I am writing this in a coffee house that sits on the shore of the world's biggest lake. Snowflakes are occasionally drifting down outside the window. A hot swing duo is playing off to my left and I see a couple of old friends out in the audience. The only thing missing is a chance to get a good beer, but then it would be called a "beer house" then, wouldn't it?
Christmas was a quiet affair attended by just myself and my two children. We didn't do much of anything other than hang out with each other and not always in the same room. It's funny - I can feel them when they are in the house. Can't describe it, just feel them and it's a comfort. Now, my son and I are a 150 miles north and the girl is holding down the fort and taking care of the old dawg (I hope).
I went out cross-country skiing with an old friend today and I thought it was going to kill me. I remember at one point as we were slogging up another endless hill that I responded to an earlier comment that he made saying, "So, (pant) you do this every day, (pant, pant) eh?" And he responded, "Yeah, but I don't push it too much. I don't want to work too hard. No sweating."
No sweating? I was heaving to draw enough oxygen into my atrophied lungs and had long ago soaked my shirt to the point where my boots were squishing. Now, I don't need help recognizing that I am old and out of shape, but this hurt none the less. I seriously need to get off my broadening ass and get out more. Maybe not every day though.
It's nice to be home. I have to say a word about this place and music. Perhaps I am biased, having grown up here and all, but I have always felt that this place had more than its normal share of gifted musicians. There are a few that came out of here and gained national or even world-wide fame, but it is mostly the unknown ones who play because they love it that make this place special.
Take the couple playing here right now. Near as I can tell, it's a guy that holds down a day job as a carpenter and plays a very good swing style acoustic guitar and has a passable singing voice that sounds a lot like Willy Nelson from time to time. His partner is a bass-playing, sweet singing woman that has raised more than one family. They both play with other groups and come together to do this mix of jazz, swing, and country that is truly high quality. And here they are, playing in a little coffee house in the basement level of what was an old warehouse that has excellent acoustics and no cover. What a sweet deal.
Chances are I'll stay for a couple of sets and then head back to my mother's yet to be furnished apartment and get an early start on tonight's sleeping. That skiing wore me out.