Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Three Beautiful Things 04/27/2021: Dry Food, Walking Mission Ave with Ross Gay, Return of the Tree House Concert

 1. I came home from family dinner with left over fruit salad. This morning, I went to Yoke's to buy some dry cat food for Luna and Copper. I suddenly surmised that I might enjoy some dry human food and bought a box of Grape Nuts to combine with the fruit salad. I was right. The combination was perfect. 

2. Christy and Carol talked some at family dinner about Mission Ave here in Kellogg and the people who used to live on Mission and people who live there now. Their recall and knowledge left me in the dust -- even though I delivered the Spokesman Review during the summer of 1966 in that area. 

Today, I walked Mission Avenue as far as Helen St. before turning south, walking to the former Sunnyside Elementary School building, and then heading home via Riverside Ave. I did not have the experience of suddenly remembering who lived in these houses on Mission Ave. when I was a youngster. I guess some day I'll need to have a guided tour! 

I enhanced the pleasure of my walk by listening to an episode of On Being featuring Krista Tippett interviewing poet and essayist, Ross Gay. It is entitled "Tending Joy and Practicing Delight". 

Earlier in the day, as a follow up to Sunday's discussion of comedy on Zoom, Colette had emailed me that she thought this interview fit perfectly with the kinds of ideas we started to discuss on Sunday and will continue to talk about in the future. 

She's right. In fact, I think, at some point, we'll devote a session to the sorts of things Ross Gay talks about in this episode and illustrate different points with passages from Ross Gay's collection, The Book of Delights. (My copy will be coming in the mail before too long -- ordered from

3. Bill Davie and Diane Schulstad took a vacation last week and so Bill did not perform a Tree House Concert. He was back this evening and talked quite a bit, with a mixture of honesty and facetiousness, about how nervous he was coming back -- and, in general, how nervous performing makes him, even after having been at it for most of his life. I didn't comment online on his nervousness during the concert, but thought about how I experienced similar anxiety as a classroom instructor. Until Sunday, I hadn't felt that particular anxiety since 2014, the last time I taught a class at LCC.  It's not rational. I mean, on Sunday, I was going to be giving a short presentation to good friends who asked me to do this project. Nonetheless, the old familiar anxieties surfaced, both before Sunday's session and in the aftermath. Did I talk too much? Was that comment I made bogus? Did I cut off anyone's comments and interrupt them? And so on. Bill expressed similar anxieties/neuroses this evening and boy howdy! I think I knew what he was talking about.

With humor and his marvelous talent, Bill overcame his anxieties and performed a terrific concert. He and Diane spent time on their vacation at Fox Island, a special boyhood place for Bill. He sang songs connected to that place along with taking us back to Seattle's "Old Town" and he sang "Couple's Hymn", a song about all the time he and Diane have spent together, happily, in their home during the pandemic. I haven't mentioned every song here, but I loved that he closed the night with his soulful cover of Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull's song, "Life is a Long Song". It stayed with me throughout the evening and on into the night. 

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