The scent of summer

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Summer has arrived here.

I remember when summer meant running around the neighborhood barefoot, finding other kids and playing games, running home quickly to grab change when the ice cream truck rang out its tune in the late afternoon… time spent curled up in my room with a book or running through the sprinkler… drinking from the garden hose, selling Kool-aid on the shaded front porch…

Now summer means that there are teenage and young adult men hanging about the house on computers. At least one of those young men must be reminded to shower with soap and shampoo — he is not “fresh as a daisy” nor does he smell like a rose. My house smells like it is lived in by adolescent males. Dirty dishes pile up on the countertops and in the sink while I am at work. (If I think hard enough about it, there were probably dirty dishes piling up in my childhood summer days, but it never really mattered to me because I was a child.)

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Last week, I drove across the state to pick H-J from college. I delivered his packing boxes to him on Wednesday and then backtracked across the lake to spend the night at Mrs. G’s house. It had been over a year since we had spent time together and it was a lovely evening (we took our conversation into the wee hours of the morning) and an equally lovely but short morning. My derfwad cup runneth over.
Then I was back in the insane traffic that belongs to Seattle, where my son was ready to load his boxes into the minivan and close out his first year of college. We drove past the rental house where he will live in the fall and I showed him the house where I lived in my late teens. But enough lollygagging — it was time to get back to our own home.

In the past 8 days I’ve driven 600+ miles, grieved the tragic death of a three-year-old, and noted the 4th anniversary of my mother’s death mere days after learning that another member of our extended family has been diagnosed with cancer. I suppose this helps explain my melancholy mood and lack of blogging.

We’ve got two more cross-state trips to make this month and a special visitor coming from Virginia, so I’m confident that there will be some good blog fodder coming soon.

Musical Mancake: an open letter to Mrs. G.

Dear Mrs. G.,

For more than four years now I have enjoyed mancake with my coffee. I commend you on the excellent and varied menu.

While I am particularly fond of the Firth flavor, I have also appreciated some of your more unusual  specialties. However, I have yet to see Zuill Bailey at Derfwad Manor. Please allow me to introduce you to him.

[Please note: Unlike a majority of my posts, not a single one of these pictures belongs to me — sad, but true. However, each and every photo is linked to the site where it was found.]

Zuill Bailey is widely considered to be one of the world’s premiere cellists. His own website presents excellent qualifications:

“His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry as well as his engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today.”

Did you catch that? One of the most sought after

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Having the pleasure of being at one of his recent performances, I can attest to the warmth and expression with which he plays his instrument — a 1693 beauty — and WOWZA! He can make that cello sing!

You’d be doing yourself a favor to stop right now to watch and listen to him play:

In my research, I came across an excellent review by Jane Coyne in which she writes,

“Bailey doesn’t play notes. He plays sounds and feelings. His cello is as beautiful as he is, but after watching him play it for awhile, it almost seems as if he becomes one with it and that he is dancing freely as an extension of it. His performance is simply a joyous experience for all. A living lesson in phrasing, his every stroke begins with absolute clarity. His fingers are fast and articulate, and he plays with a wonderful combination of strength and smoothness.”

And Commerce Press declares,

“Having Bailey around is an event.  Not only is he one of the world’s finest cellists, he is also known as a caring human being.” 

What do you think? Does he make the cut?

Sincerely yours,