Saturday, December 29, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Why, need you ask??? After all, it's the HOLIDAYS! That's right! So of course I haven't blogged since Christmas, the last day I was able to put two salient, reflective moments together and form a coherent thought. I worked full days Wednesday and Thursday, had Christmas with my kids Thursday night, spent Friday getting ready for and going to my family's holiday gathering at my brother's while taking calls from my employer nagging me to, in all my spare time, run out and get a Blackberry (I call it a raspberry) because remote access to our email has been down. Then, today, after being out last night with the children until nearly 1 a.m., it was more chores while waiting for my children to finally wake up (vacuuming up cat litter at 10 a.m. in the upstairs bathroom finally rooted Son of Mando up) after which we picked up a couple more friends and spent the afternoon taking in the holiday show at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, followed by an extended playdate at my son's friend's house, which has now turned into a sleepover at MY house.

Because I'm insane.

Music for that? Of course! How 'bout this catchy, hot-cha-cha number from the King of My Mando World, Sam Bush? With a name like Bananas, it is my undeniable theme music for the evening. It's from his 2004 release, King of My World.

Getting me through days like this is knowing that Sam is joining a host of other fabulous musicians playing with the Soul Sax king, Bill Evans, at the Kent Stage on Jan. 26. We're planning a big sleepover at my house so pack your toothbrush and head on over to Northeast Ohio!

Back to the current sleepover...sweet dreams! Where did I put my glass of chardonnay...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Not All Is Cozy As We

I hope everyone is enjoying as peaceful and cozy Christmas as I am. It started last night with a beautiful meal of portabello mushooms over Basmati rice shared with my friend E while listening to fiddle tunes and enjoying catching up. I topped that off when I got home by playing a few tunes and starting to learn a new one, "Old Bunch of Keys," before settling in with some rum-laced hot chocolate and about 30 minutes of the Big Show at the Vatican (honestly, the looks on those faces. Did anyone catch it? The Pope looked like all he wanted was to go home and have an eggnog.)

This morning, I woke up warm and cozy in my own bed. I had my favorite hot cereal for breakfast, made a batch of my family's favorite holiday cookie, and managed to get everything and myself cleaned up. My kids and my sister all called to wish me a merry day, and I enjoyed hearing what their mornings had brough (my niece got up at 4 AM). While my laundry tosses warm in the dryer I'm about to enjoy a bowl of cheese tortellini with smokey sauted pecans. The sun is out so I'm going to lace up my boots and hit the trail. Later today after I put away my warm fluffy laundry, I will take in a movie, and come home to make a lovely indian dish for dinner before settling in for an extreme busy two days in the office.

When I woke up today, I realized how lucky I am. I have a good home, beautiful healthy kids, more clothes and linens and cups and dishes than I need, good food and the desire to cook it (this pasta with pecans is delicious, btw), wonderful friends and family, a second career that I love with people who are amazing, a car that runs most of the time, and my health. That makes it Christmas every day.

I also realized that far away, there are lots of people all over the world who aren't so lucky. For one thing, this war in Iraq just seems ceaseless, and as the race for President continues to heat up, I just don't see a lot of hope on either side for putting an end to it. If not there, then inevitably there will be war somewhere, because humans seem incapable of living with differences.

There's no better song for today than this beautiful classic by John McCutcheon, Christmas In The Trenches. It's based on true events of World War I, when German and Allied troops in France called a halt to the fighting just long enough to celebrate Christmas. But then it was back to the business of killing. Known as The Christmas Truce, it's celebrated in McCutcheon's ballad.

I wish all of you peace, joy, love, and the time for reflection on all the good things life has given you, all the lessons you have learned, and all the temerity to push forward into the New Year. Please also take a moment to send a peaceful thought to all soldiers of every nation, who find themselves far away from their families and some with no hope of return.

Christmas in the Trenches
by John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Tolliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here
I fought for King and country I love dear.
'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung,
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung
Our families back in England were toasting us that day
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound
Says I, "Now listen up, me boys!" each soldier strained to hear
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

"He's singing bloody well, you know!" my partner says to me
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more
As Christmas brought us respite from the war

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent
"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" struck up some lads from Kent
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht." "Tis 'Silent Night'," says I
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky

"There's someone coming toward us!" the front line sentry cried
All sights were fixed on one long figure trudging from their side
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shown on that plain so bright
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night

Soon one by one on either side walked into No Man's Land
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand
We shared some secret brandy and we wished each other well
And in a flare-lit soccer game we gave 'em hell

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin
This curious and unlikely band of men

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more
With sad farewells we each prepared to settle back to war
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wonderous night
"Whose family have I fixed within my sights?"

'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of war
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore

My name is Francis Tolliver, in Liverpool I dwell
Each Christmas come since World War I, I've learned its lessons well
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame
And on each end of the rifle we're the same

© 1984 John McCutcheon - All rights reserved

German and Russian soldiers together on the Eastern front, Christmas 1914.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let's Get Together, It'll Feel Alright

It seems like I've been on schedule most of the week with various holiday preparations. Yet somehow, when I woke up this morning to driving if warm NE Ohio rain, I came up with a list of things to do that rivals any weekeday. I guess I'm going to do just a little baking after all, and just a tad more shopping before it's all over.

As I was listening to FolkAlley and writing up my grocery list, I was sideswiped by a great little Sam Bush tune, Bananas, which had me sort of dancing around with my coffee for a few minutes. But that was followed up by a tune from an old New Grass Revival release that really captures the sentiment of not only my last blog post but what the spirit of the season might sound like if it was spread the whole year through.

So as you are about to embark on your own busy day, take a listen to New Grass Revival's take on a popular Bob Marley tune, One Love/People Get Ready, from NGR's 1984 release, On the Boulevard. (Check out the 80s hair! Is it John Cowan, or is it Darryl Hall?) I'm just throwing out one of the verses. Remember to keep an open mind and an open heart as you get through the next few days.

One Love/People Get Ready

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (one love!);
There is one question I'd really love to ask (one heart!):
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Out with the Lame, In with the Brave

At the end of an incredible busy stretch of weeks, I was pushing laundry and suddenly realized something very important as a new year comes on.

It feels as though I'm dealing with a lot of genuinely primitive behavior lately. That can weigh a person down and I allow it to waste a lot of my time. But this evening as I reflected on some of the amazing personal and professional feats pulled off just in the last six days, let alone the last 12 months, I remembered that about a week ago, I was so touched by some of the everyday bravery I witnessed in my work and in my personal life that I was actually moved to tears. How did I forget that?

As I sat around a dinner table this evening together with the amazing people I work with, we recounted some of the achievements we shared this year. I don't really feel that we achieved them, but we brought to bear the talent of individuals who achieved truly astonishing things.

One example is this man, who just about a year ago called very early one morning to talk about the process we were about to engage him in. He confessed that he'd probably need no fewer than nine months to extricate himself from his then-current post. The experience of coaching someone through that fear and uncertainty and then watch them do this is why I work so hard. That brave man, with the help of incredible volunteers and staff and dedicated, talented musicians, saved an orchestra. Period. Give a listen.

Worth it.

Another example is a recent recruit to what turns out to be a deeply troubled institution that has been actually close to missing payroll. (This is not an unusual situation for some orchestras, sadly.) Did this person turn tail? Back out of an agreement? Try to manipulate the facts and act autocratically and rob Peter to pay Paul, turning a knife in someone's back all the while smiling sweetly? As some of my friends might say, "Oh, HELL to the NO, baby." This person rolled up his sleeves, directly engaged his staff and board and musicians, and now ALL of them are getting down to the business of saving this orchestra. I can't repeat what he shared with his constituencies but I can tell you I was ready to roll my sleeves up, too.

In the wings is another extraordinary young leader. She is special to me because I know she is the future, and I and the person I work for on these assignments have both told her this. Because it's true. I have watched this person grow in her role as a general manager. Now she is ready to take on the leadership of an organization. She is smart and can wrap her head around any form of data she's presented with. She also cares deeply about the heart and soul of the institution. She and her husband are both musicians, so she never gets too far from what grounded her vision in the first place.

Another favorite candidate calls herself a "cultural warrior." She really is, and she's become something of a role model for me. We enjoy sharing thoughts of the day; once, when she was scheduled to interview with a client who was presenting Kool and the Gang, we determined that the appropriate attire might have to include platforms. She too has been in some tremendously sticky situations and pulled institutions out of the mud.

These are examples of something you don't see every day. Sometimes entire weeks go by without seeing it. It's called leadership, and I get to see it quite a bit. And that's why I do my job, and why I love it.

When I step outside my personal situation and reflect on these encounters I've had, I realize that sometimes the work I contribute to in a very meaningful way can save institutions. America the Pinheaded would be nothing but a bleak wasteland without arts and culture. We need museums, orchestras, dance companies, opera companies, bluegrass festivals, craftsmans guilds, places like Augusta and Berea and Appelshop. The arts make us whole. At the most organic level, my personal mission is that connecting people to traditional and bluegrass music is one of the most basic ways to present individuals with an opportunity to make music, understand American history, and participate in cultural preservation, social engagement, economic development, and personal development. Someday, when all my other work is done, I hope I can help advance this notion even further. There are lots of talented leaders across all sorts of genres already fairly well engaged in this concept, and I hope that at some future point I will be able to make it easier, more effective, more engaging.

There really are only a handful of people and companies that do what I do as well as our firm does it. So quite frankly, I simply am too busy to entertain the kind of petty bullshit I put up with on a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-weekly, or otherwise all-too-regular basis from other adults who cannot seem to grasp the notion that our job is to work together to decrease the vulnerability of the young people in our COLLECTIVE CARE. If I haven't gotten that notion across by now, I suppose I'll have to delegate it. It's frustrating, because almost without exception I have no experience with some of the stuff I encounter. I am just unaccustomed to it. Evidently the notion that we're all adults who can and should work cooperatively needs to be more than an assumption of mine. It needs to be an expectation, one that will be fulfilled without exception -- hopefully collaboratively.

So I guess I need to take an example from the people I've had the extraordinarily good fortune to learn from this year. All our little company did was find these individuals and bring out from within them their best leadership skills. If I can do that for people I just met, I suppose I should be able to figure out a way to achieve that not only for myself but within my children and all the people closest to them. My children, and all children, deserve the best, most supportive, most engaging environments in which to realize their own potential to do great things, whether it's delivering mail or picking tunes or running the country or conducting groundbreaking research.

Earlier this week my daughter, who is seven, somehow got her hands on my iPod. She grew fairly and genuinely fixated on this tune performed by Bruce Molsky. It's called, "We'll All Go To Heaven When The Devil Goes Blind." I'd say that's probably true, if you think of the devil as some primal reactionary trait that interferes with an individual's ability to collaborate, and reduces that person instead to the least productive form of competitive behavior. Here's hoping that old devil does go blind so that we can enjoy the heaven of possibilities that await us all in the creative future.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who, Me? Let It Snow?

The holidays are in full bloom at my house. After a weekend spent shopping, scheming, and greening, Christmas is unavoidably barrelling down the track, but in a merry way. In spite of myself, I can't help but feel festive. Wrapping presents with the kids (who, I must say, have gotten quite proficient at it, making it a lot less work and a lot more merry for me), laying in evergreen wherever I have a bare surface, and trimming Harold, our foster Christmas tree, have brought an un-yule-sually happy feeling I wasn't expecting. I'm actually looking forward to Christmas.

Now, I always have loved Christmas, but this year as you've seen in posts past, I just wasn't getting in the spirit. So the spirit came over me, in particular yesterday when a blast of Arctic weather meant a snow day for the kids. It meant postponing my son's concert to tomorrow night, but they had a nice break, my daughter took a three hour nap, and I got to go to work, which meant hanging out with some fine folks at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and getting a sneak preview of the holiday Gingerbread House show.

As we watched the snow come down, the first real storm of the season, I felt not dread for a change, but a little like a kid again myself. And I think that's something the holidays bring to us, that feeling of ridiculous hope and goodwill despite all, despite the horrible mess our economy is in, despite the war that shouldn't have been, despite the campaign (did anyone SEE the Republican debate last week? Did Alan Keyes look as crazy as he sounded??), despite gas prices. Turn up the fireplace, mix up a batch of hot chocolate with a little kick, and let it snow!

Here to put you in the mood for that online holiday retail and mixing up those cookies (I do at least owe my kids their Scotch Cookies and thumbprints) is the marvelous Sam Bush with his rendition of Let It Snow, featured on the 2003 compilation "A Very Special Acoustic Christmas".

Jingle, jangle!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tagged?! Now what?!

Oyvehmaria! I've been tagged by Blueberry, and let me tell you, after reading about her five worst jobs, I can't possibly disappoint her.

So. Five little known things. Actually, that's kind of tough since I can't keep a secret about myself to save my life. But here goes.

I started my career in fundraising. Yes indeedy. I was a professional grants coordinator for The Cleveland Orchestra, back when Michael Stern, Jahja Ling, and Vladimir Ashkenazy were on the conducting staff. I worked with a bunch of crazies -- and I'll never go back to fundraising aside of recruiting fundraisers -- but got to meet some cool musicians and great conductors. Among them, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, pianist Leon Fleisher, Itzhak Perlman, Esa Pekka Salonen, Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida. I also worked in the program office, and enjoyed frequent visits from then recently retired and always well loved Klaus Roy.

I love tapioca pudding. I think it must be those weird little bubble things and the not quite perfectly vanilla flavor. There's something about it, though, that reeks of comfort.

I'm something of an anglophile. If I weren't an agnostic, or maybe even an atheist, I'd be singing every damn number from the Book of Common Praise from the front row of an Episcopal choir (the Episcopal Church welcomes you, you know). As horribly brutal as the English always have been throughout history, I'm drawn to the history, the literature, the music, the music, the music, the ancient traditions, the landscape. The British are cranky but then again, they gave us Churchill, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and date pudding.

My middle name is Jude. For real. Worse? Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases. I would have to say my mother knew what she was doing.

I once, well, you know...with the driver of a moving car. On the interstate. Hey, I was very young. Needless to say, somewhere along the way I've lost some of that sense of adventure, but that probably accounts for the fact that I'm here to tell the tale.

So who can I tag???

Don, because as an ex-Catholic you can never have too much confessing.
Shannon, because he's even better at sharing TMI than I am and he needs to update his damn blog.
Shameless, because there HAS to be something we still don't know about you.

There may be more of you, but now this old bird has got to sing a few vespers and hit the hay.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Tune For Every Christmas Card I Write

I'm about to start a project that I normally don't get done before the holidays. Over the weekend I successfully transferred digital images of my children and had prints made for however few holiday cards I'll send this year. I've spent the evening in a cleaning frenzy for no good reason, while the cards and prepared photos sit on the dining room table. They've been there since Sunday evening. It's now Tuesday evening. Tomorrow at this time I'll be hovering somewhere between here and Columbus on my way home from a client meeting, with no hope of working on them. Thursday is the unknown. Friday brings children, and a week of holding our breath to see if anyone brings home that ferocious stomach flu that's been claiming kids and teachers all over NE Ohio.

So I probably should start on the cards.

I'm usually much more spun out with excitement for the holidays. This is the first year I think I understand why so many people don't like this time of year. Typically I'm making up cookie lists and scheduling eatch batch, ordering and hiding presents, and bringing in evergreen cuts, and obsessing over holiday music. Instead I'm tossing school papers from 2005 and listening to Neil Young cuts on

But this Robert Earl Keen tune is sure to get me and everyone else in the holiday spirit. Remember that awful "Twelve Days of Christmas" with the guy that sounded like Archie Bunker? This holiday song is THE antidote.

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

Back to the cards!

Merry Christmas from the Family

Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk at our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch and homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn't know what to think of him until he sang
Felis Navidad, Felis Navidad
Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins from his second wife Mary Nell
Of course he brought his new wife Kay
Who talks all about AA
Chain smoking while the stereo plays Noel, Noel The First Noel

Carve the Turkey
Turn the ball game on
Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension chord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of tampons, Marlboro Lights
Haleluja everybody say Cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can't remember how I'm kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motor home in
They blew our Christmas lights
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited out on our front lawn
He threw a breaker and the lights came on
And we sang Silent Night, Oh Silent Night, Oh Holy Night

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on
Make Bloody Mary's Cause We All Want One!
Send somebody to the Stop 'N Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow
A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprites
A box of tampons, some Salem Lights
Haleluja, everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the Family

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Wish I Had a River...Kinda

It's been a whirlwind weekend. My sister came to town to visit and to celebrate our friend Shannon's First 39th Birthday Party. We also spent time with our friend L who is still in the process of finalizing her move to another city. So much coming and going, and this week, I have to pay a visit to the red part of my state for work. Ick.

Yesterday was so lovely. My sister and I had a busy morning with my kids and then enjoyed lunch out, a nap, dinner with another friend in the process of transitioning his life, and then a party with a huge array of people. We all laughed as Shannon would introduce each new guest to "L, J, her friend D, her son G, G's dad, G's Fiance, J's sister..." I am so glad I got to see some of my friends and especially my sister. I introduced a new friend to some of the folks in my life and we all had a pretty good time.

It was quite a couple of days. Today I am processing some of the subtler moments that have left me a little unsettled. It could be the exhaustion I'm feeling, or the fact that in stark contrast to yesterday's beautiful warm sun, today brings what most of us in NE Ohio are used to for December -- a cold rain, turning colder. After mating what seemed like 300 pairs of socks, I poured a hot bath and let the phone ring as I tried soaking away the confusion and a few negative impressions. In a personal care coup de grace, I made myself a delicious peanut butter and honey sandwich on beautiful flaxseed bread, and enjoyed it with a plain glass of milk. Simplicity and perfect comfort on a plate. I may have to top that with a nap.

Earlier this week for some reason I returned to one of my favorite non bluegrass artists for a day or so, Joni Mitchell. There are some good overwintering songs. River, a favorite of someone I used to work for who was a pretty good musician in his own right, is one of those for sure. It's really beautiful, so pensive and full of restlessness and sadness. The holidays are not the greatest time for everyone, and can be very difficult especially if you don't have little children to fuss over (I wasn't initially planning to even have a tree this year but now I cannot wait to bring home our plantable tree next weekend and finally put the final festive touches on our home.) I often wonder how Mitchell came up with this song, how it came to her. There is a long play version and I have to say I'm not sure whether that's this one or another one.

As I drove away from my friend L's house this morning after stopping to spend a few extra minutes with her and pay tribute to her home where we all shared so many moments, I realized, she and a couple of my other friends are fortunate in that they are about to skate away into new territory. It's scary and unsettling to them for sure, but to have the freedom and be able to make the choice to do that with so little impact on others is in some ways a blessing. There have been many moments where I felt maybe the best thing I could do was skate away along the river alone to some new place where I could simply put all my best effort to bear on the good things I believe in. But I'm not really sure how I would feel once I got there. Until that thing that brings a feeling of absolute rightness comes along, whether it is an opportunity, or a person, or a situation, I will sit on the bank of the frozen river, continue working and growing and doing my best, hoping and waiting for the thaw.


It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Fermez All Those Bouches!"

Behold the hills of tomorrow
Behold the limitless skies
Fling wide the gates
To a world that waits
As our journey starts behold our hearts are high

Beyond the hills of tomorrow
Are skies more beautiful still
Behold, begin
There are worlds to win
May we come to trust
The dreams we must

This evening as I was pondering the possible causes of a week somewhat unraveled, a line from Stephen Sondheim's 1981 hit, "Merrily We Roll Along", rolled right through my head:

Life isn't about doing the best, it's about doing the best you can.
(No it isn't, it's about doing the best!)

When does it disappear? When do we start to compromise?

Compromise? I haven't even started!

I look at my kids who have been on edge most of the week despite my best efforts to comfort, soothe, enjoy and protect. Tonight, I stepped away for just one minute upstairs, and I heard crying.

I came down the stairs, called them both in front of me, and said plainly, "I am not responsible for, nor can I do anything about, what's happening when you are not here. If you're upset about something, you're welcome to talk about it, but you are not welcome to hurt each other."

How can you get so far off the track?
Why don't you turn around and go back?

On more than one occasion this week, my son has hit my daughter. This morning, over her cheerios, she pondered with what for her was notable gravity the coming holiday season. Every day I've had to intervene, interject, separate, redirect, or simply put an end to. These are not the people I'm used to living with.

You roll, you just roll, everybody roll

This is not a bluegrassy number, but it is from one of my favorite shows. When I was a sophomore in college we did this show; how little, how very little we understood then how true to life it is. You start out, dreaming big dreams, thinking there is little that can stand in the way of making a contribution, being recognized for doing something well, having a normal, happy life. And somewhere along the line the road twists and turns and you find yourself a little lost. Some days, you look at what's in front of you, and you can't help but realize, wow, this is pretty screwed up.

Still, you dream, you teach children how to dream, and you learn to stay away from the people who don't know how to dream, or who have the attention span of a head of broccoli.

Yesterday is done. So indulge me this little trip back in time when to me, Stephen Sondheim knew everything I ever dreamed or felt or believed to be the right way to write a song, make a point, tell the human story.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

(Fiddlin') Hurts So Good

I just took a Tylenol. Not because I'm illin'. Not because I have a headache. But rather than have a glass of wine and get all caught up in a conversation or two and be up past my bedtime (which sadly I already am with a 5:4? alarm--yes, I am a wimp) I am going to force my body to relax a little.

I have aches. And pains. After a bit of instruction on Sunday I have rededicated myself to actually playing competently on the fiddle. I've decided to focus in earnest on two or three tunes over the course of the next week or two.

One favorite, seasonally appropriate, is Katy Bar the Door.

The phrase is a metaphor for "shit's about to hit the fan" in some way or another. With our recent weather and impending other events, not to mention the boatload of work that just drifted ashore at the office, it's probably something I'll be saying or thinking more often. Lucky for me it's also a catchy fiddle tune.

The recording I have is Rayna Gellert playing with Susie Goering on their release, Starch & Iron, a wonderful compilation featuring these two old-timey talents. As popular a tune as this is, I found very little about it on the Internet, and no rhapsody or even Digital Library of Appalachia recordings (the former is not a surprise, but the latter certainly is). So I guess I'll really have to work on it.

I can't even include a little snippet, because Rayna and Susie sell these out of Susie's home, not on

So go check it out and get you one. And go rest up, because every day is a bar-the-door kind of day anymore.