I’d love to show you pictures of my weekend, but apart from a couple of really, really bad pictures taken of me while I was napping at the lake (Lala managed to get the camera out of my backpack which I was sleeping on without waking me), I didn’t manage to get any good ones.
It was a good weekend away. For the most part. Strawberry Music Festival is something I’ve almost always gone to with the family. Mom was always a huge part of it. I went by myself a couple of times, but that was different: that was by choice. This year I expected it to be kind of hard. And it was. Friday night I ended up with a migraine, which I brought upon myself by drinking beer at noon and then sleeping in the sun and then drinking more beer. Really, I’m not good with beer. I always forget that when it’s hot out, though.
Saturday was great, with the Knitters playing in the afternoon, Patti Griffin that night, and Lala’s band The Whoreshoes playing Evergreen Lodge later that night. The place was packed, and the crowd was high-energy. The Lodge is about a mile in the pitch-dark from camp, and there’s this wonderful spot between the two where you can’t hear music from either place. It’s just completely quiet and apart from a sprinkling of stars through the sugar pines, completely dark. I walked back alone and turned off my headlamp at this midpoint and sat on the side of the road, just feeling the dark and the quiet. It was wonderful. Then I had one (just one) Blair Witch thought and I hustled my ass back to camp, pronto.
Sunday was okay. The night was flipping rough. There’s a built-in sentimentality to the last night of camp. You’re regretting that the weekend is over, and you’re dreading packing up to leave the next morning. Usually I’m with my family and there’s that mad push-pull between loving them hard and wanting to get away. But Dad packed up and left early on Sunday, not staying till Monday (I suspect he was avoiding the pit I fell into, and he’s smart). And the sisters weren’t there. Lala was there, of course, but we were camped with her band so she was good and busy.
Sunday night was always the night we went to bed early. We’d leave the last show before its finish (or even skip it altogether). Mom would make tea and we’d sit around playing music half-heartedly. She’d offer us the rest of the hot water to pour on our washcloths to wash our faces before kissing good night. If we were at Live Oak, not Strawberry, we’d hear the last strains of the closing bagpipes floating in the distance. Mom LOVED hearing the bagpipes through the trees.
I lost everyone on Sunday (kind of on purpose) and then got good and sad. Dude. I just wandered around crying. Crying up at the stars, and lunging through the tent flap to hide whenever I heard people approaching our camp. Lala was so good to me, even when I told her I just wanted to be completely alone. She covered for me big time. I think she told our friends that I had another migraine. But no. I was just so sad, and so tired. I did get some of the best sleep ever that night, despite the fact that it got so cold both Lala and I were shivering at times. And the crying wasn’t bad. I wasn’t trying to get around it, or hide from it. It felt like some damn productive crying, you know?
But even with all that, it was a lovely time. I adore Lala’s band, and my absolute favorite time of the festival was Saturday afternoon during the afternoon break. Before we went to the Lake to cool off, the girls rehearsed some songs for their 46-song set (really) planned that night. There were two kids camping next to us who thought the gals were the MOST amazing things they’d ever seen, and they kept rhythm with the music with whatever instrument they had at hand (once, the little boy clapped his boat oars together, and he was totally in time with the beat). We loved them, and I caught them here. (Dad’s playing along, and what you can’t see is our friend Megan knitting while I’m spinning.)
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