Since I finally have a chance to catch my breath, I’m also catching up on a few blog posts. A couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity to attend the Skagit Valley Highland Games, sponsored by the Mount Vernon Celtic Arts Foundation. I almost didn’t go. We were busy packing and I’d been to the Greenville games so many times. I’m glad I did, and I wound up participating much more than I thought I would.
With our time in Washington getting short I’ve stopped checking the newspapers and online sources for things I might want to do. Quite frankly, it just gets me depressed. There is so much going on up here and I can’t do it all. It’s best if I just don’t see it. It certainly makes no sense to get involved in yet another music group. However, there was one session that caught my attention and I just had to check it out. After our ferry trip to Friday Harbor I headed up to Taylor Dock in Fairhaven for Music on the Dock.
Until a couple of months ago I had never really played a ukulele. Now it’s one of my favorite instruments to pick up and just noodle. I’ve also been enjoying playing in groups. I bought my first ukulele so that I could join my friends at Bring Your Own Instrument on ukulele night, but I wanted to see what other groups were out there. Over the last couple weeks I’ve visited three other active ukulele groups to see what they are like.
This past weekend was an event which I had been anticipating for several months. This was the weekend of the La Conner Guitar Festival. Unlike the Bellingham Folk Festival back in January, the focus was more on the instruments than the music. Specifically, it was a luthier event. I now own three guitars, so I wasn’t looking to acquire a new one, but I was still looking forward to attending.
I’ve got some catching up to do. The last few weeks have been a relaxed whirlwind and I’ve been having too much fun to write about it. It’s Tulip Festival time here in Skagit Valley, but, more importantly, we’ve had a visit from my brother, Houston. The past week was spent showing him all our favorite tourist spots and having a great time in general.
For a Wednesday there was a LOT going on. There were trips back into town and to see more daffodils, as well as new musical and food experiences. Here’s a quick rundown of the day…
In my single, young adult life St. Patrick’s Day was the biggest excuse for a party of the year. I’d dust off the green and tweed and trot out the Irish ancestry (William Taylor, the ship Earl of Donegal, County Antrim, etc., etc., etc.), and purchase large quantities of the chosen poison for the evening, whether Jamison, Guinness, Bailey’s, or some green concoction. It didn’t help that my usual partner in crime back then, Bob Donnan, celebrated his birthday on March 17. I remember a couple of particularly epic parties (barely.) It was also about the only time I’d listen to Celtic music.
Fast forward a few decades and my St. Patrick parties are much less epic, if they occur at all. Since this year’s celebration was on a Saturday, there was the potential for more epicness. While the actual date was celebrated quietly, it was a weekend full of Irish music, including the good, bad, and ugly.