Well.....it's been a while friends. A good and root settling season, but one in which music played only a peripheral role...and I didn't really see it coming. It has been absolutely beautiful to build relationships, be a little homemaker, and learn the delicate balance of juggling multiple jobs and sleep and sanity (which I love almost every part of!). But there's something about the approach of Autumn that settles me back into scheming and dreaming. Three years ago I was playing my very first "singer-songwriter" gigs. Two years ago, I looked ahead to moving back home to Virginia.....and this time last year I was across the country, headed to experience firsthand life at the Mexican/US Border. So I am not surprised as the temperatures dip and the leaves begin to fall, my heart looks to the next adventures.....which ONLY involve a bit of travel, songwriting, and music creating....no moves in my immediate future! :O
So if I wasn't writing, gigging, and traveling over the last 10 months, what exactly was I doing?
Infiltrating Reston has proven to be a great generator of stories and new friends. I've made friends through purchasing furniture on craigslist, through swing dancing and book clubs...I've gone speed dating, and museum volunteering and attended cocktail parties and learned vodka can make me feel paranoid enough to think I've been roofied (which clearly I wasn't).... I've hosted dinners in my home and met a boy from out of town who turned out to be married with three kids.... I could go on.
But to celebrate the end of this self-declared hiatus, I will simply share what life has been in few words and many pictures.
Restoration Church. This community has my heart. We love and learn and meet new people together and continue to take risks and dig into the community around us. Last weekend we had a booth at Oktoberfest where we face painted over 500 children and adults. I had never face painted before.... but I proudly learned the art of a delicate unicorn and a cute tiger and tried to hold my own on the requests of dragons, spider-mans, and ninjas.
Swing dancing. What began as a very simple way to force people to be my friends by seeing me in class every week for two months has led to some of my dearest friendships here in Reston. Plus I've fallen in love with the dresses, the music, the WWII airplanes, and showing up to dance with WWII and Vietnam Vets who are flown in to Washington DC to visit the memorials as a part of the Honor Flight programs....who knew that slipping into some crinoline and leaving red lipstick imprints on an 80 year old man's cheek would become my preferred way to spend a Saturday?!
Family. I have no real words to express how much I love getting to see them at least once a month if not more. How it's no big thing to find a break of a day in the schedule and head down to Colonial Beach for an overnighter. Or to meet up in Fredericksburg for a movie and dinner. Complete game changer.
The odd jobs. Both Arise Campus Ministries at George Mason and substitute teaching have given me the opportunity to meet people, share my story and feel grounded here in Northern Virginia.
And so the hiatus is officially over. I've got a few blog posts in mind and next month I have a mini trip up to Pennsylvania to share with a church and youth group and a couple of house shows lining up through the end of the year. I'm also starting to scheme a potential cross country road trip to include the Northwest and maybe up to.....Alaska?!?!??! for next May/June..... if you are anywhere between Virginia and the Pacific Ocean and you have an interest in hosting a house concert, let me know!!
Time can only tell what the next stories will be.......