Time with family(ies)

Since I last wrote we’ve been spending time with families. Ian’s family, mostly, but also Dani and Jacqui’s mom Cindie (Didi) and two sweet families in the small town of Spooner, located in the northwoods of Wisconsin. After our show at The Root Note in La Crosse, Wisconsin (where I was briefly reunited with two dear friends from my Costa Rica past) we traveled to the big city: Minneapolis. Ian’s father Bruce and his fiance Gigi live in a beautiful house in the simple forested beauty of Minnetrista, just outside of Minnetonka, just outside of Minneapolis. We spent our days resting, enjoying runs along the country roads, eating, and performing in downtown Minneapolis and St. Cloud. We were also given the honor of providing music at Bruce and Gigi’s wedding on Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps the most memorable show from this time was at The Icehouse on Saturday eve  in uptown Minneapolis. The Icehouse is a large, beautiful venue with a bustling bar and what looked like delicious food. We had an excellent sound check and met our co-bill band, The Last Revel, a trio of charming young gents. After wandering the thrift store scene we landed at French Meadow Bakery for a meal, tea, and fanciful storytelling: I had turned into a deer named Sara Wilbur and I lived in the forests of Alaska. I revered a protrusion on a fallen log and started a religion called Lumpumpism. I can’t remember how it ended, but I’m sure reverentially.

The show began at 10:30 and it was quite loud. We expressed to the audience that we couldn’t hear ourselves play, and we wanted to create a listening environment, and many folks earnestly wanted a quieter atmosphere, but others were there for the bar scene and to socialize. We’ve discussed several times since: is it more appropriate to stay true to what you want to present at risk of alienating some audience members, or to give the audience what it wants and discard your true performance intentions? Can this question be applied to how we live our lives in general?

We left Minneapolis rested and recharged for the next part of our tour, traveling through Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. Our first stop was at a veritable mansion of a home outside of Spooner, Wisconsin. Surrounded by birch trees and meadows, the home was an exposition of West-meets-East, with Japanese pottery and murals alongside bobcat taxidermy. Bruce and Laura and their four children welcomed us warmly. We stayed at the home of Michael and Rebecca that eve.

Michael and Rebecca own The Potter’s Shed, an art gallery/cafe/do-it-yourself ceramics studio in Shell Lake, just outside of Spooner. Michael and his family are fantastic artists and maintain a busy schedule: booking bands, running the studio, publishing catalogs, talent buying for the gallery, and spending time with their four children and eleven grandchildren. We had a delicious day relaxing before a magical show in their quirky cafe in the evening.

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Thursday morning was spent with a run to admire the trees and the brisk air. Today we head to Hancock, Michigan to perform at the Orpheum Theater. Our hearts are full with family love.

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