Sunday, April 15, 2018

an evening with...

An evening with Rory Feek... reminds me of another concert years ago - An Evening with John Denver. Two great songwriters connected in time, brought to mind when I first heard Rory sing John's Back Home Again.

We have followed Rory's career for a few years. Buddy told me about this country duo, Joey and Rory, he liked their music and started following them on Facebook. We started watching their TV show and loved watching their story unfold. Rory was also documenting everything in his blog, This Life I Live. They were touring and performing and living the life of rising country stars, when their journey suddenly took a few unexpected turns. They decided to start a family, along came little Indiana and soon after a cancer diagnosis for Joey. All this time Rory was still documenting everything about their lives in words and film, and fans across the world were following their story and hanging on every word, waiting for the next update. Two years later Joey was gone, Rory was once again a single dad.

Hardison Mill Farm

When I saw on Rory's blog that he was going to start performing again, I immediately got tickets. The show was going to be at his farm in 'some barn' (named after the song that paid for it - Some Beach) a small venue holding about 200 people, very small and personal.

Some Barn

We arrived early and parked in the gravel lot between the barn and the new schoolhouse, watching the rain and waiting for the venue doors to open. Buddy asked if I had some tissues to take in. "Yes, I have a couple in my jeans pocket." He said, "I guess I should take some, too, my allergies have been acting up."  Allergies uh huh.

Way back before the baby and cancer, Joey and Rory recorded a song written by a good friend about the death of her mother, When I'm Gone. Joey sang the song in the video as if she was gone, talking to Rory and telling him he will be okay when she is gone.

We were sitting in the audience, chatting with folks when the lights dimmed right at 7 p.m. and the video screen lit up with Joey singing When I'm Gone. Whoa, this is not going to be easy. But then Rory came out and started telling their story, and he is going to be okay, as okay as he can be (he said).

Rory Feek

Heidi was singing backup just like on the TV show, and little Indiana made an appearance, she is 4 years old now, so sweet. There are new books in the future, plans for the schoolhouse opening, lots of stories and songs. It was a great evening spent with old friends (we felt like). Is it weird that millions of people feel like they know this man personally when he doesn't know any of us? (facebook followers = 2.3 million). Look there's Julie (Joey's best friend/fan club prez), and Gabe - filmmaker and neighbor, and oh it's Russ the bus driver (they called him Russ Driver). All these folks we met through the show and blog.

Stories from way back in younger days to stories of 'how we met' and daughters and farm life all the way up to a story from just the day before. A couple flew up from Florida to see the show, were eating at MarcyJos and talked to Rory - they wanted to give $10,000 for a trust fund for Indiana. Rory took them over and showed them the schoolhouse and talked about the future plans there, the man wrote out a check for $150,000. The schoolhouse was started with the over $95,000 in small donations that came in when Joey died, in lieu of flowers. The school will be for local children, several with special needs.

Hardison Mill School

After the show Rory wanted to meet everyone so we waited our turn, got to meet him, give him a hug, Russ Driver took our picture in the lobby, where sweets from MarcyJos were being sold alongside lots of CDs and books.

Rory expressed his gratitude for all of his support team of friends and neighbors who encouraged him to get out and do this, said if it was up to him he would be sitting in his house. And if he did get up on stage he would just tell stories, but he was encouraged to sing and play and he did so, beautifully entertwining the songs with the stories.

An evening with Rory Feek, time well spent.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Sewing Machine

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

A extraordinary story about an ordinary object, a sewing machine. What can be said about a sewing machine that would make a good story? Natalie Fergie answers this question overwhelmingly with her story of the little Singer machine, from the time it was being made in the factory, through 100 years of use, and handed down through generations. This is the story of the women and men that used this machine, the way they are all connected and intertwined seemingly by the threads of the machine.

My favorite part was the journals kept by the people sewing/mending/creating projects, one page in a small book dedicated to each project, a line of sewing on the page with a small scrap of the fabric and notes as to what was made, for who, etc.  I actually got choked up visualizing this, notes in little books going back 100 years.

2016 - Fred is cleaning out his grandparents house, opens up the old Singer case, discovering a bundle stuffed inside containing 16 small notebooks which he discovers go back 100 years.

"Some have homemade covers cut from scrap paper. Fred can see that one has been made from a road atlas, and another has a picture of sweet peas on a page from a seed catalogue. There is a school jotter and an old cash book. At the bottom of the pile, the final notebook is covered with a familiar wallpaper with cars on it. ‘My bedroom,’ he says softly.
He opens one of the books. Each page has a line of stitching running vertically near the outer edge. Yellow stitches on the first page, then white, blue, black. And caught in the seam every time is a scrap of cloth, maybe two inches by one. The pages have writing on them too and he catches his breath; it’s the same as the handwriting on the first six of the birthday cards in his treasure box, and on the jam jars in the larder."

I thought what a wonderful idea, a good idea for the history of one sewing machine, but also a good idea for the documentation of one person's sewing history even on different machines. What if I had done this? The school dresses, mini skirts from the 70s, baby clothes, bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses, quilts, my wedding dress c.1973… what a history…

The Sewing Machine is a new favorite book of mine, a reminder of the importance of family, of passing down through generations the tools and skills and stories that make up each family's history. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Old Shawneetown, Illinois

The Shawneetown Bank State Historic Site is a historic bank building is a Greek Revival structure build in 1839-1841 in Old Shawneetown, Illinois.

Old Shawneetown is on the banks of the Ohio River at the Illinois state line. As of the 2010 census, the village had a population of 193. Shawneetown served as an important United States government administrative center for the Northwest Territory. The village was devastated by the Ohio River flood of 1937. The village's population was moved several miles inland to New Shawneetown. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Garden of the Gods, Illinois

A 2 hour drive from our campground in Kentucky, Garden of the Gods in Illinois.

One of the most photographed locations in the state, Garden of the Gods' scenic beauty is extraordinary. In the recreation area you can hike, camp, nature watch or picnic.

The Observation Trail features unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the Gods Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. 

The 1/4-mile trail is made of natural sandstone and takes about an hour to walk. It contains short, steep grades and steps; benches are located along the trail and as a whole the trail is not tiring. Caution should be used due to the high cliffs in the area.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

wedding snapshots

I have not seen the official pictures yet, but there are many unofficial pictures popping up on social media, and I will use some of them, thanks all!

The preparation - Madison helping the guys with strange buttons and pocket squares, Sarah helping Allison with makeup, Melissa running around decorating tables, Madison decorating the arbor, a true family affair.

I thought I would cry, had tissues in my pocket, but it was so much fun, the bride was laughing, the groom was laughing, and only got serious once during the ceremony.

The raindrops fell mixing with the tears, tears of joy and remembrance, as the story was told of the ring on her finger, the history of Allison's grandmothers ring that was now encircling her finger. But mostly tears of joy and laughter, so much laughter

The giggles and the nerves, the grooms ring almost going on the wrong hand, when "pssst Kyle" and he turns away from his bride and looks back to the crowd and several people lift their left hands and whisper LEFT HAND.

Allison held out hope for her outside ceremony even with threat of rain, and the sprinkles did not dampen her mood or spirit, she said it was "perfect".

The only time I did choke up a little, caught me by surprise, when the couple was introduced at the reception - Mr. & Mrs…. Okay it is real!

The party afterwards, the good food, good times, the little ones running around, dancing.

The sparkler finale sendoff was the perfect ending to a perfect day. 

Congratulations! Kyle and Allison 02/11/2018