Saturday, September 24, 2011

my desert island discs

There's a long-running BBC radio show called "Desert Island Discs"  where guests are asked to list 8 musical selections they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. Also one book and one luxury item. Here are my choices ... 

1. Neil Diamond: Cracklin Rosie
My parents hosted fabulous parties when my dad worked at the White House. This record was heavy in the rotation and we heard it in muffled tones from our bedrooms. So cool.
2. Es Ist ein' Ros' Entsprungen (choral rendition) M. Praetorius 
I love choral music. This was played often by my German mother at Christmastime. It brings me closer to my roots and my God and I'll need it on the island.
3. Emmylou Harris: All My Tears
Probably my favorite song sung by my favorite female singer. 
4. Jonatha Brooke: Full Fledged Strangers
Something about her voice does it for me. It'll keep me mellow in the midst of all of the fears and uncertainties I'll encounter on the island.
5. Liz Phair: Extraordinary
The soundtrack to my own personal party.
6. Nickel Creek: Smoothie Song
Gotta have bluegrass. Doesn't get much better than this.
7. My Favorite Things: John Coltraine
Tough to pick a jazz selection, but I could spend hours with this one.
8. The Decemberists: June Hymn
 I've seen this band twice with my family. I love that they love this song as much as I do.

Book: The collected short stories of famous American authors 
Luxury: Toss-up between unlimited supply of good Chardonnay and my guitar. May I have both?
If you could save only one song: Emmylou Harris, All My Tears

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Missing the Parade

It's Labor Day weekend. Three whole days to myself since the girl's at her dad's and the boy has entered adulthood and is now out on his own. They are both prominently in my heart this morning because of a parade. And I'm missing it.

This town is a zoo. Everyone with a vacation home is here for the weekend - as are droves of tourists and their grandmothers - for Pinedorado Days. The old-fashioned parade comprised of virtually everyone in town and their dogs made its way down Main Street approximately an hour-and-a-half ago. Silly little procession, really, but I've always loved it. So fun see your friends and acquaintances making complete fools of themselves (i.e. the dancing money bags from the local bank). I adore seeing the kids sitting atop floats and being pulled in wagons by their moms and dads, and marvel each year at how they've grown. This is good ole' Americana at its finest.

I could've gone on down there - crashed any one of groups of friends not actually in the parade who were no doubt lined along the parade route. But I needed to call a good friend who's going through her own personal hell, then do a little housecleaning. Maybe I'll take in a brisk walk later. I think this is the first Pinedorado parade I've missed in the 13 years we've lived here.

As I sit here avoiding housework and half-regretting my absence from the festivities, I realize it's not the parade itself that's getting to me - it's all it's come to symbolize over the years. I've treasured watching my children march down Main Street on this day with various groups they were involved in: Cub Scouts, cheerleading, junior high. We always viewed the festivities in all out hilarity with my then-husband's family, then trekked with the masses to the post-parade Pinedorado grounds where we lifted the kids high enough to toss coins into glasses for the coveted prize of a stuffed Spongebob Squarepants. Through the thick fog of time, even those "leaving the bounce house" tantrums find a place in my sentimental heart. All too much fun and no one wanted it to end.

My children cherish these memories as do I. Pinedorado has come to symbolize a happier time for all of us ... a time when our family was completely intact and all was safe and secure. But drastic circumstances have forced us all to change our very definition of family. As the three of us have discovered, all we need do is go down Main Street for the answer: This town, these people, this parade.