Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Of Mud and Muggles: A Three Day Recap

It's been a weird few days, with events too entangled to blog cleanly about, but I didn't want to leave everyone hanging. Here's the rundown; feel free to skim.

Picked up Virginia at Mocha Joe's on Saturday night; her red Saab seriously dead, she's been expecting a new one from the Saab guy in Brattleboro any day now for a week or three. She was closing solo; I wiped tables and swept floors while she cashed out and shut down behind the counter. Home after midnight; up late listening to the rain on the roof and watching Al TV on VH1 until 2:00.

Two hours sleep and up at the crack of dawn for the long Sunday morning drive to Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Successful in our coffee and McMuffin quest only after the third off-exit try for a pitstop; turns out most McDonalds don't open until 6:30. More rain. Despite mapquest directions and an atlas page highlighted (hi-lit?) the night before, managed to get sidetracked, a bit too close to Ossining on some pretty narrow residential Routes, in the last few miles, but righted ourselves quickly.

Past train station and down a mile-long entry road into Croton State Park, where the girls at the entrance said "the park doesn't open until ten; you can't come in." We turned around, went back a mile for coffee, came right back in, parked surreptitiously along the vendor parking right by the vendor gate, and drank coffee while we watched people get turned away at the gate, turn around, and disappear. Half an hour later, first in line for tickets as the gates opened, we traded tickets for purple bracelets at the gate and walked right in.

The grounds were a wreck from a hard day of rain and foot traffic the day before. Ducks swam in marshes and shallow ponds that had once been stage access roads; everywhere volunteers with shovels spread rough mulch over the muddiest paths to no avail. Though most said that at least one main stage would likely be closed down and acts cancelled, put our pillows in white drawstring garbage bags out on in the still-otherwise-empty rain-drenched lawns anyway.

Crowds were low at the Clearwater festival this year as it rained on and off and on again. Oldtimey Reeltime Travelers and a reggae band at the Rainbow stage; funk/fusion banjo band Tony Trischka on the finally opened Hudson River Stage; The Mammals under the dance tent in drizzle; Dreadlock bluesman Alvin Youngblood Hart back at the Rainbow stage now complete with assholes with really tall chairs right in front of us; We're About Nine when Marshall Crenshaw didn't show; NRBQ a grand finale. Dancing in the mud, toes squirting ooze up as high as the knees. Pulled Pork and fresh fried chips and espresso; a tree of life pendant for Darcie; a pair of hippie dresses for the baby. We left, exhausted, before the festival prematurely ended at park police orders due to the total destruction of the grounds underfoot, beating the traffic, driving home in the kind of fog that only comes from a 48 hour day.

Drove Ginny home late Monday morning with Darcie and the baby; had eggs benedict and coffee at a decent diner in Brattleboro before spending a quiet afternoon close to home. When the heat began to turn unbearable by midafternoon we walked down to overgrown pond Shadow Lake here on campus, and Darcie in her new maroon suit dipped the baby in up to her chest until she turned just the tiniest bit blue. The dog chased invisible fish. I sat on a log by the short beach and watched other people's kids look for snappers.

Weekly community barbecue by the Cottage Row dorms, our first of the year. We thought it might be cancelled after a freak driving rain a half hour beforehand, but after a while folks showed up, five or six damilies with two or three kids each in tow, all with their own meat and potato salad to share. The grills ran out of propane so a few folks volunteered to take all the food away and cook it somewhere. Result: cold burgers but good company, if still a bit not-our-crowd.

Did I mention we're moving to a new apartment, out of dorm? 'Course not; we just called it. Darcie and I spent hours last night making the call, a long discussion, and it's not perfect -- eaves, attic, and two flights of stairs; no laundry or yard -- but it's out of dorm and Darcie and Willow need more space and less high school students next year, I think. More as this develops; we'll be moving for the next few weeks.

Today needs only a sentence: breakfast sandwiches with a nice random woman with twins sharing the couch and high chairs at Cafe Koko late this morning after a late start, and then sat and read Harry Potter all day today after finding on supermarket shelves, playing with the almost-walking baby in between chapters. Just finished an hour or so ago. No spoilers here; read it, and then we'll talk, okay?

posted by boyhowdy | 12:57 AM |

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