There may be too much to fit into one post but here we go.
1. The Weather
It always rains at Summerfolk. Maybe not for long, but it does. And we're a tough, dedicated audience. But this was more than just rain. Godderich isn't all that far away and they had a tornado on Saturday, the same storm blew through Owen Sound. The wind was brutal, the rain was hard and the lightning and thunder was just non-stop. It's the first time I've seen them shut down stages and even shut down the performers at the beer tent. Down By the Bay is special not only for being the only licensed area but it's also the only stage where the seating is under a tent. So when rain starts up, it gets pretty squishy under the tent.
That storm on Saturday was absolutely brutal, but not the only storm. It also rained later in the evening, then again Sunday afternoon. Then a brief shower on Sunday evening, a break and then more rain. Rain just always seemed to be around the corner.
2. The Music - People we knew
A few of the artists we were already familiar with. Going to OCFF, hosting house concerts and now 9 Summerfolks, I've seen a pretty wide range of acts. We are good friends of Corin Raymond and have supported both his solo CD and The Undesirables as well as hosting both Corin and The Undesirables. I was so pleased to see he was going to be at Summerfolk, but when we looked over the schedule to see he was closing out Sunday night and a good time slot Friday Down by the Bay, it was great to see him getting recognition.
Corin often does his solo work with "The Sundowners", Treasa Levasseur is one of them. She has a fantastic motown feel to so much of her work, bluesy, straight up lyrics. Treasa doesn't hold punches and she certainly doesn't hold herself up on a pedestal with songs like "Big Fat Mouth" or "The Good Ones Never Share" Treasa had a great set of workshops too. Having "The Sundowners" and "The Daily Special" meant that David Baxter was also in tow. I haven't heard him play his own solo work, but he's often backing Corin, Treasa and Lynne Hanson. He's in the video linked above (so is Sean Cotton, the other half of The Undesirables).
Danny Michel was at Summerfolk last year on his own. He was invited back this year based on volunteer/staff vote and he said he would with his band, Los Hombres Manos. That man just has it all, he's cute, sings with a voice that reminds me of Paul Simon but really is distinctive and he can play. Fabulous guitarist. Seeing him play covers of Superstition, Billy Jean and the shrimp song from the Elvis movie "Girls! Girls! Girls!" will stick with me for years.
2b. The Music - The people we didn't know.
We heard good things about New Country Rehab but keep missing them at events like NXNE. They absolutley blew me away. Sometimes you hear hype, you set the bar pretty high based on what you were told and it doesn't live up. These guys are fantastic. The charisma, the showmanship, the talent, great songs, it's all there.
The Good Lovelies are another band we'd been told about and missed a few times. Such a sweet group, lovely harmonies, funny between songs. I was pleased.
Other surprises: The Once from Newfoundland, The Little Stevies from Australia, The 24th Street Wailers, Lorne Elliot and if you happen to like either Elvis or latin music, check out Elvis Bossa Nova.
3. The Company
I go with a family I don't see often but I feel really close to. I mentioned R before, but you never quite know who in the family is coming. R has 3 siblings, his youngest sister often has a friend or three in tow. This year R's cousin joined us. She's 14 and so sweet. You can just see that teenage blooming going on over the weekend as she got more comfortable with Summerfolk and us. It was fabulous to see.
Well, I fibbed a bit to the clinic, said my period started afternoon (it's only a 2-3 hour difference...) so maybe we could call today (Monday) day 3 and I could try. The latest they could see me was 10:40. I mentioned that to Mr Lina and he laughed. It's a 3 hour drive, he wasn't keen on getting up at 7 to drive to the clinic. I can't say I was either. We take Monday post-Summerfolk off so we can enjoy Sunday night and linger with R and his family on Monday. So we talked. And talked. And he said it was up to me. He didn't want to drive as he gets up at 6am both the Sat/Sun of Summerfolk to line up for seats at the main stage, he was tired and needed sleep. It's true. We both work on about 5 hours of sleep each night during Summerfolk. 7am doesn't sound bad, but it's a really draining weekend.
I decided not to go. Sunday was our anniversary. 7 years together. They have been really good years, but it was like once again, fertility was tromping all over my life telling me I couldn't do anything I wanted to do. I thought ahead to what we have planned for when I would be ovulating and it's going to be somewhere around Labour Day Weekend. That's my 36th birthday, a party that we host every Sept long and I said I'd swim a relay triathalon with a friend. So, I decided no. And I woke up happy that I did that.
R's Mom asked me as we were brushing our teeth if we had to leave at a particular time the next day. I spilled out all my decision making, I told her about my miscarriage in January, I cried so hard for my baby. It still hurts so very much. This week should have been my due date and I feel like I'm running on empty. I ended up staying up until 4am talking to her. We talked about my past year of fertility challenges, my thoughts going towards adoption. She has a social worker background, so she has a clinical perspective on some of it. She talked about her family, her challenges. It was really good. As I said, we don't see each other often, but when we do, there isn't anywhere I'm uncomfortable to talk about.