Sunday, October 05, 2014

Weekend Ramblings

Haley has grown a lot this year so we have been seriously shopping for a full size fiddle for the past couple weeks. This has been involved a lot of research, driving, and for Haley, playing fiddle after fiddle after fiddle. Last week, we drove to Long Island and Haley spent the day playing fiddles…a whole lot of fiddles then went to White Plains for a fiddle lesson and session at Dunnes. We spent Tuesday afternoon visiting two other violin shops and playing what they had to offer. At one point we had six different violins in the house…some she preferred for fiddling and others she liked with her classical music. Friday we drove to White Plains to have Brian listen to the fiddles then returned the three we'd taken from the shop on Long Island the week before.

About halfway between NY and home, Haley played a lovely house concert gig with the guys (see photo above). It was a beautiful home and an attentive, enthusiastic audience. The hosts had gone all out. They had the entire home decorated, Irish snacks and foods, Irish books, and a video beautiful Irish scenery played in the background. The "band" played some fun sets of tunes with John singing songs between. (I love his voice.) We had a late night.

Saturday morning we woke early and drove to Fortescue, NJ on the Delaware Bay. When I was young we always took the family boat out of Fortescue to go fishing. Two years ago, Hurricane Sandy damaged much of the town including The Charlesworth Inn, a restaurant whose owners are supporters of Irish music. Unfortunately, the State of NJ forgot about Fortescue when handing out grant money to rebuild. Recently, the owners of the Charlesworth were informed by the state they must be open and running before the new year in order to receive any grant money so work crews of volunteers have been helping clean and repair the Inn. We decided to join the volunteers for the day and help out where we can. Haley and I packed up dishes then helped paint in the basement where the flood waters had damaged the floor and walls while Dylan and Daddy helped break down damaged chairs, scrape floors, and caulk windows.

Haley helping paint.
Putting in a window and caulking.

 We rode back home, got showers, then headed to the kids' gig at Emley's Hill Methodist Church where they were playing at a coffee house to raise money for a food bank. Some local children sang, Haley and Dylan played a set, and a band, including our friend Mike, played Civil War era music to finish off the night. Haley and Dylan joined them for Ashokan Farewell. It was a fun concert.

Today Haley's friend Emily and her mom came to play. Emily is an amazing Irish harper who won an All Ireland under 12 harp slow air title in 2013, the same year Haley took home the All Ireland trophies. The girls played some music together and worked out a couple sets for a gig they have in March but mostly they spent the afternoon decorated, and eating, cupcakes and hanging out together. 

One last photo just because it looks really fall-like and Halloween-y.

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