Wow. Every year there’s more of my friends at Portal Irish Music Week and I wonder why I only get to see most of them only once a year. I wish it was more often. Thanks everyone for showing up. I’m filled with gratitude. Next year is the tenth anniversary so I’m going to save the speechifying for then. Today I’m really grateful we’ve made it this far.
Our concertina and fiddle instructor Colin Lindsay hung around for a few extra days and we bagged two peaks and played a show. The summer at elevation paid off when I succeeded in submitting Silver Peak. The hike covered 3000′ in elevation gain over four miles. I was none too sure I could manage it but I did. Slow and steady. The next day we played a show and then the next day we hiked another 8 or so miles at near 10,000′. Friday last we left the Chiricahuas and headed to Palm Desert to see Burt’s Aunt Carol and Uncle George.
Uncle George is in a memory care facility. It’s a real home outfitted for 6 or 7 residents. We were pleased to see him in a nice place with caring staff. The Gypsy Carpenters whipped them into a frenzy with These Boots Are Made For Walking and the Hokey Pokey. Burt and I swapped crying back and forth. If one of us was falling apart the other held it together. I was the first to fall apart because it all felt so eerily similar to seeing my mom at the end of her life. It was less than three years ago when she died. I wasn’t prepared to see my mom in all the residents faces.
Now we are in La Jolla. We’ll finish chores tomorrow and cross into Mexico on Wednesday.