Blog 2010-12-09 // December Already??

Memories of the Road to Saskatchewan
and December Denial

HOME SWEET HOME! I returned home safely from my Big Adventure driving through Saskatchewan and Alberta, playing 17 house concerts in 20 days. And what an utterly unexpectedly wonderful adventure it was! Louie proved to be pretty useless as a second driver, continually veering off the road to chase squirrels, so I was solo for that formidable responsibility, but he was still GREAT company. Someone warm and furry in the passenger seat who never required engaging conversation, sharing a bathroom, or demanded the ever present CBC radio to be turned down, cannot be underrated. And thanks to Bill Werthmann's life saving hint of chewing ice chips to stay awake, I wasn't plagued & tormented by my usual Drowsy Driver Syndrome.

And so I lived to tell my tale of discovering Saskatchewan. After all these years of touring, just hitting the major cities in SK never provided me with the incomparable experience of driving miles of Range Roads in the Middle of Nowhere to discover, not only a Somewhere, but the most Salt of the Earth folks one could ever have the pleasure of meeting, let alone playing for. All it took was a morning in the middle a field the size of Howe Sound and a hit of the fabled Big Sky to "get" why people love it there. I was continually enthralled by the vista and the vastness. I was enchanted by the Unexpected Moments - Like standing on the edge of a field in Leipzig SK, stunned by an awe inspiring silence like I've never experienced before - no cars, trains, people, wind, NOTHING - it was Big. And miraculously sunny and dry the entire trip.

The trip tugged at some of those feelings I had when I was 18 and hit the road to come to Canada - that sense of exploring; long days of uninterrupted pondering; spontaneous stops for inspired Photo Ops. I loved getting in the car every morning with that stirring anticipation of adventure. Of course, I had to suspend my Green side to pump $600 worth of fossil fuel into my vehicle, but aside from that, it was a three week "artist date" (for those "The Artist's Way" followers).

Huge gratitude to all those who opened their homes to host these concerts. I LOVED being dropped in the middle of your lives for a day - getting steeped in your world and the warmth of your community and circle of friends and acquaintances. You were all remarkably gracious and delightful hosts.

And Hoo@#$%&*ray for Mitch Podolak and Home Routes for their vision in creating a network throughout Canada. You are truly the artists' friend.

In fact, I've just been offered another tour on a new Southern BC route that sprang from folks who read the Readers Digest article about Home Routes and wanted to get involved. In February (Brrrrr):

Castlegar BC Fri Feb 4
Summerland BC Sat Feb 5
Kelowna BC Sun Feb 6
Kelowna BC Tues Feb 8
Kelowna BC Wed Feb 9
Kamloops BC Thurs Feb 10
Chilliwack BC Fri Feb 11
Langley BC Sat Feb 12
Surrey BC Sun Feb 13
Powell River BC Tues Feb 15
Comox BC Wed Feb 16
Victoria BC Thurs Feb 17

You can contact Tim Osmand at Home Routes if you want more info on a show in your town:
1-866-925-6889 ext 207 or tim@homeroutes.ca

Okay, I was in denial that December was coming but I've now surrendered. The lights are up, the presents are collecting in the back of the closet, and I confess to counting the days until Julia comes home on the 22nd. I'm finding as the years of her being off at University go by, that I long for her return even more than when she first left. It certainly makes the anticipation and the holidays sweeter.

If I don't manage to get another letter out before the holidays, a Very Merry to you all. Please celebrate your families, try not to get on each other's nerves, have big forgiving hearts, and be kind to one another.

I am most appreciative your ongoing support and sharing your stories with me. I'm hoping to re-vamp my website very soon so I can have a blog that is more interactive. (Any ideas for designers out there?) in the meantime, write if you feel inclined.

Happy Trails!
Shari

Oh...and a Big PS....
The GRAND CARIBOO OPRY & THE HIGH BAR GANG

LAST NIGHT was a first - Julia and I both had shows on the same night - I was part of Barney Bentall's CBC Television taping of the Grand Cariboo Opry with the High Bar Gang, and Julia's a capella choir in Montreal had their first big concert doing many of Julia's choral arrangements. It was a kick to check in with each other how our respective shows went (both resounding successes!). The taping took place in Studio 40, rich with memories for me, right back to the taping of the Valdy and the Hometown Band Superspecial in 1976.

If you're in the Vancouver area, you have a chance to see the last show of the Opry season on Sat. Dec. 11th at the Vogue Theatre. It's an incomparable night of music and entertainment. Truly. With Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall, Kendal Carson, the amazing Ridley Bent, Wendy Bird, Matt Masters, Daniel Lapp, and a stellar band, plus The High Bar Gang.

Tickets:
By phone: 604-569-1144
In person at the Box Office Mon-Sat 10-6 & Sun 12-4
918 Granville Street