We're working our tails off out here, but it's so good in so many ways...
Have I mentioned yet that Bala Brass is going to Banff for two weeks? There's a big arts center up there. We were invited to participate in their brass ensemble residency, and we've been hustling since December to figure out how to get ourselves there. I won't begin to discuss the hurdles and hoops we've jumped through to make this possible, but now we're going. For sure. Tomorrow. This trip has always been some huge dream off in the distance, and it's kind of surreal that it's actually happening. (I wonder if our wedding will feel the same way?)
As soon as we made the decision to go I started working on this scarf. First I thought I'd want something light enough for summer but useful for when it gets chilly on the airplane. Since then I've learned that the average overnight low in Banff is in the low 40s right now, and this scarf might see a lot of use in these next two weeks. Man, I love heading north in the summer! The pattern is available as a free download. She suggests doubling the yarn, although I wanted to be sure it was really light so I didn't. Now I think the lace pattern is obscured a bit because the whole thing is so open, but whatever. It's lovely and I'm glad I got it done in time. And let me tell you, blocking lace is so rewarding.
I'm so, so grateful for this opportunity we have. Sure, I did music festivals and "band camps" well through college. That's a standard part of our culture in the music field. But to be invited to something like this one, to be invited as an ensemble, and for all 5 of us to be able to drop everything and go for two weeks, that's all pretty amazing. It's hard enough getting our schedules to mesh on a weekly basis for a rehearsal or two. I can't wait to work with the faculty they're bringing in, but I'm excited to just be spending two solid weeks with the guys. And now, back to packing!
at 9:19 AM
No, not 101 days till the wedding. I got an email in my inbox today warning me that I've got 101 days till my first marathon. Egads.
Fred and I run casually, infrequently, and slowly. Last summer we saw an ad in the local paper for this particular marathon, and it was just far enough away to think about training and running. Having a goal was a great kick in the pants, so we went for it.
As it turned out, I injured my foot in training so I had to back out. But Fred still ran it. The whole darn thing. I ran the first mile and the last 6 with him, and it was awesome. Well, I thought it was awesome. He's cringing in every picture I have of him from that day, but still.
The trick is that this year the marathon happens exactly a week after our wedding, and starts in precisely the same town where we happen to be honeymooning. We figure we'll make it an annual thing and take a weekend away for our anniversary/marathon. Otherwise we'd never get up to Maine in October, and Maine in October is seriously worth getting away for.
It's cute, Fred registered for both of us, and he registered me with what will be my brand new last name. I'm trying to decide whether to run in a veil, or something silly like that.
If I'm 101 days away from my marathon it means I'm 94 days away from my wedding. That's all well and good. Designing and sewing a wedding dress in 94 days doesn't scare me one bit. (Nope, I haven't started yet, although it's sketched out and I'm pretty sure it'll be lovely.)
101 days to a marathon? Terrifying.
(All pictures taken during our marathon weekend last year. Can you tell I'm completely enamored with the place? I promise, I'll move on to other topics soon enough.)
at 9:54 PM
My inner Martha Stewart is such a happy camper right now. We went to visit the Polish Mafia* yesterday. Fred's Aunt Linda has a sour cherry tree in her back yard, one that's grown from a cutting of another that used to be in her aunt's back yard. (Everything in this family spans the generations.) Nobody usually does anything with the cherries because they're really tart, but Fred and his mom and I decided to have at them. We picked as many as we could stand, and then picked a whole bunch of the black raspberries that were growing around the foot of the tree. So today for the first time I made jam!!
If you've never canned anything, the popping sound that the lids make to let you know you did it right is about the happiest thing ever. I don't know if this will all set like it's supposed to, and I sure hope it tastes good. But it was magical and now I want to can everything in sight.
* Fred's family. Both of his parents have Polish ancestry, and when their families immigrated they settled in a predominantly Polish town as was often the case back in the day. Generations have passed and much of the family is still in the same area. I think this is a cool thing. My family is pretty scattered, and I grew up in a relatively diverse area. Diversity is great, but my town doesn't have much of a unifying identity. Fred talks about the people he grew up going to church with, and almost everyone has a Polish last name. Everyone knew him when he was a baby. Many of them knew his mother when she was a baby! His family gatherings are large, boisterous and happen frequently. It's a little intense. Yes, we're getting married out there. Yes, it will be a little like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in reverse. Yes, I'm taking his last name and joining the fray. But they are totally awesome and I do love them.
at 3:59 PM
There was a preponderance of fog and rain on the first two days, but we did see some sun in the middle of our trip. Then the rain came back on the day we left. I wouldn't have had it any other way, although the rain did squash the camping idea. I love me some Maine fog.
We drank tea and visited with some friends, and drank wine and caught up with others. We went into Bar Harbor to our favorite restaurant and into historic Ellsworth for an afternoon of at our favorite local coffee spot. And we had pie at Ruth and Wimpy's, cause it's just not a trip to Maine without.
We heard two awesome concerts and spent time listening to the brilliant and life affirming lessons of my two greatest teachers. I actually got to play on a concert too, unexpectedly! Someone got sick and I jumped in last minute. Funny, that's actually more or less how I got to Maine in the first place, and how Fred and I met. I'll have to tell you that story sometime.
But mostly we found our peace again in the ocean and the land. We promised each other that we'd buy ourselves a house there as soon as possible. And we left knowing we'd be back, sooner than later.
at 12:28 AM