Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sugar Hill 2009

Home and unpacked from the big summer contra dance weekend we like to go to. It's all-volunteer - callers and bands are picked by lottery on Saturday night - and you're just as likely to get a band that's never played together before as you are a band that plays together all the time. The Fool and I played our first contra dance together at Sugar Hill 2002.
Callers might be new, or might be the kind of caller that everyone knows. It's always excellent music and excellent dancing and this year, because the weather was cool for summer, the dancing went until past 2 a.m. Friday night and dawn Sunday morning. The Fool and I, usually happy to hold down late-night time slots until the dancers quit, went to bed early this year, in deference to Jamie, who is not yet old enough to understand things like, "Why don't you read for an hour while I go lie down?"
The Fool was up until 3:30 a.m. playing tunes Saturday night, while I danced. Jamie slept in a nest of blankets on the porch, next to the Fool's chair, until I came and collected him, warm and limp, and we went off to the tent together.

A view from behind our friend Martha (red hair on right, playing fiddle, knitterly aura) of the dance floor. We dance at a Boy Scout camp in their dining hall; fantastic old worn wood floor, which gives everyone fast feet and smooth spins.
Edward's band was playing when we arrived around 9 on Friday. We sat in with them for a couple tunes, which was big fun - I played drums and the Fool added a third fiddle to the lineup. Last night, we borrowed Eric for piano and accordion and added him to the usual Cosmic Otters' two fiddles and guitar. I played drums when Eric played piano so we didn't have to work out chords beforehand. It was great, which is sort of like saying, of a tremendous dinner, "It was good." Or of Mt. Everest, "It was tall." We only got to play an hour on Saturday, but we got lots of cheering at the end, and we got dancers who danced long lines forward and back at the same time and stomped loudly on the balances and clogged at the ends of the lines, and the Fool and Edward and Eric played wonderful harmonies that got tense and discordant and resolved into big, bright sunlight-through-storm-clouds chords. The Fool sort of wants to adopt Eric now (even though his wife would probably object).
Jamie hung out with Rachel through the first two dances, but then rode on my back in his carrier for the third dance, because she was calling with us, and when he complained too loudly, sat on my lap for the fourth dance while I played snare drum.

The $8K String Band (friends of ours from Chicago), playing old-time music Saturday night.

The child development book I have says that babies around Jamie's age become fascinated with putting small objects in containers and taking them out again. The examples the book gives are nice and friendly - a box and blocks, I think.
So far, it's been cat kibble in the water dish, and rocks in the fiddle case. These rocks were a huge hit. I think it's because they were small enough for him to pick up easily, yet big enough that we weren't swooping down to take them away because he might try to eat them. He spent almost all of Saturday afternoon happily messing with rocks while the Fool and I sat around talking, playing tunes and (in my case) showing Rachel how to knit a short row sock heel. Every so often, he'd come over, hand us a rock, sit on a lap for a minute, and then toddle off again on his important explorations.

Jamming on the porch, the Fool on piano, Edward on fiddle, plus our friend Eric on accordion.

Jamie and the Fool enjoy breakfast at FARMbloomington, a restaurant I read about in one of my snooty food magazines. It was not a snooty restaurant at all. We had fresh biscuits with homemade apple butter, coffee and eggs. The Fool's were made into an omelet and wrapped around pulled pork and sliced peppers, with home fries on the side, and mine were over medium, with some kind of deliciously cured bacon, roasted tomatoes and ... French fries. French fries, seasoned with garlic and spices. I sort of wanted their oatmeal of the day, but breakfast is one of those meals that always tastes better when someone else makes it for you, so I picked the breakfast that would dirty me three pans if I cooked it. Also? I really wanted French fries.
Jamie ate eggs, biscuit and apple butter and as many of my fries as he could get his paws on.

The Bloomington, Ind. farmer's market (I want to make a quilt in these colors), where we went in search of heirloom tomatoes and peaches. Found both. Plan to slice the big, beautiful Brandywine I bought for a dollar, mix it with chunks of the tomatoes from our pathetic garden - mostly yellow ones and cherry tomatoes - and serve it for dinner tomorrow with breaded goat cheese, crusty garlic-rubbed bread and shrimp scampi.
And now to bed, because I have not been this tired in a long time, and that's saying a lot.


LaurieM said...

Whew! You tired me out reading about it, but what an awesome time it sounds like.

Heidi said...

this is really fantastic you guys, sounds like an awesome time!