It was this very time last year, sitting in the tiny living room of the townhouse at which we landed in early 2013 after an abrupt, radical and painful change in our life, when we decided to make another change – this time for the better. Don’t get me wrong, the townhouse was a perfect place for us to do what we had to do … get rid of, let go of, purge, both material and emotional crap that was cluttering up our lives. It just wasn’t a home. So as I was sifting through boxes and boxes of really old photographs – the kind taken with a crappy Instamatic camera by a not-so-great photographer (me) that you had to pay to get developed and of course why wouldn’t you want TWO of each in case the crappy photo of the person in the photo might actually want a copy?? Please. And I realize that not everyone would agree with me, but why would I hold onto this photo of that guy I dated for like a second? Seriously. It was unbelievably cleansing to say good-bye to them.
Anyway, I said to Rod, “I can’t spend another summer here”. The timing turned out to be perfect cause this co-op was a popular place to live (which is probably why we didn’t care for it) and there were no other units on the market. Supply and demand! Our goal was to simply upgrade from the shared wall and outdoor space – plus after that crazy winter, even a carport would have been acceptable. We agreed that this might not be the last house – just the next house and one at which we could unclench finally. So we started our search and after many depressing walk-throughs ended up back on a dirt road in Chelsea with 1.4 acres and a whole bunch of trees. It was an old, outdated ranch that needed lots of upgrades, but the outdoor space was idyllic and we were more than ready for it. Never mind that we made the bold decision to buy this house while it was buried under 2 feet of snow.
In the midst of all this moving and remodeling we were carrying on with a surprisingly busy gig schedule. Staying mostly close to home with some travel to Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and that glorious escape down to Florida on a little tour mixed with wonderful visits. The year was filled with a whole bunch of firsts, some wonderful new venues that we’ll be making a point to revisit often – Logan Street Sanctuary in Noblesville, Indiana for one. Other highlights include a rockin’ birthday show at Johnny’s Speakeasy as always with the incredible Jason Dennie, the Above the Bridge Songwriter’s Weekend is always uber special, our thrilling appearance on Rich Warren’s Folkstage (WFMT in Chicago), the first annual Kingsville Folk Festival in Kingsville, Ontario, being part of Jill Jack’s amazing Detroit Women’s Project, Lamb’s Retreat for songwriters, and so much more.
Moving back to Chelsea was the best decision we’ve made and we’re so happy to have immersed ourselves in this awesome community that includes some of the most supportive music lovers around. Our On The Tracks Songwriter Showcase kicked off its third season in September and has boasted the largest attendances to date. We continue to be in awe of the amazing talent who is willing to come perform at our humble little series which would not be possible without the generosity of the aforementioned supportive music community. I could elaborate endlessly but I’ll save that for the OTT newsletter. Are you subscribed?? http://onthetrackschelsea.com.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Yellow Room Gang – my dear friends who have inspired me endlessly over the past 10 years, (LOOK! A new CD!) along with all of the other incredible songwriters and musicians we’re fortunate to spend time with – Songwriters Anonymous, the Song Salon clan and our friends at the Chelsea Alehouse for letting us hang out there for our Second Sunday Song Circles.
I plan to post again very soon about what’s ahead but for now, looking back, we are immensely grateful for a small but mighty clan of the best friends anyone could hope for, our amazing families, this home we plan to be in for a very long time, the shear joy of being able to share our music with anyone who wants to listen and YOU!
Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and everything you wish for in the coming year.