Sometimes a person reaches a saturation point. The dampness of this coastal Alaskan summer was beginning to take its toll on my mood. My imagination was stuck on replaying a scene that involved waking up in the morning and seeing blue sky and a yard that could be navigated without getting soaked. I needed some sun and I wasn’t going to get it in Homer. A field trip was in order, so my sister Marla and my friend Kate and I headed north, to the Anderson Bluegrass Festival.
There were no guarantees that the weather would be nice in Anderson, but whenever people gather to play music there is different kind of warmth that is created, a kind of heat that is a close second to that which comes from the sun, and I needed some of that as well. Lucky for me the weekend did not disappoint on either front.
We left on Thursday afternoon and headed toward Anchorage to stay one night with our friends Jay and Sigrid, host and hostess extraordinaire. They have an enviable way of making people feel right at home the moment you enter their presence (not just their home.) Sigrid attended the play of one of her nieces that evening so we didn’t get to see much of her, but Jay whisked us away to a birthday party of a fellow musician and fiddle player, Peter.
Several friends that I’ve made over the past five years of attending Alaska Fiddle Camp were there, and it was great to get to see them, especially since there will be no camp this year. After visiting for a while we found our way to the dining room that had been cleared out to make room for the purpose of playing music. My brain was dull after the drive, and I could feel the beginnings of a headache (I should have known better than to substitute dinner with a mocha,) but thankfully my friend Sherry, another fiddle player, was there with her plethora of tunes, and between her and Peter and George, I enjoyed the luxury of just playing along without having to think too hard. We played until just after midnight (in order to usher Peter into his 40’s) and ended the evening by passing around a gallon of raspberries that George had picked from his yard and given to Peter as a birthday gift.
It was raining again as we left the party but it didn’t really matter. I felt content, and warm, and glad to be in Alaska among my friends.