Second entry, part 1: Epitaph of the sock monkey

From our first ‘jam session’, on the second- reviews were unanimously outstanding. That’d be cousin Kate on piano on the right.

January 3, 11:45 pm

I’m absolutely exhausted. Well, at least I think I am, as much as I slept on the road today. Nonethless, being a night owl back home doesn’t translate well to restful sleep here. I needed to write anyway.

One thing I like about Nova Scotia as opposed to Alberta- though we’re driving a lot more, it’s a beautiful province to drive in. Dense, lush forests line every road here, and you’re never really far from a beach or ocean.

(I almost went to the cliche bin for a ‘words can’t capture it,’ but I think I’ll leave that nugget where it is. Words CAN capture it- just better words than mine).

So we had lunch with Grandma (Dad’s mom) yesterday, and she seemed pretty spry. I think she’s someone who enjoys visiting people, and getting visited by people, and that gives her energy. Nanny came along with us, as we were heading over to Aunt Karen’s place in the afternoon for our first ‘jam session’ with cousin Kate.

We went for lunch in a place in Windsor, that Dad raved had the ‘best cheeseburger he’d ever tasted’. He went so far as to say that he regretted ordering fries his prior visit here, and wished he’d ordered another cheeseburger.

Dennis and I did the burger and fry thing, and Dad, true to his word, ordered two cheeseburgers. And he was right- they were outstanding. And they weren’t so big that eating two would be a stretch for a human being with a normal appetite. I found myself agreeing with Dad when I was done, wishing I’d ordered a second one in lieu of the fries. Not so much that the fries were bad (they were good enough), but the burger was that good.

So after that, we took our group over to Aunt Karen’s for a little afternoon visit and practice. We’d often spend a lot of time here during prior visits to Nova Scotia, as Karen had a son, Philip, who’s about our age (maybe a year younger). At that age, I remember not really enjoying the whole ‘visit the folks’ thing, and hanging with cousin Philip was a lot more fun. He’s out in Ottawa working, though, and won’t be in until the weekend.

Kate’s a couple years younger than us, but always put up with us, a fact which I’m more grateful for now than I was then. She was as apprehensive as we were about the whole ‘let’s throw something together this week to play on Saturday!’ thing, but was just as eager to get started.

So in front of a modest crowd of spectators, we tried a few hymns. It went GREAT.

Dennis and I have always had wonderful chemistry playing together, and it was like we’d never stopped. The moment he’d stop playing melody, I’d jump in. And Kate, having never played with us before, fit into the mix very easily.

It was hard to take her “Wow! I’m never playing alone again!” proclamation at face value, but it was still a little humbling to hear, even from someone as cheerful as her. Even as uncertain as Dennis and I were, we both agreed it went well.

Karen offered to put us up for the rest of the week- an offer that was tempting (especially given our want to practice), but that we declined. It would have been fun, but we don’t get out here too often, and we’ve still got to hit up the rest of Dad’s brothers. As many of them as we can, anyway- apparently we didn’t have contact information for Uncle Jim, but we thought we’d see him on Wednesday, when we went to Uncle Don’s.

We went home to Nanny’s, and had supper, where Dad reminded us that if we were going to Don’s (which we were) and if we were going to help him lay his sub-floor in the basement (which we were, apparently, having never done it before) we would have to be up fairly early.

Seeing ‘Pardon the Interruption’ at 6:30 yesterday just drove home the point about the time difference. That and the constant exhaustion, anyway.   

                              Us, again. You can see the clarinet in this shot, which is nice.