Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Festivals

Saturday, we got up early and drove 2 hours south across the border to Mt. Vernon, Washington for the Skagit Valley Highland Games. It's a beautiful site next to the river. There were about 20 bands there, dancers, caber tossers, fiddles, harps and clansmen and women. I hadn't been to a games all last year.
The band has been like an extra family while the kids were little. Scotty played pipes from the age of 6 and Emily drummed from even younger. I was a tenor and bass drummer and instructor in the youth band. We travelled and camped and played music ensemble. This is the band tent. Some very valuable shade (mostly for the pipes) and cool water.
This is my Dan warming up "in the circle". That's the drum I played. It was glorious. But, like a family, there are always strange dynamics. I'm happy to have moved on, but still able to share a day with them. The kids rejoined their pack of the usual suspects, played soccer, jammed on guitars, drum pads and chanters and enjoyed themselves, too. When it's just one day, and neither of them are competing, the pressure is off.
And there was knitting.
When Scotty was a baby (I've decided to do away with the cloak and dagger code words. The kids are big and I was starting to feel silly) I knit a big project of the "perfect" aran sweater. Unfortunately it was a very big sweater, and Dan has lost some weight even since then. This is the front panel and I hardly need the chart after 15 years. It's like sitting down to the piano and playing "The Entertainer". One of the few pieces I fully learned, my fingers remember most of it and the music comes, not from my brain, but flowing out. That's how this pattern feels. No counting, just conversing with the stitches on the needles. It's tempting me to make another smaller one.

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