Sunday, September 19, 2010

503: away in green bay

We went to visit our parents in Wisconsin this past weekend; we brought a canvas bag heavy with produce, both from our garden and from the CSA, leaving a hefty zucchini Ryan found hiding beneath the plant's enormous leaves with his parents to make bread, and a myriad of veggies, perfect for a soup or peasant stew, with my parents.

Have I mentioned how much I love autumn and its soups? I had a wild mushroom and brie chowder at Z Harvest, a restaurant very special to Ryan and myself as it is where we went on our first date, and where we went last May when we told both sets of parents that they would become grandparents (for my parents, the first grandchild, for his, their fourth).

We went to two concerts also: my father's group, Rough Draft (he is in two--the other group is an Irish folk band called Celtic Consort), had a show at The Attic, a used books / coffee shop downtown. They sang some of his original songs, and he took a moment to sing one solo, a song about Alzheimer's, and he told a story about my grandfather I hadn't heard before, leaving my mother and I both with tears snaking down our cheeks.

The second concert was close to Ryan's parents' house, a bar owned by a friend in the midst of cornfields, and we listened to a friends' band, the Carpetbaggers, a kind of bluegrass / Johnny Cash-cover playing hybrid. Danno is the bass player, and his history includes losing a foot to a cluster bomb in Baghdad, and a successful stint in rehab years later. It was so wonderful to see him doing so well, shouting out to me from his perch, "Molly, you're going to love this song so much, you'll go into labor!" and after, "So, am I an uncle yet?" in that crazed-Danno style. We also know the drummer, Dox, who played the washboard with gusto and whose girlfriend is expecting at the end of January; we know Angie, who sang with the boys on some songs and has a gorgeous voice and two gorgeous daughters of her own; and we know Scooter, papa-of-two, I believe, who played the mandolin and sang the bluegrass songs with his own special kind of guttural slur that actually worked.

(And in case you are wondering where the audience is, they're most behind, closer to the bar, but we were also there earlier, because we have a sad string of energy, one that runs out early, perhaps in preparation for parenthood.)

And to keep myself from mourning my alcohol-free status, I sipped the weak orange juice without the vodka, and continued working on my second kicking bag. Once this is done, I'd like to try my hand at the picky pants. I have a little under four months and then she is here, and I feel quite uncertain as to how my spare minutes will play out: work on the thesis manuscript, reading for pleasure or for class, knitting and sewing, laundry and laundry and dishes.

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