Monday, March 12, 2007

Pleasant Surprises all Around

We had an enjoyable, albeit event-full, weekend, with the added bonus of truly spring-like weather.
Saturday was Filming Day for the Scottish Country Dance DVD. We headed out of here at 8:45 to meet the others in Livermore; for a change, all the parents had their kids there on time, with all their clothes & shoes, ready to carpool over to the Peninsula. I drove, along with 2 other moms & our class teacher; the only little hiccup happened when we got to the Bridge & I realized that I didn’t have enough money for the toll. We were scrabbling around the car, trying to gather enough change to make $4 (there was no turnout at this point & the tollgate doesn’t take cards). I felt like a real dweeb in front of the kids & will be receiving a bill for $29 by mail.
I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly everything went with the recording. These types of performance events tend to have too many chiefs & too few Indians; my main concern (beyond boredom-inspired wiggles while waiting our turn), was a bunch of “well-meaning” stage mom’s & advise givers, overloading the kids with advice & corrections just before their turn. We came prepared to run interference, but nary was a comment heard, aside from one young man, who lent Sam a sporran, letting him know that the tops of his kilt hose were uneven.
I was quite proud of our kids- they were dressed, warmed up, & had completed a walk-through on their own before they were called to the stage. They walked on quickly & quietly, formed up their sets, & were ready before the sound & camera people were. We were told to count on spending at least two hours on the kids’ section; even with a walk-through, two rehearsals with music, & two takes of each figure, from both the front & the side of the sets, they were done, congratulations given, clothes changed, snacks eaten, & back on the road in 1 ½ hours. Those kids are professionals! Sam & I were back home by 2:00 & decided to go to Texas Roadhouse for lunch/dinner. Boy-o-boy-o-boy, was that some gooood grub!
I had every intention of going to church Sunday morning; I got up, showered, then went to get some clothes out of the dryer. They were still wet. I hollered up to Sam, telling him he had forgotten to turn on the dryer- he said he did…twice.
I turned it on- it started spinning, but no heat. FLAP! I had two loads of wet work & school clothes; the pilot light wouldn’t light, even after cleaning, so basically, the dryer is toast.
I pulled on jeans & a t-shirt, loaded the baskets with wet clothes, & headed to the Laundromat for the first time in 12 years. I was surprised how many people were there at 8:30 Sunday morning; fortunately, I was able to get in & out within an hour.
I had to hurry home to do my hair & makeup- not for church, though; this was the day I began my official duties for my new activity. Yes, I’m finally going to ‘fess up. Actually, Amy got it right off on Friday (after I left two very broad hints) - I am a volunteer docent at Ravenswood Historic Site in Livermore. What does that mean? I will spend the second Sunday of each month giving tours of the estate, dressed in 1890’s period clothing, & participating in fundraising events to continue the restoration of the property.
I’ve always loved old homes; while living in the Bay Area, many weekends would find us at one of the many restored house museums, learning about the lives of the inhabitants & culture of the times in which they lived. Even when we go on vacation, I try to find at least one historic home to tour & have a respectable collection of books about them. I was surprised when this opportunity literally fell into my lap; I thought it would be a number of years before I could get involved in this sort of activity. In January, there was an article about Ravenswood in a local paper; they talked about the lack of volunteers & announced a docents’ training course beginning that night. I read it to Chris & asked him what he thought about me participating; he didn’t even hesitate- he said “This is something you’ve always wanted to do & you have the ability- go for it!” Is it any wonder I love that guy? Actually, this will more than likely become a family project; the guys enjoy the property as well, & I see them getting involved with repairs, gardening, & maybe even the croquet team!
So, on Sunday, I gave my first two tours; the only disappointing part was that Chris couldn’t be there for the first time. It was a perfectly lovely day, hovering around 78˚ to 81˚, & a gentle breeze flowing through. We had around 40 people come through the cottage; when there were no guests, the other two docents, the Park handyman, Sam & I sat on the front porch, visiting & enjoying the view. The last minute, Sam decided he wanted to come along- I think it had more to do with wanting to avoid the list of chores, then any great desire to hang out with the “old folks”. Whatever the reason, he told me several times during the day how much he was enjoying himself; who knows- maybe he’ll follow in my boot-steps.
I will certainly be sharing more about Ravenswood, as there is much to learn about the family, the town, & the era which we are presenting; I just hope I won’t bore you with my new hobby.

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