Last weekend I went to see the fabulous Kris Delmhorst at an outdoor concert with my friend Cindy. That would be Original Cindy (she of the dollhouse) or as Stuart now refers to her : Extra Crispy. Like, Original Recipe, or something.
(Photos have nothing to do with the post, but I couldn't help it. They are the first layers of my new painting series---more on that next time!)
Cindy is back from California for the summer and it was the first time I'd seen her in a year. It felt like it had been a week. I love friends like that. Just dropped right back into it, totally comfortable and easy.
You know how I love summer, right? Well, I'm working seven days a week and it's too easy to just let it slip away. I live for these three months, so I am making a strong effort to *actually do* summery things this time around, so I get to enjoy my favorite time of the year, so I don't have to get all stabby. (oh, spellcheck, I assure you: STABBY is a word.) One of those things I like to do is go to outdoor concerts.
Backstory on how I came to listen to Kris.
In early 2000, I had my own apartment for the first time, a teeny tiny studio. I was trying to recover from a disastrously failed love affair, I was desperately lonely. I was desperate, period. I had gotten a job as an embroidery machine operator which was lonely work. Loud machine all day, my coworkers were unfriendly to me, my anxiety was through the roof and depression, uh, through the floor? I have had many, many dark times in my life and this was one of the worst. I probably say that every time, but it's true!
Stuart, now my fiance, was my boss. Well, one of them. He is the owner's right-hand man and room-mate from college. I called him Stu then. He was the only reason I kept working there --- he was kind to me when everyone else was either cold or outright rude. Or at least that's how I perceived them at the time. Stu was totally professional, calm, unflappable, just an all round nice guy. Great boss. I would have quit after a couple of months if it weren't for him. (perhaps the tale of us another time, it's a good one)
I would work days, operating the 6-head embroidery machine, putting landscaper or construction company logos on sweatshirts. Sometimes after work, when I didn't want to go to my lonely apartment, I would put lipstick on and try to look cute and then I would go to Borders and walk around, hoping someone would talk to me. I was crawling out of my skin, I was so uncomfortable, so down, so in need. See? Desperate.
Eventually, I would go back to my place and listen to a static-y semi-local folk radio station and do collages. (I had given up painting the previous year--- that is a whole other story.)
One night Kris Delmhorst was a guest on the radio program I listened to and I just fell in love with her voice. I remember grabbing a piece of paper and writing down her name so I would remember her.
Maybe a year or two later, she played locally at a benefit concert that my friend Sue put on and I was like, "Hey! That's that girl! I love her!" I bought her cds and and have seen her in concert another time or two, once with Extra Crispy.
So when we saw that she was playing locally again, we were both psyched and it worked out for us to go together. I wish I had pictures, it really was quite a charming scene. My dang phone had lost its charge so I couldn't snap any, but let me tell you, it was dreamy. As Kris said when she got on the little wooden platform, "You all look idyllic!" Cindy and I spent a perfect summer afternoon together on lawn chairs and blankets in the shade of a big white community building at the top of a grassy green hill, listening to Kris. Bliss.
Bonus, I saw a bunch of other people I knew there too, including my therapist Chuck, who I simply adore. We sat next to him, and though we only chatted briefly, it was just a pleasure to be around him. He is one of my favorite people in the world. If you need a good therapist let me know and I will give you his number, he is MAGIC.
Here are some of my favorites by Kris:
and I love her new cover of The Cars Magic. LOVE IT.
(Meg Hutchinson opened and she was lovely.)
So. That's one summery thing I've done lately.
I have a whole list in my head going, which I will share later this week. What about you? What have you done or want to remember to do this summer?
Right now it's 8pm and I am on my front porch drinking a beer under some twinkle lights. I'm wearing a pink and orange summer dress and leaning against pillows made with my first fabric line, Sugar Snap. I can hear Stuart in the house and traffic on the road.
Life is hard, but good. And I feel so much love right now. Take a little of it for yourself, if you need it. Hell, take a lot.