Where did Autumn go this year? The dog days of summer rolled on into September, the weather stayed warm and sunny and evenings at the beach were magic. And there was more than one that had a special magic, when it was still really hot, the sort of hot that leads to drinking all the beers in your cooler and then waiting for the beer vendor guy to come around so you can buy a couple of tall, cold Stellas. As the light and warmth lingered on you might find yourself later in the evening renewing friendships and celebrating the sunset to the sound of bongo drums with all the other sun-worshippers. The sort of nights that make you re-think why you ever have wanted to leave paradise on the West Coast.
Then it was Thanksgiving (Canadian – in October) and we started a new tradition of spending Thanksgiving on the beach. Hard to believe this is Vancouver in October.
My own special place in The Kingdom, thanks R!
And without really remarking the change, suddenly it was November. The Kingdom retained it’s magical beauty, even as the seasons belatedly turned. The weather remained warm, but brought with it a blanket of marine fog, blocking the sunshine, making it cool and damp, but with an eerie spell.
It feels like I’ve traveled about a bazillion miles since August, mostly for work but some for fun. Exhausting, but I’ve got to see a lot of amazing places. Went back to Toronto and caught up with S, my very first friend in Canada. We haven’t seen each other in a long time, but as her husband put it, thanks to Facebook it’s like we saw each other yesterday. I miss her, but not Toronto. Work takes me regularly to Kentucky, a place that was so completely different from my expectations and that I’ve grown to love. In August I went to the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, hands down the most impeccably curated music festival of the summer. I’m usually in Lexington (work), it’s a stunningly beautiful part of the world, but I also learned to love Louisville, a quintessential “Main Street America” town.
The Amazing Grace Potter.
Some down home boys from Virginia, Old Crow Medicine Show (stole my heart!). Thanks R for the amazing shot.
It wouldn’t be Kentucky if we didn’t drink some moonshine . . .well actually a whole lot of ‘shine!
Louisville is also home to the Louisville slugger factory, where all Major League Baseball bats are produced, a must-see. It’s only short coming as a city – a shocking shortage of places to find breakfast of any kind, never mind the sort of hangover breakfasts the South is famous for – waffles, fried chicken, red eye gravy, grits and pails of Pimm’s or Bloody’s. New Orleans has that s*&# totally covered, and despite Hillbilly Tea
, a gem, needs to up it brunch game!
And who knew that the quintessentially Canadian game of curling would make me a pretty darn fine shot at Cornhole! For Canadians who, like me, are somewhat askance at the name, check out this blog, an Ode to Cornhole.
It looks sort of like this (well at least from what I can remember . . .see note above regarding ‘shine).
Every so often I managed to gather a few days in Vancouver, where I basked in the total west coastness of The Kingdom and caught up with the music scene at the Vancouver Folk Festival at Jericho Beach.
And was front row for Blue Rodeo at the Roots and Blues Festival at Deer Lake Park. Some love for Jim Cuddy, although clearly taken at the end of my long day!
What else has this Autumn meant for me? It’s been a time of reflection and considerable thought. I FINALLY got my US work permit, something I’ve been waiting for a long time. This Canuck is now legal to live and work in the USA for at minimum the next 3 years. Richmond, VA was where I was headed, but in a somewhat unbelieveable turn of events, I’ve been unable to sell my house in Vancouver, one of the hottest real estate markets in North America. So the house is off the market until circumstances become clearer. And I’ve always believed that life will work out as it’s meant to, but that sometimes we just can’t see what that’s going to be, a valuable lesson learned last year. A friend said to me that when things are meant to be, they will be easy, that the pieces will fall into place, but when they are difficult, pay attention to the message. And there has been nothing easy about this proposed move to Virginia. It’s been one stumbling block after another and now there are some compelling reasons for me to stay in Vancouver. Life is funny that way, you are walking down one road and then when you least expect it (or without really knowing it at the time) you get caught completely off-guard. I might have to be home for more than a day or two at a time though, patience with my crazy schedule might start to wear thin. I’m home for 8 whole days in 6 weeks. Sitting in a hotel in Kansas City, MO tonight, got to finish writing and head out to see John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett at the Uptown Theatre. When in Rome . . . .
There has been so much absolutely great music come out this Autumn, I just can’t decide. Saw the Avett Brothers again in Vancouver, they are touring their new record “Magpie and the Dandelion”. By luck caught this amazing shot at the Orphpeum Theatre.
And I’ve been completely obsessing over the new Amos Lee record, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song and this amazing song, Chill in the Air.
Enjoy y’all, hope to write more soon, time and travel permitting.