Sunday, February 24, 2013

Musical Icons: The Judy Collins Chapter

Several weeks ago, while running into a local pizzeria for a slice one lunch hour, I saw a poster announcing Judy Collins would be in town on February 23 at an old movie theater a mile or so from my house. Neither TV Stevie nor I had ever seen her in concert, so we decided to go.

There was no assigned seating -- general admission only. We arrived about an hour before the show was schedule to begin. At first, TV Stevie wanted to sit three or four rows from the front, but the floor is flat there, and I am short. If someone sat in front of me, I'd be sightless. Then he spotted available seats in the front row to the left of the stage. Oh my gosh. The best seats I have ever had at any concert ever. We had a clear view of the piano keyboard -- of everything.

The show started on time. Ms. Collins's musical director was on the piano while she played a twelve-string guitar. The opening song was Chelsea Morning. She told the amusing story of how President and Mrs. Clinton told her they'd named their daughter after her rendition of the song, and how she suspected they told Joni Mitchell (who wrote it) the same thing.

Ms. Collins chatted with the audience between songs, one time mistakenly calling her locale Buffalo, but she turned it into an amusing anecdote. So many stories to share, with the names of musicians who peopled my teen years. Her play list was eclectic: an interesting meld of Leaving on a Jet Plane and Take Me Home, Country Roads; Purple Heather; Midway; several a capella songs; Ghostriders in the Sky; Helplessly Hoping; a new song, Veterans Day; Bird on a Wire. We heard the stories behind the music.

And her voice. Oh, dear Lord, her voice. The woman is 73 years old. and while there was cracking once in a great, great while, for the most part her voice was as sweet and pure as it ever was, and at times, downright ethereal.

There was a brief intermission, after which, Ms. Collins returned to the stage alone and sat at the piano. She sang two songs: Secret Gardens of the Heart and the Colorado Song. Neither TV Stevie nor I were familiar with either selection, and both were long, but to hear and see her play the piano while singing . . . breath taking. I admit I teared up during the first song, because it reminded me of my grandparents' farm.

Her pianist joined her on stage again for her finale: Send in the Clowns.

Her encore consisted of an a capella version of Buddy Can You Spare a Dime? and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

No matter how hard and long we applauded, how loudly people begged, that was the end of the concert. No Both Sides Now, no Amazing Grace, no Someday Soon (which TV and I both would have liked to hear her sing).

We are not at all sorry we went. Thank you, Judy Collins, for an excellent evening of music.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recurring Dreams Recurring

Someone on Facebook commented on my last post about recurring dreams, saying that she'd heard recurring dreams meant unresolved issues.


Well, I dreamed I was moving back to 1911 again this week. This time, it was just me and the cat--who's been dead for 22 years--returning to that apartment with the turquoise refrigerator. The wallpaper in the kitchen and living room was the same, faded only a bit. And the curtains I'd bought back in 1976 were still hanging at the windows, dusty and fragile, but still bright and cheery. Very odd, because I'd stumbled across the avocado-and-cream weave living room drapes in my attic a month or so ago. I'm sure the cream sheers were in the same box.

I'd gotten some disheartening news on Wednesday, dreamed about the apartment that evening. I'm going to start keeping track of those dreams here. Maybe I can trace the source.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Heritage vs. Bucket List

Last night TV Stevie and I watched the season finale of a popular television show. Many of the scenes were shot in Scotland and featured lovely landscapes. And the entire time I was watching, I was thinking, "I'm part Scottish, yet that looks cold, damp, and miserable." I have no desire to return to either my Scottish or my Irish (or English or Welsh) roots. My ancestors left for a reason. I'll bet climate played a part.

If I ever go abroad, I'm going someplace warm. Someplace dry. I dream of red wine, foods marinated in olive oil, and dusty herb gardens. There are no boots, mittens, or heavy coats. I'd rather hear Pan's pipe than bagpipes. This longing hasn't changed in decades.

Top spot in my bucket list of dream destinations is Greece. I blame author Mary Stewart for this. My Brother Michael, The Moonspinners, and This Rough Magic are three of my favorite novels of all time.

Second on my list is Spain. Again, the warm and dry climate prevails.

After that, in no particular order, are the south of France, northern Italy, and Australia. Not tropical Australia, but the warm, dry part.

Sense a theme here?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Recurring Dreams

Years ago, when I was single, I lived in a little 3-room apartment. I was there for about ten years. My major complaint about the place was how cold it was in the winter. I had a huge kitchen (with an ugly turquoise refrigerator and a marvelous antique Norge gas stove), a bathroom shaped like a bowling alley, a small bedroom, and a small living room. I also had a back porch, access to clotheslines, and more closet space than anyplace I've lived before or since. There was no shower, but there was one of those old, deep, claw-footed bathtubs.

For some reason, I frequently dream that I'm moving back into that apartment. Sometimes it's just me; other times it's with TV Stevie, and sometimes I dream that the Chromos are young again, and the four of us relocate into those four rooms. There is nothing in particular that triggers the dream. It simply happens.

Sometimes, the locale has changed slightly. In reality, the back lawn sloped down to the back lawns of people living on the parallel street, but occasionally I dream there is a river flowing at the base of the lawn.

I dreamed about 1911 (the address) again last week. The landlord was showing me all the remodeling changes he'd made, including enlarging the bedroom by taking out the back hall closet. He'd also painted over the pineapple wall paper in the living room and the yellow-and-orange flowered wall paper in the kitchen. (I really loved that kitchen, except for the turquoise refrigerator).

Maybe someday I'll figure out why that apartment figures so prominently in my sleeping hours.