Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Light and Airy

The name of this fiddle tune from the Fiddle Tunes of PEI seems an appropriate title for this post. The Wayne house on Pine Needle Alley indeed is light, and airy. Contemporary is the descriptive word of the day... lots of windows, southern orientation, a lot of wood and personal attention to detail.
This photo looks from the kitchen through the dining area, to the greenhouse beyond. The greenhouse breaks the direct sunlight from coming into the house itself, and collects warmth from the sun.

The main living area extends vertically to the second floor, and has a balcony & railing on the second floor which looks down into that main living area. A fan would be a nice addition here, to circulate warm air down in the winter, and to bring the hot air up in the summer to vent out the upper windows. The space is really nice though, it brings in a lot of light to the center of the house, and unifies all the spaces.

There are so many more photos! These will give you some idea of what the interior of the house is like. There are a lot of built-in shelves which add to the storage capacity of the home.

The kitchen, though not centrally located, functions as a center of activities. The main living area, the dining area, the back porch, the hot tub room, utility room... all these areas open off the kitchen. And from the kitchen you can see through to the music area off the living room, to the front entrance, into the greenhouse, and even up to the balcony a bit. The cabinets and counterspace are a little irregular, but there is a lot of storage space and some really nice touches that make it seem inviting to the cook and to the helpers! Butcher block low level counter seems conducive to chopping things while engaging in conversation.

We'll know more in the next few days if we're in a postition to purchase this house. Stay tuned for updates!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Surprise Shift

That's how I'm feeling right now. R and I have been looking for land, and have talked about building our own home. We've driven around, discussed our wants, likes, dislikes, and have each formed some pictures in our minds. In our back road search on Saturday, we happened to pass a realty sign and explored further. This house is what we found... the house and land we both want. Some of our reasons are similar, some are different... bottom line? We're going to look at the house tomorrow. Pretty exciting. And scary. Not what we planned, not really what we thought we'd be doing. But, we didn't go looking for it either, making it even more intriguing to see firsthand. The land is really nice. The house seems really nice from the outside as much as we can tell. Tomorrow will give us a little more information, and we'll have a better idea if this could be a new direction. Stay tuned for progress reports!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fireman's Reel

Avery is SO serious when he gets to our house! It takes him a good 10 minutes or so before he starts loosening up and just 'being' where he is :) I loved the little fireman's fleece he was sporting today... very CUTE. He didn't blow me any kisses (his latest thing), but he did sign 'more' when he wanted more muffin, and I got to see him walk quite a few steps (he does much better when he's walking toward his mama of course, he has not much interest in putting out for anyone else!).
We had a nice visit, I just love seeing this little guy. Jen and Avery were on their way to Freeport to do a little shopping and to meet up with their friend John for lunch. Glad to have seen them.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Out on the Road

This is the new license plate we've ordered, it should be out on the road in about 4-6 weeks!


As I was reviewing previous posts, and comments, I realize that I may have misled some of you into thinking that R and I are celebrating our first WEDDING anniversary this weekend... not true!
It was a year ago tonight that we recognized mutual interest, and that is what I was referring to as a marking of our first year together. Here's the story, for those of you who are interested.
Last year, I had made some personal resolutions to set my course toward living more responsibly, being more considerate of resources (environmentally as well as personal time and money), to be more focused on music (especially fiddle playing), and to get back into contradancing. For me over the years, contradancing seems to be sort of a hub in a wheel of other activities I like being involved with. The people that I meet there seem socially conscious, live with an awareness of their surroundings and their health, and in general promote a greener existence for all. I'd gone to a few dances over the previous fall, and in January had seen R at the Bowdoinham dance... that brief encounter sparked interest for me. Then when I saw R at the Whitefield dance (one year ago tonight) the interest seemed mutual. We dance, we talked about playing fiddle, and shared tunes we'd been working on. All the way home that night, and the next day, and over the weekend I kept thinking of times I'd talked with R over the years, and compiled all of my limited knowledge of him... kind of sizing him up in my mind. And at some point over the weekend, I found his email address and sent him the names of a couple of tunes I'd been playing... in retrospect I think it was my way of saying "Do you want to be friends?" He responded, and we emailed, got together and did end up getting married (April 21st). Hope this clarifies what may or may not have even been on your minds! At least I feel better for getting it straight!
So tonight we're going to celebrate that we're together, that we're committed to one another and the relationship, that we're on this journey together and that following our instincts a year ago and throwing caution to the wind was one of the very best decisions we'ver ever made.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fiddling Around

Tonight was the regular 4th Wednesday music jam at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church here in Augusta. This well attended jam is a nice gathering of fiddles as well as other instruments. This evening we had a piano player, a couple of guitars, assorted whistles, flute, and accordian. The blend of sounds is really nice. This particular jam is a little slower in pace, so it's a nice venue in which to learn new tunes or practice some that need work! The company is really nice too, very welcoming for new folks joining for the first time, or for those who have been before but infrequently.
I love playing music. Tonight I mainly played fiddle, but I did play the guitar a little bit too. It's fun to just play. I got R a nice book for Valentine's Day called Zen Guitar. It's not about playing the guitar really, it's more about making music and living in that manner. More on that after I read the book! I think that's how I'm feeling lately. Not so interested in perfecting my technique or getting the exact bowing down cold, but in making good music. The techniques will help to some degree, but only to the level that I let the music really take over what I'm doing.
To some it may just be fiddling around, but playing the fiddle stirs something deep in my soul and I just get transported a little bit when I'm playing with a group of people... like at the jams.

Fiddling Around is a tune from the Fakebook.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Year End Two Step

A year ago I was single and getting myself back on track mentally and emotionally after a few years of not doing so good. A year ago I was also pretty lonely, but okay with that and getting out more with friends. A year ago I didn't have any idea that my life would be changing so drastically. A year can change everything.
I'm not lonely anymore, I never lack for companionship, and the joys are endless. Sometimes it's a rush of pure bliss, other times it's a quite feeling of contentment and I love both those feelings. This coming Friday night will be the first anniversary of the beginning of our life together.
So, we're not ending a calendar year or a fiscal year, but we are coming to the close of our first year together. We've learned a lot about each other, and about relationships and commitment over this past year. It's not just about being married, it's about being really, really good friends. It's about communicating and sharing, and being there for each other.
Here's to another great year!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

By the Fireside

Nice little fire going in the kitchen wood stove today... it's a warm cheery spot to hang out on a cold day like today!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Flurry Flurry

What a wild and interesting 24 hours! Richard and I left Friday afternoon for a weekend of dancing in Saratoga Springs, the annual Dance Flurry. Richard has been before, but this was to be my first time. We'd booked a room for Saturday night, but because of my schedule on Friday we weren't sure we'd actually get to Saratoga for Friday night. We were able to leave town a little early, so we tried to call Holiday Inn, Saratoga Springs from the highway to reserve our room for both Friday and Saturday... no answer after many attempts. Richard was able to reach someone at a corporate level Holiday Inn who was happy to extend our stay... looks like a fun weekend in store for us!
Driving was a bit treacherous with the high winds on the highway Friday afternoon, it was really tricky trying to stay in my own lane as gusts of wind pushed and pulled the car. That, plus a tip from friends, led us to take the Biddeford exit and head across southern New Hampshire and then across Vermont into New York. The wind was blowing the tree tops so hard that we were making silly jokes about how the tops of the trees COULD probably snap off and impale the car; power lines COULD break and wrap themselves across the car; etc. I can't remember just when we started noticing that people were without power... probably shortly before we started noticing emergency vehicles, blocked roadways, detours, and downed trees. When we got into Saratoga Springs we really knew we were encountering something big because the entire city was dark. No traffic lights, no lights in the buildings, no street lights on many streets. It was a good thing Richard knew where we were going, I don't know if we would have been able to find the Holiday Inn in the dark. As it was, we never did see their sign on the building. Once there, we went to check in and found mild chaos. No electricity, no telephone, no cell phones... that's why we had been unable to reach them directly. Check in was done on pieces of notebook paper, there was a generator running for basic lights, and we were told we could stay there if we wanted to, but not to expect much other than cold running water (which meant the toilets worked and that meant the hotel was better than sleeping in the car).
We had flashlights with us, so were able to find our way through the hotel to our room. The generator made it possible for the room keys to function so we felt secure, though they did have to leave the outside doors unlocked. Walking through the pitch dark corridors, and up the pitch dark staircase made me think about last years hurricane Katrina, and the horror stories that were told by those who found shelter in the stadium. We were safe, and in a safe environment and I felt uneasy... I can only imagine what it would have been like in dark cooridors and stairwells surrounded by unsavory characters in terrifying weather conditions.
Saturday morning found us well rested, not too cold (we turn our heat down at home to 58F at night anyway) and ready for some COFFEE. We have a power inverter that plugs into our car and I thought maybe the little hotel coffee maker would brew us up a nice little pot of coffee, but apparently it uses more power than the inverter can supply so that didn't work. We went down to the hotel lobby, and they had the most wonderful breakfast spread. Muffins, cereal, juices, fresh fruit, breads, yogurt... and hot water with tea and instant coffee! All the tables were nicely set with linens and small candles, and a gas fire was going in the other room. The staff was welcoming, and especially helpful to one gentleman who required some special dietery considerations which they were able to provide. Once we got our food, and our coffee, we looked up and it had started snowing... you know, the really big slowly drifting flakes that make you feel like you're in a snow globe? Very romantic! I couldn't have planned anything nicer if I'd tried.
The hotel staff was encouraging people to check out since they did not expect power to be restored until possibly Sunday, and they were finding it difficult to accomodate people. So, we packed up our stuff and headed over to City Center where we heard the dances were going to be held until 4pm that day. We heard there had been some limited dancing Friday night, but all workshops were cancelled and all events for Saturday night and Sunday were also cancelled due to the extensive power outage.
Saratoga Springs lost their power Friday morning due to high winds resulting in massive damage throughout the area. One guy died when the top of a tree broke off and landed on his truck... so much for us joking around that such a thing could happen. When we left the dance around 4pm, power still had not been restored. Tree limbs were down, power lines were down and dangling. Dance Flurry organizers must have been so disappointed. I have to say though, despite the barriers and the reduced revenues, I had a really good time. I know that the event would have been much bigger, and more people would have been there, but to have it pulled together and to have four rooms set up with enough power for basic lighting and sound equipment so that dances could be held during the day says a lot for anyone involved in pulling it together. There were a lot of disappointed dancers too, who had travelled many hours to dance for just an afternoon, but as Richard noted to me, this will be the dance that is used as a benchmark for all other Flurries. 'Oh yeah, that was the year after the power outage' or 'I think that may have been the year before they lost the power'... so even though it didn't make the money planned, it will be remembered by all.
We're back home now, car is unloaded, we're getting ready to turn in for the night. It's been a flurry of activity to get packed, drive to New York, face unexpected circumstances, join in the dancing, and drive back home from the Flurry. But we've had such a good time together, and you can't beat that!
Flurry Flurry is a tune from Along the River.

Friday, February 17, 2006

String Theory

Richard brought the Martin (guitar) in for a much needed adjustment. It's a beautiful instrument, great sound and tone. But, it is a little difficult to play because the strings have been so high and it takes a lot of effort to get them down and keep your finger pressure steady for very long. Our friend Jeff recommended someone local to take a look at the guitar and he made those adjustments within a few days, hooray! We picked it up last night on the way to the jam in Pownal, and Jeff played it the entire time we were there. We won't be playing the guitar for a few days so we left it there for him (he's VERY HAPPY!)
I heard about string theory a few months ago, and I checked it out online. I found a really interesting website that has good information in basic terms as well as real scientific terms for those who would understand. Want to learn some science stuff that's pretty cool? Go to http://www.superstringtheory.com/basics/basic4.html. Let me know what you think.
String Theory is from the Portland Collection Volume Two (the green book).

Thursday, February 16, 2006


We've been driving around looking at land listings, and haven't found anything we're really very interested in yet. Our fund is limited, and we are fairly particular about the land we want to live on, as well as the area of the state. There has been discussion and consideration of property downeast as well as northern Maine, and we've even entertained living out of state. We keep coming back to this area of Maine... so we've decided to concentrate our efforts here. We'll keep checking out the land listings on realtor.com, and looking in Uncle Henry's. We've seen some pretty interesting pieces of land this way! None that we've seriously considered, but interesting nonetheless. Our new approach is to look at the Maine Gazatteer and map a route of exploration in a specific area of interest. We have an idea that there may be property available but not listed anywhere for one reason or another. This may be a long shot, but it's worth a try! It is a lot of fun to just take off for a day, or even an afternoon, with a lunch, camera, GPS, notebook, some great CD's to listen to, and most important EACH OTHER for conversation and companionship and just see what's out there. Who knows, sometimes we see a barn we like the looks of, or a field of turkeys, or sometimes an interesting land formation. Stay tuned for reports of our drives!

Route can be found in the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Last Day of School

Monday and Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a workshop/ seminar in Portland to learn more about QuickBooks. This program is great for keeping track of the numbers for a small business, and from what I heard yesterday it can also track larger organizations as well. The instructor was great, and the information was pretty easy to understand. I used to think I wasn't very good at math. That barrier made balancing the checkbook or using a budget a real chore. Sometime in the past several months, I realized that I really LOVE NUMBERS. I love how they work, and how they can sequence, and sometimes I even really love how they have this abstract concept to them. Once I acknowledged that, I decided that I really was pretty good at math. I'm looking forward to sitting down at the computer with my new found knowledge, and also with the confidence that I already have a good handle on this program.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kiss the Lass Ye Love the Best (Remember the Boys too!)

Happy Valentine's Day! It's nice to have a special holiday to show that special someone just how much you care... but how do you put all your emotions, hopes, hearts desires, your entire being into one gift or action? It's a lot of pressure!
As I look back over the past year, I realize how thankful and blessed I am to have found Richard. Don't get me wrong, we're just like the rest of you and we have our moments and even a day now and then that isn't 'fun'. But, not a day goes by that I'm not sure that we are meant for each other, and I love taking any opportunity I can to do some special little thing to let him know how I feel.
I talked in a previous blog about the different levels of friendship, and I think in a relationship there are different levels of love possible. The more levels of love shared, the richer and deeper the relationship. So, Happy Valentine's Day to all of you out there, may you feel love and joy in your relationships and take pleasure in expressing your emotions. And, to Richard, every day I say "Thank you for being mine!"

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pigtown Fling

A dentist, a lawyer, and a pharmaceutical sales rep were trying to get a 400 pound pig into a U-Haul trailer to take it to the butcher. Attempts to lure the pig with Dunkin' Donuts were unsuccessful.
The pharmaceutical sales rep thought he had enough tranquilizer samples to sedate the pig. The dentist suggested shooting the pig's legs full of novocaine to render it helpless. The lawyer however, said there was only one word to control a rowdy pig... "Sue't!"

Saturday Night Breakdown

Saturday evening found us playing lots of music! Richard and I started at the Westcustago Family Dance in North Yarmouth. Jeff and Maggie are the core of this band, and invite all to come and play along. The group varies from month to month, but it's always fun, and the time passes so quickly! The family dance is over before we know it, and we'd like to just keep playing!

Tonight we had our wish granted. A fellow fiddler mentioned to us that a bunch of others were gathering at a home in Bowdoin to fiddle the evening away, kind of a kitchen jam. So, off we went, following directions through the moonlit night down to the end of a dirt road. What a great evening we had. I think all the musicians there were connected to Fiddle-icious, but the tunes expanded well beyond that repertoire. Having a dozen or more musicians (mostly fiddles) gathered together in the kitchen/family/living/dining area was a lot of fun. I've never actually attended a kitchen party but have heard of them. I think if there were dancers, we could have opened up the floor to accomodate them! As it was, we were all just happy to be able to spend the evening sharing tunes... and even some goodies at the end! Thank you Val and John for opening up your home :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Bare Necessities

The basic necessities of life, I am told
Are things you can touch, feel , see, taste and hold.
But I'm a believer in richness of soul
That comes from the senses, and things you can't see.

Laughter from hearts filled with joy and with love,
The ground 'neath your feet, a blue sky above...
A peace deep inside is for me quite enough
To satisfy all the requirements of need.

The rest is all gravy.

Old Time Waltz

This figurine of an old time fiddler was given to me this Christmas by my friend Robin. I like it because first of all it's a girl playing the fiddle! I also like the soft, old colors and the way she's dressed... big boots, long skirt, warm coat. She's definitely not in the height of fashion, but it's the kind of look I like. Old time. When I think about dressing like this, I think of having a garden, sewing quilts, baking bread, painting pictures, drinking coffee out of a hand made pottery mug. And when I think of doing any of those things, I think of being dresesed like this girl here. I think that's one reason why I like contradancing. A dance brings people from the big outside world, and gives them a place to put on their old clothes, their vintage skirts, and just 'be' their comfortable self. Now, don't think you'd go to a dance and not see some new dresses or some bling, 'cause you'll see that too. The point is, you can be whoever or whatever your heart dictates regardless of what anyone else has on. A little different than dressing up for Club-E on Friday, but the thing is, I really like doing that too. We each have the opportunity to wear many 'hats', or dresses, or shoes/boots. Take that opportunity to express yourself, find the activity or place where you can just 'be' whoever or whatever you are with like minded folks... and then really go into yourself and sense that pure joy of being! For me it's old time stuff. What is it for you?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cottage in the Grove

This is Bryan's cabin in Fayette. I've spent a good amount of time out there during summers previous to last year, enjoying the solitude and gathering my thoughts. The little cabin is really nice and provides good, dry shelter from the elements. This is the sort of place Richard and I are looking for... fairly flat, off the road, a bit of a clearing to start a garden, plenty of trees. B did a nice job constructing this place, and I know he'll be glad to spend a little time here soon... he'll be coming to Maine for a visit before he heads to Alaska for the summer. The cabin provides all necessary amenities, as well as the charm of being 'off the grid'. As I look back over my life, I've had the opportunity to live many different lifestyles, and I have to say that spending the night earlier this week brought me an overwhelming sense of joy and peace in 'being'. It helped to settle our minds on the direction in which we want to be going... to identify 'where we are' and 'where we want to be'... now to create the vision and take action! This little cottage in the grove serves as a visual focal point for now.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Trip To Dublin

SK left this evening on a trip to Europe! She is flying into Dublin in the morning and will be there for about a week before heading to Germany. See her blog for more details and perhaps some occasional updates depending on her internet availability.
At any rate, Richard and I had a really nice day with her as we finalized travel details, drove to Boston, and had a nice dinner. SK has spent a fair amount of time here this past month or so, and we've enjoyed her company, she is a joy to have around.
As I'm reading this post, I realize the picture and caption could be misinterpreted... Richard is staying here stateside with me! We did bring our passports and fiddles with us today in case we had a sudden uncontrollable urge to purchase tickets and leave the country, but we resisted temptation and instead are remaining focused at the present time on our land search. It was fun for a short time though to pretend we were footloose and carefree and to know that we really could choose to flee the country if we wanted to.
I have to admit that I've had strong desire to travel the world in the past. And I'm still up for the traveling, but I feel a bit more settled in at the moment... happy to be playing music, hanging out at home, seeing family.
For now, we will live vicariously through SK, and in another couple of months, through Bryan as he ventures to the wilds of Alaska. And you never know when one of these days, it will be Richard and me on the plane!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Close to the Floor

That's where Richard and I slept last night. We acted on Richard's spontaneous suggestion that we spend the night in Fayette at Bryan's cabin, so we loaded up some firewood, our sleeping bags and pillows, fiddles, candles and a lantern (Let me tell you 'bout a story of a man named Jed...) and off we went... at 9:00pm. Not a lot of planning went into this expedition but somehow we got there with more than enough stuff (big surprise, we always seem to have plenty of extra stuff, haha). The roads were really icy on the way out there, which we found out unexpectedly but uneventfully. Others were not so lucky, we passed a tow truck pulling a vehicle out of the ditch, glad we were going slow! (See previous post for explanation on why we're being conscientious drivers).
Photograph taken this morning of the cabin is being really slow to upload so I may have to try that later. Richard and I did have a fun little getaway though, and realized we need to do that more! It reminded us of our early days together last year when we spontaneously decided we wanted to camp out in the Arboretum. Definitely a better idea to have hard cover in the winter, we did NOT wake up with frost on our sleeping bags this morning :) Temperature outside last night was around 36 F or lower, and this morning around 40 F (inside and out). The wood stove at Bryan's is a behemoth of a cookstove, a Magee something or other with a hot water reservoir on the side. Very nice stove, but I had a hard time getting it to stop smoking, I'm not familiar with the dampers etc. It did throw off some heat once we got it going last night though, and we were happy for that.
Our sleeping bags were warm, the air mattress was comfortable. We brought along some chairs, and last night once the fire was going, we had a really good time playing as many fiddle tunes as we could remember off the top of our heads. This was one of our best nights together in a while. We have a good time dancing, playing music, and in general just hanging out together but there's something to be said for living without television, stereos, telephones, computers, etc. There we were, just us and our fiddles and the quiet of the night.
This morning we had coffee and breakfast with mom and dad, another unexpected treat that just added to our great adventure. Today? Back to life and chores, but much lighter in spirit.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Laughing Boy

Jen, Jason and Avery stopped in this afternoon on their way through town... It was good to see them! Life gets pretty busy, especially when both parents work full time, and keep up with the house and chores... and love on this little guy! Avery is just the sweetest thing. He's starting to have 'conversations' (not that you can understand him) with all the associated facial expressions... too cute! He also sings... and he loves to say 'Yay' and clap his hands. He's all but ready to walk too. Jen and Jason are doing a great job with this little boy. Thanks to them for carving out time during a hectic weekend to stop in for a visit.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Celebrated Stop

Richard and I went out to Belfast this evening to play our fiddles for the family dance. We had a lot of fun... mostly familiar tunes, some folks we know and even more new faces. There was a really good turn out. This dance series just started up a few months ago and it seems really well organized... good job Chrissy and friends! After the family dance there's a short pot-luck sharing of food and then the 'regular' dance gets underway. The band tonight was great, and the dancing was really good... many new dancers, and experienced dancers. Both are important... new dancers to keep the interest alive in the community, and experienced to help teach and make it fun for the newer people.
So, we left at the break, after having a nice waltz together and chatting with a few friends. The weather had been pretty foggy on the way over to Belfast, but not too bad on the way home, just patches of light fog. We got most of the way home, doing really good, and we pass a state trooper sitting in an empty store parking lot... no big deal. Except the blue lights go on after we go by! I asked Richard 'Are those lights for us?' Really, what am I thinking, the road is deserted and we're the only ones that have gone by him, I knew he wanted US, haha. So, Richard pulls over and we're trying to figure out why we're getting stopped because we're only going about 55 or so, and it's the highway, so we must have a light out or something. Turns out, there's a short stretch of 40 mph and we had just entered it and somehow missed the sign. Oops. The trooper was really nice though, here's what a small world it is, he is the brother-in-law of one of the girls I work with (I didn't realize this until after I read his name on the paperwork). I'll have to pass on a good report through her next week at the office!
We're celebrating that we didn't get a ticket, and that we now know there's the 40mph area. Both Richard and I have been making a serious attempt to be aware of the speed limit signs (yes, even me... I know there are some of you out there who may be doubtful but it's true). If you can share in our lesson this evening, and drive safely and withing the posted speed limits, then I'm happy I've shared the story. I'm just glad I wasn't driving, because I think Richard has a much better record than I do, and I might have actually gotten the ticket!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Devil Ate the Groundhog

Happy Groundhog Day!
There are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about
the holiday. I joke around and tell people that depending on whether or not Phil sees his shadow or not, there will be either 6 more weeks of winter, or there will only be 42 days until spring... hahaha. I came up with that when I could never really remember if the shadow meant an early spring or not :) And how accurate do you think this groundhog is anyway?
Hopefully, Phil has no worries about being eaten by a devil. This tune can be found in the
Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes... remember, this is the book with the quilt on the front from the Janet Davis music company. The book came in handy for finding the name of this post!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

All My Friends

This is a post about friendship, and how it presents itself in many forms.
We are all aware of the traditional view of friendship, that special bond with someone with whom we can have heart to heart conversations, someone we depend on, someone who will tell us to smarten up and then hug us and love us no matter what, sometimes we call it a 'best friend'.
Another sort of friendship exists in a slightly larger group. You can generally recognize these type of friends because you'll see them together at different functions and settings, not necessarily often, but you'd associate them as a group of friends when you see them out together.
There's another sort of friendship that starts getting even bigger. It's called community. It can be as big as sending money and supplies to hurricane victims, donating to the Red Cross, being a member of Greenpeace, or supporting some other organization or cause... or it can be more local, taking part in helping out a family or local organization in your own home town.
Today I got to be part of that local friendship. A fellow area dentist became ill recently and was unable to practice. He is part of a group of area dentists who have agreed to cover for one another in the event of illness etc (both the dentists I work for are part of this group). This is, to me, another kind of friend. Maybe not someone you'd confide in, or someone you'd hang out with socially, but it is someone to whom a commitment has been made, and in this case, a commitment honored. The dentists I work for were willing and gracious in their commitment to their professional friend.
Peter is one of the dentists I work for and I work with Justine at Club-E. Both are personal friends, and both were part of the community of friends who helped the ill dentist by donating time in his practice to keep it going until he can get back to work. Today, I got to share in that community. And in the process of helping out today, I feel I made more friends.
I may or may not see these women from that other office again, but for today, I felt like we were friends, and I really appreciated their openness and conversation, making us feel at home there.
Get the picture? Who are your friends? It isn't really necessary to categorize them, or place their names in a hierarchal style list (is hierarchal a word?). But it is important every now and then to take a general stock of who your friends are... and even more importantly, to whom YOU ARE A FRIEND. Where do you spend your time and with whom? Where do you WANT to spend your time, and with whom? Make one answer to both those questions and I think there will be a sense of peace and purpose to your life.
To all my friends, those individuals who know my heart, those at work, those at the dances and music jams, my neighbors, nameless people I meet in the grocery store, my children and parents and siblings... to Richard... thank you all for enriching my life with your friendships,
and for letting me be a friend to all of you.
All My Friends is a reel from Jerry Holland's Collection of Fiddle Tunes.