You may wonder, why, Elaine, do you play the places you play?
And the answer often is: I have friends who live there.
So, for instance: in March I played a mini-tour in Vermont, because a), I really like Vermont, and b) I have dear friends who live in Burlington. (Way-back friends, even! There’s no replacing way-back friends.)
The gigs went well; I played all right, met some folks, made connections which might lead to more gigs… thumbs up all ’round.
And then I got to hang out with said friends, who now have an adorable urchin puttering around, being tiny, saying cute things, and generally stealing hearts.
We sat on the floor and played with Legos (one of my favorite childhood pastimes, and I continue to wonder why I stopped), and as they lived their lives and hung out as a family, they included me as if I belonged, in a way that was touching and true. So for a few days I was, functionally speaking, Aunt Elaine, Family Member.
It being Vermont, we all took a wee hike to a beautiful spot nearby before I had to go. After the hike, as I was getting in the car, my Legos partner said the exact thing I was thinking: “I’m sad that you’re going.”
One tear rolled down one little-person cheek, and it was hard not to cry, too.