Anne Smith :: Blog for December 2010
Hi, Everybody! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!
I decided to combine December and January for a Winter Blog. I’m writing this at my parents’ home in Argyle New York, my hometown. I’m snowed in like everyone else. Having booked my Amtrak ticket to return on 12/26, I made the decision to cancel my trip back to Manhattan, predicting that the train would stall in the face of the storm. I changed the ticket to a 12/27 morning departure 9:22am; when I woke up this morning, I realized that this blizzard was a bad one-I tried to contact Amtrak at 1800-USA-RAIL, to check the status of my train. I was on hold for an hour, and after that, Amtrak just stopped taking calls. The internet service was down. After about 2 hours I was able to reconnect to “Julie”, Amtrak’s Female Avatar who is endlessly patronizing and insincere, who merely starts all over again if you lose your patience and swear at her. Julie: “I’m sorry: my mistake. Did you say schedules and fares?” No, Julie, I actually called you an ignorant slut…. Anyway, the next available seat was on a 9:22 am departure on December 29th, Wednesday. Thanks, Julie.
I’m lucky to be with my family, catching up with my brothers Mike, Pat and James-sisters, Betsy, Sue, Sally, all my nieces and nephews, my beautiful parents, Tom and Nancy. Tom is a real Lake Placid boy at heart and amazed me with his vigorous activities today-snowplowing the driveway, starting the cars, babysitting the kitchen pipes that had almost frozen last night, going down to the cellar to wrap pipes, testing the generator, walking Rusty, their Golden Retriever…I remind him that he shouldn’t be pushing himself so hard, and he looks at me as if I’m crazy. “I’m not some old man, you don’t have to tell me that.” He is getting ready to retire from his position as church organist. It was a bittersweet performance for me, to sing with him for the last time on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services. I teased him, “Pops, you’re going to be like Cher, or The Rolling Stones and have 10 final farewell tours”.
Marc decided to stay home with Luke, figuring that dealing with holiday travel and a large dog would be stressful and expensive for a 3-day visit. Of course, we didn’t expect the storm to extend my visit here, but I needn’t have worried about my boys…. turns out that Marc knows how to cook great dinners for himself! Hmmm…. And Luke is getting the royal treatment (which unfortunately included some raw pork ribs, but “live and learn”, as Marc says… I say, “mostly learn!”)
I had to cancel a recording session at LoFish, which was disappointing. I’ve assembled a great group of musicians: Andy Galore, bass, Brian Wolfe, drums, Jim Resnick, guitar; Ginetta from Ginetta’s Vendetta has added some spicy trumpet riffs and even spicier commentary…hang in there, everybody. Mercury has been in retrograde, going direct on December 30th. It’s been a rough ride, these past few weeks!
I’ve gotta just go with the flow and feel grateful for a year of learning and surprises in my life. I feel blessed and excited to unwrap 2011. I’m ready!
Sending you all a big hug and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Be safe! Have fun!
Until Next Time, xoxo Annie