Sunday, October 05, 2008

quiet house

Not much in the way of house finishing or other useful business got done here at Sand Creek this weekend. I did wash two weeks' worth of dishes, but that's just maintenance work. The Hermit and I, excited as we are about moving in to the new house, are a bit weary of all the "essential" work that still needs to be done before winter, of having people, friends though they may be, over several days a week to wire, insulate, stack wood, etc. Our bank account is also weary. If I've learned one thing in a pay-as-you-go building project, it is this: Electrical wiring is not cheap, even when you don't contract out the job.

We did, however, have an unexpected night where it was just me and The Hermit (well, and Sally) in the new house. My stepson and his girlfriend and her son spent the afternoon and asked the kids over to their house for the night. They live about 70 miles south of here, on the outskirts of the cities. So there we were, the two (three) of us rattling around in this big new house, not quite knowing what to do with ourselves! We ended up watching a movie about Babe Ruth that we had rented from Netflix for Calvin, of course. It was good.

This morning we woke up on our own leisurely schedule, and after a hearty breakfast of ham and eggs and kale and onions I did a triple header on music: mandolin, flute, and banjo! There are so many times when I pick up an instrument only to find no inspiration to play, to explore, to practice a line over and over until I get it down. This was, happily, not one of them. I decided how I sound on a particular instrument is not related so much as to how long it had been since I last picked up the instrument (mandolin was probably a good 4 months or more), but more to my state of mind when I do finally pick it up. My state of mind was perfect for music this morning. The weather helped; after a glorious blue-sky fall day yesterday it was cloudy, cool, and windy, threatening rain. All the more reason to stay indoors in front of a warm fire with a favorite instrument.

The Hermit unfortunately had to leave after noon for a business event he has been dreading. I was left alone in the silence of the house for about an hour before I had to drive to pick up the kids. It was peaceful, and restless at the same time. The first thing I did was vacuum the new wool rug on the living room floor. Go figure. I did get some good banjo sounds in after I settled down. I had never been alone in that house before!

The drive to The Outskirts was rainy and full of weekend traffic on their way back, but I listened to Greg Brown's "Covenant" and "Milk of the Moon" CD's. Greg Brown is perfect music for fall.

My computer is still in the old cabin, which is minimally heated. I am off to sit in front of the wood stove, to be with my children and feel the love on this rainy October night.


Jayne said...

A beautifully written post Deb. I felt as if I was there. :c)

elise said...

I recently had to be at an 8:00 am appointment in a city that is 3 hours away so the night before I drove down and stayed in a hotel that was closer. I should have been happy in that room with the big old king sized bed all by myself with no noise, no talking, the TV all to myself, no one pestering me.....ACK! It was terribly lonely! I missed my husband and kids!

Dan Trabue said...

Have I mentioned to you that I picked up an octave mandolin a couple of months ago? It's a lot of fun, although I find it closer to the guitar than the mandolin in a lot of ways.

Our new favorite band is Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, as seen here.

That's my music update of the day.

Floridacracker said...

Sounds like a peaceful lull.

Deb said...

Jayne- Thanks! :)

Elise- In the few times I have stayed in a hotel room by myself, I have always felt that way.

Dan- Cool! The only reason I didn't get out my OM yesterday is that I would not have wanted to switch to another instrument. How are you tuning it? And what have you been playing?

Great video. It seems there's a whole new generation of roots-based bands out there, and a lot of talent. Have you heard Crooked Still?

FC- It was a nice lull indeed. Sometimes I don't realize how much I crave quiet, even if the result is me making my own noise.

BurdockBoy said...

I love reading the old regional blogs. Greg Brown-Aldo Leopold. People aren't on the same plain out here. I also miss Lake Superior, but that doesn't even need to be stated.

I can relate to a rainy October evening in front of the woodstove. That was last night in fact.

Dan Trabue said...

So far, I've only tuned it same as my mando - gdae - and I've been noodling around a bit with some of the celtic numbers I already know in that tuning (Britches full of Stitches, Road to Lisdoonvarnagh, etc) and a bit of this and that.

I've played some Tim O'Brien songs from one of his recent CDs - World of Trouble, for instance. Have you heard his stuff?

Deb said...

Dan- It's a finger stretcher, isn't it!

I like Tim O'Brien, but I must confess I don't have anything of his more recent than about ten years ago. Do you have Red on Blonde, his Bob Dylan cover album? I think his octave mandolin playing was part of what sucked me into this whole thing...

Deb said...

BurdockBoy- I didn't mean to leave you out! Good to see you here; from your recent posts on your blog, you sound a little homesick. Maybe something will come up!