Old shortcut across town …

Spent few hours on Saturday in my hometown.  There was an ice cream social I had the honor of being invited to and because of it, the downtown was packed.  Families were buzzing around, reconnecting even though many of them had just been together earlier in the day as all their kids seem to play some fall sport together and talking about where they would meet and what they would bring to the fireworks show later that night.

As I was leaving .. and as I usually do, I drove by some of my old stomping grounds, including the old dam we used to play on as kids.

No longer there in it’s entirety.  Used to walk across this all the time as kids to a friends house on the other side of town.  Was the only easy connector as kids.  Looking at it now, I can’t believe our parents trusted us to make it across safely as there was a cement landing under the water below.  It was a great place to hang out.  Meet up with friends.  Sit for awhile.  Throw stones into the water below.  Sometimes jump from in the heat of the summer and hope you hit the deep spot in the shallow stream below.  Kind of sad the state it’s in anymore.  But still brings back wonderful memories ..

The dam deconstructed.

The Saxophone.

She’s wanted to play drums for as long as I can remember.

Or just sing.

“Drums,” she said to me earlier this week (well, when I wrote this initially it was ‘this week.’  It’s now, last week we’re referring to ..) when I asked what she wanted most to try out for .. as 6th grade means a new opportunity to learn a new instrument in band at school.

So when she came home yesterday and asked right before bed if I still had my old saxophone, I was a little taken back.

“Can I take it in the morning?  Can I see it?  Where is it?  You have it HERE?” she pestered me to get it for her at that moment.  “I didn’t know it was HERE!”  (She’s never seemed interested and I’ve gotten it out to play it for her in the past, years ago though.)

Knowing approximately where it was, in the depths of one of our closets buried beneath a few other things, I told her I’d make sure it was ready to go in the morning if she really wanted to take it in for her band teacher to check out.  Which she absolutely did.

Found it.  Vacuumed the cat hair off .. and it was ready to go along this morning to school.

I remember learning to play.  The squeals and squeaks of someone trying to figure out a reed instrument.  Yeouch.  I still cringe at my own learning to play.

http://www.livescience.com/9964-music-tones-brain-improves-learning.html

I’m wondering now .. if this is what we’ll be listening to, or if there might be a chance we could still hear the pounding of drums.

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814331/10-reasons-why-your-child-should-play-a-musical-instrument-1

Either one is exciting and the simple fact she even wants to be in band, for so many reasons, is music to my ears.

Community

We have the best neighbors.

Everyone gathered around the grill ..

And after getting home last night from school and work and making sure all our necessary tasks were done .. we grabbed our chair, the frisbee for the dog, and settled into the conversation already well underway with those we not only live in the same building with, but good people who have become great friends.

Master of the Grill

The pork tenderloin I had picked up for dinner I threw on the grill next to three other families meals ..

The grill’s owner proudly each night, makes sure whoever may be sharing his coals has their meal done just right.  It was perfect.

As was the salad my daughter had gone inside to make from freshly washed lettuce and tomatoes straight from the garden.  A beautiful night.

‘Can we read this tonight?’ …

One of our favorite books …

She may be in 6th grade .. and perhaps a little old for this book, but it’s one of our favorites.

So after a shower, picking up her room and with all her school books neatly filed again in her backpack and tucked in her basket by the door after the 2nd day of school, my 11 year old asked if that could be the book we’d read that night.

I’ll never forget the first few times we read this book .. we laughed so hard we cried.

And still do … I think in many ways because it reminds me a few little girls I know.

 

6th Grade

Tuesday this week was our first day back to school ..

First week back to school.

We are in a new school this year for 6th grade .. meaning almost all new friends and teachers, which can be scary.  And Middle School years can be tough ones anyway, if I remember correctly.

End of our first day.

But we are all trying to help her remember in all that is new and at times intimidating, there is also incredible opportunity with the right attitude.

Lingering for a few moments after the last bell..

She seems to be taking that to heart ..  so far (three full school days later as I finally get around to posting this), we’re off to a great start!

On the Gravel Floor ..

I was able to spend a few moments between gigs on Sunday just walking through the small town of Ridgeway as the folks there wrapped up their end of summer celebration.

Summer skies.

I love small towns.  I love their summer festivals and the opportunity they present to spend time either with or watching the people that come out who are the fabric and backbone of these communities ..

Not afraid to be the only couple dancing ..

Dancing to the band ..

This couple apparently isn’t shy, I’ve heard they are well known around the area.  Dancing wherever and whenever they can.  And there is nothing shy about them despite the fact all eyes might be looking their way as they grind on the gravel floor.   Yes, grind.

Creative way of getting to the event ..

Playing the terrace …

It’s been a beautiful summer of music ..  

And Sunday with the trio, we played a couple of wonderful gigs starting with the outdoor terrace at a dear friends vineyard ..

Refreshments for the band…

Guest appearances.

A great place for families, we had a couple adorable girls join us onstage for a few songs.

Cheese and crackers provided by the anniversary couple ..

‘Officially off the market’ ..

‘Officially off the market’ ..

I believe that was the FB post, verbatim, from a dear friend this past 4th of July.  The last of our core group of college roommates to fall … truly in love .. and tie the knot.

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day .. and we were all so glad to have the chance to reconnect.

It was Simple.  Sweet.  The wedding.  The news from another roommate of a baby on the way.  Updates from each of us otherwise on life and our families.  So blessed by their friendships.

Just a beautiful day.