At the behest of my absolutely wonderful friend Lucho, I find my way to this real-life Roadhouse-style dive bar north of Boston for a weekly “Open Jam Session” north of Boston. I arrive to the garish blare of unadulterated American rock, and fight my instinct to bounce immediately. With a lot more effort than I would have preferred, I eventually burrow my way to a seat at the bar to take in the scene and wonder where Lucho and all these friends he talked about actually are.
They arrive in good time and with plenty of cheer and the calibre of music steadily climbs throughout the evening through an absolute swarm of musicians. Everyone is so surprisingly encouraging of me though, in spite of never having heard me before. Lucho talks me up to his friends. “Oh you sing and play ukulele? That’s so cool!” I neither see what is cool about that nor how I am supposed to parlay with the mood on the stage in any way. But I trust him.
After a lot of fun dancing and some great performances, it is is like; my turn.
The musicians on stage are starting to clear out for me when I mention I have a couple chords they could play. They sit back down, we get in a groove, and we’re off!
Lucho videos the first 40 seconds or so (Hank Williams), before coming on stage to take over the bass because “the guy was playing the wrong notes.” (True.)
What a thrill to look over on stage and suddenly find myself playing in a BAND with my FRIEND.
The crowd goes wild actually, and I play another song (Paul Simon). The Open Jam host says it was awesome and asks if I can play another. The third one is more of a struggle with the band (CCR), but I dial in on the vocals and receive incredible accolades after with lots of folks giving me their contact info and asking to start music projects with me.
It all seems like a dream. Yet I know to breathe, try to ground myself and continue to embrace these portals that keep opening up in my life and which keep pouring experiences through me lately.
The very fact that I’ve barely blogged at all for the past six months is indicative of how inundated I’ve been.
To be clear, I am not complaining.
I understand my life to be a rich mosaic of overflowing cornucopias with plenty of earned blessings and unearned privileges.
Is it undiagnosed ADHD? Overabundance of enthusiasms? Too much blonde? Does it matter? IDFK.
My friend Brady once said; “I wish the world could just stop, so I could get back on.“
And I believe it was Robert Fulghum who said, like; ‘It’s important to pull your raft ashore every once in a while to take a look at where you’ve been, and where you’re going.’
And I’ll be damned if I’m not doing just that.
Because a trip abroad (to Healthcare Clown International Meeting in The Hague) was postponed for six months due to Covid, I am left with a bit of an unprecedented and magical breather in my schedule.
And because my family is understanding and supportive (or maybe just happy to get rid of me), and my kids are “old” enough to take care of some things themselves, I am afforded the latitude to GTFO.
I was looking to escape to any ol’ Air BnB -for coffee and wifi and no distractions- when along comes my magical sister Heather and her magical seaside abode. She is not using it for the exact three days I was looking to stay somewhere. Alas and alack; je suis la.
I also wanted a place that wasn’t too inspiring, because for once I’m *not* looking for a new adventure. I’m looking for a place where I can focus in peace without the distractions of my own domicile’s needs or it’s endlessly distracting inhabitants. A-hem.
But this is better than I could have dreamed because although it is absolutely and utterly stunning, beautiful, and inspiring; I am so privileged this place is already so familiar and I have already documented many happy family gatherings here in the past.
So now my bluff is called. For once in my life I have the mental and physical space, infrastructure and *time* to try to catch up to the Tornado of To Do’s.
But then not even God Herself could stop me from photographing and documenting anyway.
Fast forward past the gritty details, and all things must end in one form or another.
Blue Jays; seagulls; cormorants; a gluttonous lazy squirrel splayed out in an X-formation; a big ol’ bunny in the yard; countless dogs on leashed walks with their owners; and three suspiciously UNLEASHED wild-ass looking dogs who were actually COYOTES trotting by in extreme close proximity. Wow.
And these guys were also pretty cool; I just don’t know what kind of sea bird they are.
Not least of all; SO many tasks done!! (Yet with so many still to do, of course.)
Even included a little TikToc, R&R, self-care, Netflix and Chill.
My next To Do?
How on earth to adequately say; “Thank you” to my #Sister!
So it’s my daughter’s turn to host the classroom pet until summer’s end.
Pascal the Gecko promised to be low maintenance and we love animals, so it was a no brainer to agree.
Some things I did not anticipate:
1) His butt is a decoy for his head, therefore I hope it’s not racist to note he has a raging case of “Zachary Disease.” (When your butt looks ex-zachary like your face.)
2) Girlfriend is enamored of him. To wit:
Girl: Mom! Pascal is happy!
Mom: Oh good honey! How do you know?
Girl: He’s basking!!!
Girl: Yeah, and he just yawned. He’s so cuuuuuute!
3) He is very handsome, expressive in his face, and charming.
Yep I said it; charming. I did not count on getting charmed by a reptile.
In fact, dude is ten years old! You gotta have some pretty hardcore survival skills to be a classroom pet and make it to ten years.
So there we are, home from the pet store with our first round of 20 large crickets, and the blood bath has begun. Pascal leaps into action, strutting around like a gladiator in his habitat now teeming with live food. He’s tilting his head, squinting his eyes, licking his lips.
Lips? Ok, licking the rims of his mouth.
He dials in on the first unsuspecting cricket, and I kid you not he wiggles his little head-like butt appendage just like a cat does before pouncing, and then pounces! Well, more like he strikes. He’s lightning quick and makes swift order of commanding the arena. We watch him crunch down on one cricket as its eye pops off. Crickets bite the dust left and right as the quaint little adorable and charming Pascal gobbles them down, one after the other. A stray cricket leg is strewn on the floor. It’s all quite something to behold.
Me: Wow babe this is amazing. I can hardly believe it. And look! I’m just sitting here watching without taking any photos. I have no time to blog these days so I refuse to take any photos.
Cat: [Also gets totally engrossed in watching the drama unfold.]
It seems none in our family are immune to the drama, as they ply me with their own photos of “Look at that Cat looking at that gecko looking at those crickets!”
Have I mentioned I probably have undiagnosed ADHD and am highly distractible?
When I sent this video to my (13 y/o) son, he wrote:
“he went through the 5 stages of grief! denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance! so funny mom.“
OK so first of all, the Boy is spot on, as usual.
Secondly, SO spot on!
I mean, I distinctly remember learning about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross while earning my undergraduate degree in psychology. Her groundbreaking 1969 book, “On Death and Dying” is where the “Five Stages” originate.
But that my 13 y/o has implicitly learned and understands these as a matter of course, as a matter of viewing content online and understanding behavior in the world…
Well I just never would have anticipated that.
That is because I am Gen-X(L), I was born before the internet and am helping to raise the next generation who are absolutely immersed and infused with all it has to offer; the good bad and ugly.
So…anyone want to just watch that doggo video again?