Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy 2008!

We ended 2007 in much the same way we started it - on stage, playing for a contra dance. This time, we were in Lansing, Mich., rather than St. Louis, Mo. The Lansing dancers put on a heck of a potluck and party. There was homemade eggnog, and a big dish of shrimp cocktail and some really good crockpot mostaccoli and some kind of crunchy broccoli salad and everyone said the flan was good, but I didn't have any. We met some Ravelers there, too, because it's a small, small world now.
Here's the dancers.

Here's the band. The Fool and I played as the Cosmic Otters - Irish, Scottish, French-Canadian - for the first half, and then invited our friend Sam up to sit in on some old-time tunes after the break. Fellow Chicagoan Dot Kent was calling, and her husband, Chirps Smith, was along for the ride, and as he is an outstanding fiddler, we persuaded him to sit in with us too, which was a great deal of fun.
I like playing old-time tunes on New Year's Eve - it's good party music. It makes me feel like I'm part of a much bigger tradition, standing on the bones, as it were and carrying a little bit forward. Which, I suppose, if you play any kind of traditional music, you're always doing, but I have this somewhat romantic notion that people have been playing these tunes for years and years at parties and at holidays, and when I do, I feel much more connected to the past than usual.
But enough armchair philosophy.

There's Dot on the far left, then Sam, then the Fool, and then Chirps. We played all the fun standards, although we got a little bit excited and couldn't seem to slow down.
"Well," Dot said, "If you can't play slower, I might as well call squares."

Even the otters got into the party spirit. Here's Duncan with his new friend.
It started snowing while we were dancing and when we drove back to our hosts' house, the trees were covered with snow clinging to each black branch. We had more tunes before we went to bed, and I got to hang around with Lynn.
Not only is she a knitter, but she and her partner make up the Fabulous Heftones, a duo that performs songs from the 1920s on ukelele and heftone - that's an instrument that looks like a cross between an upright bass and a banjo, and it's something to see. She gave us one of their CDs - fun, happy stuff.
The next morning, we stopped in at Threadbear, and continued on our way home. We ran into some snow, but the Fool did very well at driving. I slept.
Now, though, it's back to the old routine. I got home from work today to find gray yarn wrapped around the living room furniture and dining table chairs. I followed the trail through the house, down the hall, and into the bedroom.
There, I found this.

Happy 2008, everyone.


anne marie in philly said...

happy new year to your house from mine!

awwwwwwwww, cute widdle angus, having fun with yarn! hopefully he didn't rip it to shreds.

Anonymous said...

::coming out of lurkerdom::

I really enjoy reading your blog, although I rarely comment.

I must say, however, that I think you must be a SAINT. Had one of my cats done that to me, they would be part of a sushi platter somewhere....

Fortunately, they leave my knitting alone, content just to snuggle in a lap while I knit.

Hope you have a happy and prosperous new year.

meg said...

Phyllis - Luckily, Angus' taste runs to wool/ acrylic blends and not the good stuff ....

ColorJoy LynnH said...

It was such fun to meet you guys and spend some time chatting after the dance. Much fun!

Of course, I blogged you, too. It's dated January 4 (our 'Net connection gave up the ghost for a day and a half, aargh).

The photo of Angus is incredible. I remember things like that with my cat, Muffett, who I had for 17 years.

Haven't had a cat for 11 years now... my only pet ever passed away from old age just when Brian and I became engaged. Brian's allergic, and I would SO much prefer to live with Brian than a cat, given the fact that the choice is that clear cut. Brian's a prize.

I'm sure we'll run into one another again in either the music or knitting realms, soon enough. Chicago is SO close, we can drive there and back and still have a fun long afternoon of entertainment in the middle.