Returning home to Canada last week, I was welcomed by a back garden in full bloom ~ purples, pinks, blues, yellows ~ flowers so vibrant I wished my little girls had come home with me to view the spectacle. As my pipe and I conducted our first summer inspection of the yard, it was also a pleasant surprise discovering two healthy patches of rhubarb, nearly ready for the plucking. Rhubarb was always a fond part of my childhood ~ my parents always known to have it growing out behind our family home. Raw, it served as a refreshingly sour snack to my childhood friends and I during daily out-door imaginings. Cooked, it made a frequent desert to evening meals as either a sweet stew or in a pie.
This week I had every intention of attempting to make rhubarb jam, but with a two page “To Do” list and only eleven days home, I was forced to freeze the ripe, red stalks for later in the month. Tonight I head out for England and Scotland on a two and a half week musical tour. Prior to departure, I thought I would take a few minutes (during my tea-time*) to recap my productive yet brief visit “home”. Between pre-production for a few musical projects I will be composing and recording in July, I was able to:
– Help my father remove several shrubs and large tree roots from his property.
– Removed a cedar stump in my own yard (alongside other necessary household chores and yard work).
– Till my garden and plant my vegetables (beans, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, cucumber, garlic and green peppers), as well as several pots of herbs (sage, dill, coriander, basil and thyme).
– Sort the heap of household items in my cellar and hold a five hour rummage sale last Saturday morning, decreasing the goods substantially and raising some money for the school in Pakistan founded by my wife’s grandmother.
– Hang drapes in the bedroom shared by my daughters.
– Measure and draw up plans for a small studio space I hope to construct in my garage, upon my return in late June.
– Visit with a few old dear friends I had not seen in far too long.
– Rehearse for the upcoming tour.
– Capture several demo recordings of new musical material in the works.
Friends and subscribers in the United Kingdom, please visit my “Whereabouts” page to see if I happen to be in a town near you over the next few weeks. It would be a pleasure to meet you face-to-face, so please do not be shy about coming up and introducing yourselves.