Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Okay at this point I can't really think very well about what happened between April and July. We all went to school and work and got a $50,000 grant to make a movie (WOW ZEB!!!!). So MOST of us led normalish lives. (Except for the whole house-is-a-dusty-shell part, and the baby news over in the Ganci residence-yay!, and all that other exciting new that I heard about and now forget). So let's just skip ahead to July where all the cool stuff happens. I missed most of the month, because I went to camp for 3 weeks to become a leader-in-training and all... but then I came home and immediately repacked my bags for the infamous Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. I even invited the friend with whom I'd become a leader-in-training, Abby, to come with us. What an exciting year to come. We usually leave on Wednesday evening to go to Hillsdale, NY to get our campsite set up, even though the music doesn't start until Thursday afternoon. However, it was raining so hard that we simply stayed put (this is the first time I've ever gone on Thursday!) and ate pizza at my house. Abby and Betsy (our adopted family member; Jenny's boss) slept over at my house, and the Youngs actually drove up to Hillsdale and stayed in a motel. We ended up driving up Thursday morning, we lost a hula-hoop out of the back of the truck on the way up (oh well) and it rained the whole darn time, but we finally arrived at the farm, where the roads were so muddy that no one was allowed to drive on them. Guess what? That means we couldn't drive up to the campsite and unload directly there. That means we had to carry all of our stuff up the very tall and slippery hill and across a large field to our campsite. Well, that didn't really appeal to anyone, so we carried only our tents up to begin with, and Betsy immediately decided she would set up her tent and spend the night there no matter what anyone else did. My family (mainly meaning my mother) (wow, alliteration!) was leaning heavily towards the "spend-the-whole-time-in-a-hotel" route. Well that totally ruins the whole Falcon Ridge attitude. So the Youngs showed up and we said "Oh, well we might as well set up our tents.... Oh well now that our tents are up we might as well set up the carport.... Oh, well now that the carport's set up we might as well bring up the grill..." and ended up bringing everything up. It took well over 10 trips up and down the hill with all our stuff. and guess what Abby and I got to carry? The heaviest pile of carport poles, since Mom and Betsy had the really light pile and claimed that since they were old ladies, they couldn't carry the heavy ones. Needless to say, it took us a loooong time to get back to our site. And both Abby and I ended up with bruises on our hips and shoulders from carrying this massive stack of poles. (Empathy is highly appreciated, folks). In the end, I think, it ended up being worth the bruises, though. We heard some pretty fantastic music (Crooked Still, Eddie from Ohio, Jason Spooner Trio, the Farewell Drifters, Red Molly, The Strangelings, Anthony DaCosta, The Nields, and Tracy Grammer, to name a few), and it was sunny and warm for a few hours. Unfortunately, on Sunday, the storm of the century came beating through. It was around noon, I think, since most people were grabbing a bite to eat before heading over to see Red Molly and the Farewell Drifters in a great-sounding performance at the workshop stage. Our gang was all split up in various places, which I'm not recalling all of. Abby and I were getting ice cream after our lunch when the sky suddenly turned about five shades darker and we began to hear thunder. Within about 30 seconds, it was downpouring. Well, Abby and I thought we'd just wait it out in one of the clothing vendor's tents. Well, that didn't work so well- the storm went on for at least twenty minutes, and not only was it pouring, it was incredibly windy, there was massive thunder and lightning, and golf-ball sized hail (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjGjqmQhiTk) (<- That's a crazy video of the hailstorm). To make it worse, Abby didn't have a raincoat, and she had just gotten henna on her collarbone, so I let her borrow my raincoat, since I didn't mind getting a little wet. Okay, I got soaked, even though I only ran like ten feet into a tent with a folding chair over my head. Once it was just drizzling and it wasn't thundering so much anymore, we stepped outside the clothing vendor's tent, to see that almost all the vendor's tents were either collapsed or being put away by the vendors. The music was closed down early, and so several artists came without being able to play at all. It was a big bummer. We checked both the workshop stage (which was deserted), and the merchandise tent, where Jenny had said she might be (where the people inside told us to get out immediately because it might collapse- this is a HUGE tent, by the way). Then we headed up to the campsite where we were ushered in to the car of Ken (of Ken and Julia, friends of the Landry's, who were attending their second Falcon Ridge). In about forty-five minutes, we'd changed into dry clothes and were allowed to get out of the car and hear everyone else's stories. Julia (this is my favorite story by far) got caught by herself in the midst of the craziness after having just grabbed a crepe from a vendor called "The Skinny Pancake" (because they sell skinny pancakes). So she ran back to the skinny pancake and asked if she could camp out in their minibus to wait out the storm. They were all very nice and let her stay with them, and then they found a box of old "skinny pancake" company t-shirts. They were all wearing wet clothes, so they all changed their shirts into one of the skinny pancake shirts. So Julia, even though she was wearing a brand-new Falcon Ridge shirt, traded it for a dry one, which they let her keep. So she made some new friends, stayed in a safe, dry spot, and got a t-shirt out of the deal! How cool is that? All the other stories were kind of bland compared to that in my opinion, they all just ran back up to the campsite and hid in the car. Booooooring. Plus, Jenny had been shopping in the Merchandise tent buying cds, and had about 5 cds in her hand when the storm started up, and she had most of the kids, so she was running out with them to the campsite, when she realized she hadn't bought the cds yet. So she SET THEM DOWN!!!! Afterwards, she said to me, "I probably could have just taken them and emailed the director later and apologize for the craziness and ask how I could get the money to the artists", and I said "YES MOTHER WHY DIDN'T YOU THINK OF THAT THEN????" because we ended up with no new music at all. : ( But I probably would have done the same thing if I were her... I don't think we have the quick thinking gene... sigh. Luckily, Abby and I rode back home in Betsy's car, and Betsy had gotten some cds. So we got lucky.
So that was Falcon Ridge. It was exciting. It was fabulous. It was really, really, rainy. But it was still fun.
Okay guys. I could come up with five gajillion reasons why I haven't written since last year. Reasons like, I'm fifteen, so I get up at noon and go to bed at midnight, and do mostly nothing in between (Oooh, it's going to hurt when school starts.) Or reasons like I'm going into sophomore year with a darn heavy workload, including an A.P. European History class. So I'm spending all my spare time studying (ha, ha). Or reasons like our house is under massive construction and we live in a giant dusty shell. Our fridge is in the living room and my entire room is packed up for the next five months and we only have power half the time anyway, what with all the jackhammering and chainsawing and all. But I'm sure you're all not very sympathetic at all and are thinking at this very moment "oh, she's just too self-absorbed, if I were writing this blog I would write in it once a week, without fail". I really do apologize for the many-month span between entries, and I promise not to make any more false promises. (That was not a false promise.) Really. All I'm promising to do is write in the blog. I will do it. I'm just not going to promise how often. But hey, before this, you were getting nothing, right? And this is better than nothing.
But now I must tell you about the goings-on of the last six (seven? eight? nine?) months. Actually I'm just going to start in April because that's as far back as my memory spans. All descendants of Barb and Richard (including the pair themselves) traveled to the single corner of the country where nobody in our family lives: the good humid southeast. Actually, Barbara's friend Dean showed up for a few days as well, lugging his crystal ball with him in his little red convertible. We all spent a fabulous April vacation "celebrating Barbara's 60th birthday" on Sanibel Island, Florida (really, we just enjoyed the beach, but we gave her presents to make her feel better.) There were A LOT of pictures of birds. And A LOT of shells (credit to Olivia, who repeatedly got up at ungodly hours in the morning to go shell hunting).
Check out those pictures, though. Can you say goooooooor-geous? The baby alligator was in the pond right outside the place we were staying. It was crazy. And we went on this cruise where we saw the dolphins, they jumped alongside our boat for a good half hour! It made me want to be a dolphin. Also on the cruise I got a free Sprite for knowing the chemical formula for photosynthesis. Not to brag or anything. See the picture of the beach where the moon is up? That was our first night on Sanibel Island (actually, it was just Zeb and the Landrys, the rest of the clan had yet to arrive), and it was beautiful out with a full moon and everything, and the water was incredibly warm, so we played frisbee into the beach by moonlight. It was awesome.
Okay, I'm going to continue with our next event in a new post, because otherwise all the pictures would get mixed up and you all would be very confused. So I'm trying to save your confusedness. Here goes.