to miss her and really tore up his truck. Fortunately he and his three little children, riding in the back seat and safely strapped in, were okay. But he was so upset, realizing how close he came to losing his children and possibly his own life, to hurting someone else, and also realizing that he had totaled his only vehicle and probably would have some big fines to pay. I felt so bad for him, it was clear this was a devastating thing for him. I can only pray that all will be all right in the end. I have been in such a situation before, and it's terrifying and so very stressful. The little ones seemed to not be able to figure out what happened, but thank goodness they were okay except for a few cuts from flying glass.

It hasn't cooled off much so this will be a low-key evening. We'd planned to light the firepit but it's just too hot, I think. Maybe an evening inside with a good movie instead. I'll be back on the road storytelling Monday, so it might be good to rest up a bit for that.

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