Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer time, and the living is easy...

...or so it seems. Now that Peter and I are down to one full-time job (his), a handful of responsibilities for the carousel (his and mine), and fewer daycare responsibilities, we have more disposable time on our hands. We've set out to use at least some of it wisely.

Cousins at the rodeo
We are making it a point to spend good time together, in ways that help us rediscover who we are besides grandparents. Peter used to comment that all our conversations related to the grandkids. They filled our lives and our home and our hearts and our heads. They still do, and believe me, we are happy about that. But it's good to enjoy our alone time, too.

After being with their Montana relatives a little more than three weeks, the kids have come for three play dates in six days, and we're all delighted to be together. But our relationship seems...fresher.

Bison just outside the car window!
As usual, the kids have lots to tell about their adventures - cousins, ballet camp, water fun, bison, black bears, a wooly mammoth excavation, and so much more. But guess what? This time we actually have a few things to tell about what we did while they were away.

And what DID we do while they were away? Among other things, we went to two concerts in ten days--and that's a lot for us. There was the Dylan concert, which was fun although, to tell the truth, it had the problems inherent in any Dylan concert: his voice isn't getting any better with age, it's tough to understand the words, and he rearranges songs so much that often you can barely recognize the old favorites. In fact, he takes off down musical side roads even during the performance and the band can't follow, so things get messy. But you know, Dylan fans will just keep showing up anyway.

Dr. John concert at the Minnesota Zoo
Last Friday we saw Dr. John perform at the Minnesota Zoo. A master of blues, rock, and the rich music of New Orleans, he is a long-time favorite in our house.  The concert was everything we could have hoped for. High energy, tight arrangements, and a band whose members are talented individually and together. It was another gorgeous evening; there were even ducks swimming on the pond just behind the stage. We went with friends whose daughter Irene was regularly serenaded as a child with Dr. John's version of Leadbelly's "Good Night Irene." It was Irene's birthday, and her dad had reached out to request that the song be included in the concert. We'll never know whether they would have played it anyway, but it gave our little group a special highlight for the night.

Just to bring things full circle...Dr. John was a big hit with Augie. When he was not quite two, I recorded his enthusiastic impression of Dr. John playing and singing the Pinetop Boogie. When Augie can stay up a little later we hope we can take him to a concert. We, and Dr. John, need to stay healthy long enough for that to happen! Meanwhile, here's a kid who loved the piano, and will again. 

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