Friday, July 22, 2005

Chautauqua Memories

This week has flown by. I am going to miss a lot of things about Chautauqua:

-- The Englewood B&B, where I feel so at home because I have a bed, a shared bathroom, a kitchen, and a computer. What more could anyone want? Oh, yeah, and it's 50 feet from the amp so we don't even have to go the concerts to hear them quite well.
-- Woody, the "caretaker" of the Englewood, a middle-aged child who is probably gay and who has a fascination with bubbles, to the point of running a bubble machine from the 2nd floor out front.
-- Greeting people in the street. Everyone says hello to everyone else.
-- The feeling of safety everywhere: We don't lock our door room. I don't lock my bike. Kids play in the street without constant supervision. I can't imagine crime here!
-- Watching 3 generations next door play with each other. As I am typing this a 2-year-old is becoming the next Mark McGuire out front with a wiffle ball.
-- My meditation partner Mimi, who revolted from the talkative Sikh's class with me so that we could meditate in silence each morning on the porch of the amp.
-- Sharing food with Deborah, Neal, and Bill in such makeshift ways, using whatever we had or could buy at the farmers' market. Plenty of wine always rounded out our meals.
-- Riding my bike everywhere I need to go, even in the rain. Sometimes with a Starbucks latte fastened to the handlebar with a plastic bag!
-- But most of all, having my musical world explode in a million fireworks as I discovered the fun of playing chamber music with a group. I have practiced more in the last week than ever before in my life because Deb, Jerry, Roz, and Kathy were depending on me to know the piano part of our Telemann sonata.
-- Practicing in Cabin E, where I had to figure out just how much the windows could be open to provide air and still not blow the music off the piano.
-- Being coached by people who know infinitely more about music than I ever will -- Arie, Evan, and Bill. Oddly enough, I seem to thrive on criticism.
-- The Chautauqua Daily, where there is never any bad news. This pretty much says it all.

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