Boomerfest


 

I have a wicked good idea.

My husband and I just came home from a three day bluegrass and roots music festival in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of North Adams, Massachusetts. It was so much fun!

We were surrounded by an incredible amount of talent performing on four stages and in various spots around the MassMoca art museum. We danced more than we have in what feels like forever! There was also a ton of delicious and varied foods, from pizza to maple donuts to vegan tacos and gourmet grilled cheese.

And so much good beer, wine and all that mood altering deliciousness.

Wow.

This means, of course, that I am writing this blog at 8 pm on Sunday from under the covers of my bed. My sore legs and feet are propped up, there’s an ice pack on my knee, and I’ve taken my Tums and my ibuprofin. My 61 year old body feels like I’ve been in a prize fight.

Music festivals are not for sissies.

So I was thinking.

Given the fact that the original rock and roll generation is getting pretty long in the tooth, maybe these festivals should be geared more for older patrons. I mean, extra spicy bloody Marys are all well and good for all the millennials in the crowd at the Fresh Grass Festival, but what about the rest of us?

So I’ve been thinking. I have decided to put on my own music festival just for us mature types. I shall call it “BOOMERFEST”.

These are my plans so far.

Food:

Last night I got hungry for a little nosh, and I went to one of the food courts. I thought my blood sugar might have been a little low, you know? Just needed a little something to take the edge off and give me energy.

I ended up with an entire plate of sweet potato fries.

At Boomerfest, we’ll still have the pizza, the home made ice cream and the dumplings, but we’ll also offer nice fresh choices. Just to lower the likelihood of one of us keeling over from a heart attack.

Boomerfest will feature an entire food court devoted to fruits, veggies and whole grains! Of course, all the vegetables will be cooked. Raw veggies give us gas.

We’ll have a Tea Truck, too. Some of us like a little mid afternoon pick-me-up. Maybe some nice decaf tea with those little arrowroot cookies. Or some seltzer and a few crackers.

Drink:

We are keeping the Bloody Marys, the mango Mimosas and all the local beers and great wines. We are old, but we are not stupid. Why do you think they call it a “festival”?

So while we’ll have plenty of high quality hooch, we’ll also offer healthier options. I haven’t perfected the prune juice martini yet, but I think it has potential.

Health/First Aide

This is an important topic. Fresh Grass had a big first aid tent and I’m sure it had lots of logical supplies like bandages and ice packs and Narcan, but our place will be a little different.

In addition to the usual supplies, we’re going to stock antacids, laxatives (we’re away from home), denture adhesives and those little pads you can stick on your corns and bunions. We don’t need anything to get in the way of us dancing till we fall over!

Patrons will be encouraged to come in and take a few breaths if they’ve they’ve gotten too close to the stage and all those hot young musicians. Can’t be too careful.

Finally, you know how festivals often set up a fan in front of a hose, so you can get sprayed and cooled off as you go buy? Well, I’m going to set up a device that sprays sun screen down on people from above.

Older women often have thinner hair than they realize. I have had first-hand experience forgetting about my old-lady head on a sunny day and waking up the next morning to Scorched Scalp Syndrome.

And need I mention the older guys who hear one riff of an electric guitars and suddenly forget they aren’t 20 any more? The ones wearing hats won’t even notice the sunscreen spray, but it will save the baldys with the scraggly gray ponytails a boatload of pain on Monday morning.

What do you think?

Anyone want to come to my festival next summer? In the comments below, please leave your suggestions for how to make Boomerfest a safe and exciting time for everyone.

IMG_20170917_165735

Sure, these two are young. I gave birth to both of them.

 

I Wish You Flying Dreams


IMG_1941

Sometimes a song reaches out and captures your thoughts in a way that you can only wish you had expressed yourself.  There are songs with lyrics that resonate so clearly that you find yourself shouting, “Yes!” when you hear them.

Sometimes a song explains feelings and thoughts that you didn’t even realize you were having.  A song like that taps you on the shoulder and says, “This is why you dream.”

I found a song like that last September.  My sons invited me to come to a music festival in North Adams, Mass.  The “FreshGrass” Musical festival features folk and bluegrass music performed on the grounds of a Mass Museum of Contemporary Art.  I went out, not sure of what to expect. I hadn’t heard of most of the performers, but I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my boys.

On the first morning of the festival, about an hour after I had arrived, I was sitting in the courtyard of the museum as a band performed. It was hot, sunny, beautiful outside.  The music was melodic and sweet. I was alone, waiting for the boys.  A beautiful young woman came walking through the crowd, carrying her baby girl in a silky wrap. The woman was slim, her head held proudly. She had gorgeous dark brown skin, big dark eyes and soft curly hair in a white band.  She wore huge mother of pearl hoops in her ears.  She caught my eye because of her beauty and her graceful walk, but also because my daughter had the very same wrap to carry her little daughter, and I was a new grandmother entranced by every baby.  The little girl was the image of her mother, right down to the soft curls, except that her hair was a golden red instead of black, and her big eyes were sea green.  I met the eyes of the mother, and we traded a smile. “Beautiful baby”, I mouthed, and the beautiful mother grinned, showing adorable dimples on both cheeks. “Thank you”, she mouthed back.

She passed into the crowd and I settled back to listen to the music.  I was profoundly glad that I had come to the festival right then. I love those little “connection” moments.

About an hour went by, and the second band was ready to play.  I was with my son, Tim, standing in the crowd, feeling the hot sun on my face.  The band took the stage. “Birds of Chicago“, the sign on the stage read.  The lead guitarist was a tall, thin young man with red curly hair.  The singer? Well, the singer was my beautiful young Mom, in her mother of pearl earrings.  The same big eyes, the same amazing smile, and the voice of an angel.

As soon as the music began, and I heard them sing, I was pretty much in love.

Wow! I’m 59 years old; its been a long time since I found a band that caught both my ear and my heart the way that this one did!

I loved the set, I loved the whole festival.  There were moments of hilarity involving a whiskey flask disguised as a tube of sun screen, moments of joy as we all danced in the light of the setting sun, moments of delight when some small band lit up the night.

I had a great weekend, and I came home happy.

And in love with Birds of Chicago.

So I bought their music and started to listen to my favorite tracks. One in particular grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.  It’s called “Flying Dreams”.

The idea  of the song is this, “I wish you flying dreams; I don’t wish you wings. Cuz if you grow those things, they’re everything. There’s no more dreams. There’s only silence in the night.”

How cool is that? How perfect? How exactly does it sum up what so many of us think?

“I don’t want the answer to my dream; I want the dream itself!”

For me, this song really encompasses what I wish for my children, and for my students, and for my granddaughter.  It makes me think of the smiling little curly haired girl.

How wonderful it is to have dreams, to dream of flying, to dream of soaring, to dream of rising to the most incredible heights. So much more powerful than it would be to have real wings, and to come to the end of those dreams.

I wrote this blog tonight thinking of my sons, who are still dreaming.  I wrote it thinking of Ellie, my granddaughter, who hasn’t yet learned to dream.

And I wrote it thinking of Tric, the author of the WordPress Blog  “My Thoughts on a Page”.  Her son has just embarked on an educational adventure, and is chasing his own dreams. I hope that his mom finds comfort in this beautiful song.

Happy New Year to all of you.  I do wish you all “flying dreams” to lead you with joy into 2016.

Watch this video; see if I’m right about this!

“Flying Dreams”