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Thursday, August 28, 2014

... The place that chooses you


Canadian Radio gave me a nice reminder the other night.  In the car with laptop in tow, one babe left snug in bed and the other left mid-lull with Daddy.  Moments of true solace are so few & far between these days with 7 roommates, tourists, and a steady stream of visitors.  

So, the solo drive for some coveted "smartphone"service turned into a stop to reflect at the Sherburne Dam while listening to The Road Home -a beautiful program on CKUA.  the DJ-host shares music, poetry, and sounds from his home in the country.  He is living his dream, and I realize I am living a dream, too.  




Not once, as pianist/housekeeper/server/Heidi's employee/Hootenannigan in 2005, 2006, 2008, or 2009 did I ever think I'd be living here with children.  I mourned the end of my time as summer pianist and took action to have the position filled by a talented & spirited friend.  The splendor of these mountains, the history in the Grand Hotel, the legacy of Mr. Tippet, falling in love here- all etched a permanent print on my life, and ultimately I can't & won't stay away.  


So, who am I, here and now?  A mother of two who "used to be" someone else?  A tired "has been"?  Sometimes, I turn a envious green hearing of roommates' fun, late nights & epic hikes. My experience here now is complete with diaper blowouts and tantrums on the trail!  (and of course the sweetest smiles & new discoveries...)   Like most who have graced this place, I hold so many times here near and dear.  Summers of friendships and adventures not to be forgotten.  



Beyond the unique vegetation & geology, the unforgettable landscape, scents & tastes, this place has an incredible history of musicians entertaining guests here.  James & I are performers in a whole different way these days, our family on "stage" each Sunday, my children an adorable part of so many vacations.  Still playing duets & group numbers, trying to hold the Hootenanny together during the transition from Glacier Park, Inc. to Xanterra.


The time to finish a thought on a screen or a paper is fleeting.  My desire to document this life in a new way has become my focus, and my creative work focus has become the musical tradition at Many Glacier Hotel.  I posted earlier about my desire to create a documentary on the Showplace of the Rockies.  While few would deny that it's a great idea, no one will say that it'll be easy.  


The affirmation- "shoot for the moon" rings in my ears, and a favorite performance from a past Hoot, with the talented singer/fiddler/mandolin serenader- "Moonriver" swoons me on.  My babies have become the most important thing to me, and oftentimes I feel that continuing Music at Many Glacier has been an uphill battle.  The notion of the "golden years" is almost annoying to me at times, while I love and treasure the history, I want music as a cornerstone of each Hotel guest's experience.  I can't do it all, and I've become better at going with the flow now that I have two.




I'm not returning to Florence to teach this Fall, and it's a strange feeling.  No lesson planning, no warmups, no repertoire.  I feel a twinge of guilt, leaving the students I care so much about, leaving the program I worked so hard to build.  Yet, there was a part of me that wasn't meant to be there anymore, and I have to accept that.  I also can accept that the teacher taking over for me is fully competent and will do an amazing job (maybe a twinge of jealousy mixed in there).  So.  September at Many Glacier.

The impression, the quote I took away from that night with The Road Home: "When the place you choose as home chooses you."  I guess that's happened, and I couldn't feel more lucky, challenged, and... home.  


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Update from Many Glacier


A friend recently asked me why I haven't posted here lately!  I was hoping that no one noticed.  Truth is, blogging is very different without service, I learned that here last summer.  Plus, life is busier with two- especially in a full house with constant visitors!  

Summer is rolling right along, tourist season in full swing, our fourth Hootenanny was this week- lots of talent including both our little girls who sat with me at the piano.  Every Sunday at 6:30!  It's amazing to think how many Hoots I've played in, coordinated, experienced since 2006.  Boat Co Family in the audience, visitors & employees beaming as they get a break from the norm to listen to sweet music.

Much of my mental efforts have been to document this tradition- to make a film.  I'm working on synthesizing my plan- opening my mouth & talking about it- and setting the wheels in motion.  Gathering archives, planning interview, and anticipating next year's main event:

For all participants of the MGH Hootenanny at any time: we are having a reunion next summer- July 31-Aug 2.  Spread the word, mark your calendar!   More info forthcoming!








Monday, July 7, 2014

Mtn Mama: two in July


Watermelon dribbles
Lotsa bug bites
Chipped polish


Treefrog earns
More love from our
Rollercoaster of toddler emotions


Patience is stretching, 
As my no's become certain, 
My yes' plentiful


Still, there are many things to fear:
Whipping winds, the drier buzzer, cars.
"Always safe by momma."


Adventure everyday and
my hands are full, 
my heart's spilling over


Every experience 
Twice as wonderful 
As it already was




Sunday, May 25, 2014

And...we're back!


Well hello from Glacier country!  In the midst of crazy May, there wasn't time to write, plus all sorts of things have been changing too quickly to synthesize. I did take on Mamalode's Instagram series #dayinthelifeofmamalode, a nice way to capture & share some emotions and happenings during this transitional time of leaving a full-time-job & becoming full-time-mama.  Not that all mamas aren't full-time, but you know what I mean!


Back here at Many, I'm hoping to set aside a little bit of each day for some creating and exploring, working on the Hoot documentary and music.  Also trying to rest and enjoy the new growth around me.  Noticing bright snowpack as it diminishes, tiny buds on branches.  


It's been nice to shake out a little cabin fever as Josephine plays in nature.  All the moving: toys and tools, clothes and kids, it was emotional, it was hard, it was good.  Nice to remember that all you need is some rocks and dirt after pining for material items & memories.


So much stuff!  Many of our commitments are now wrapped up- some more abruptly than others.  Many folks were left without a goodbye, and I feel strange being so disconnected from school when it's not out for summer yet.  James & I tag-teamed it to move our family of four, which was much more difficult than anticipated (isn't it always?!) Now we are decompressing a bit, letting things go.


The rhythm of purging and organizing has felt really good- with moving and now at the boat house before the whole crew is here.  It's nice to take a bit of time and figure out where and how to make things look and function better than last year.  


Eliza (aka tree frog) has been through a lot in her first month of life, I want to mellow things out for her.  She's had a harder time with nursing, as she came into a busy world that wasn't stopping: accompanying me to school early on, lots of running around for a newborn.  She took a bottle early, thanks to the breast pump (provided via Obamas healthcare for all).  


Mommy-guilt is so hard.  Today, as she was screaming during her usual witching hour, I reminded myself, "you're doing the best you can."  Hard not to be too hard on myself.  Remembering that this wee babe just left my womb, and we are missing parts of each other, needing each other now in new, different ways.  Oh, and thank God for babywearing!


Returning to Many has been fun with Big sister. It feels like her first time as she is just putting it all together.  Girl is so darn passionate, exuberant, curious, impressionable.  Her reactions to all these "new" experiences, interacting with boat co family in a while new way.  Endearing and entertaining!  Often, fear comes first, but excitement follows.  See Miss Bumble Tuna below.  Shortly after this, she whispered "I don WAN na go to Many GLacier."  I reminded her Ty & Margaret were here, and we were able to get stoked on the gorgeous Spring drive into the Valley, including making Duck sounds "one more time" a million times.


On our first Lake Josephine visit, she said she saw a whale!  I know how grandiose this place seemed to me when I first came here 10 years ago, but nothing beats a child's imagination!



I am excited to be on YouPlus2 Parenting later this week sharing my take on play with Josephine- how much electronics and the internet can affect our toddlers.  Look for it!  It's already been great to unplug here in Glacier and just follow the needs of my babies.  Simplify life a bit.  


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