On the Road -- Mesa County 2014
We pack the car with speakers, microphone stands, two giant bags of props and costumes, our brand new bear head, not to mention tons of snacks for a hungry pregnant lady! As we head out of town I realize I forgot the cash box that we need to sell CDs. "Oh crap! The cash box Jeff!?" Jeff takes a deep breath and tries not to get upset as we circle back through construction and hot summer traffic. Since I've been pregnant he's taken on a lot more of the packing and prep duties for our job... the only thing I had to remember was the cash box... oops. These are sometimes the most trying moments of our career and relationship together, but they also lead to some of our most joyful experiences.
As with most family road trips, getting ready to go is the hardest part. Once we're on the move we both relax and talk about some of the highlights of our upcoming week. "Oh, I can't wait to see Gail and Mark again!" I exclaim.
"I know it's been 3 years since we stayed with them last, remember last time we were there they had that great big dog, Hank?"
Gail Yerbic is the Head of Youth Services in the Mesa County Library System and she and her husband, Mark, have generously opened their home to us during our tour. Getting to stay with kind people like the Yerbics makes it possible for us to do this work. Without them we'd have to pay for a hotel for 4 nights, making the trip unaffordable for us and the library system.
Five hours later Gail and Mark greet us enthusiastically at their Grand Junction home, introduce us to their new dog, "Charlie" (Hank has move in with another family who have more space) and we get to sleep.
In the morning as we get ready to leave for our first concert Mark takes a look at our ridiculously packed car and wonders, "What are you going to do with the baby once it arrives?" He means it jokingly, but I answer seriously.
"I don't know..." I ponder aloud, "maybe we'll have to get a different car..." Jeff gives me a look, NO WAY. And Mark suggests a car topper. "Yeah that'll work," I respond with relief. We're both excited about our new baby and also wondering how on earth we'll be able to continue this joint career with a child in the mix. Deep down we know it will work and it's taking a lot of trust in ourselves and our community to get there. We'll keep you posted on this journey as it unfolds...
At our first show of the tour in Palisade, CO we have a small and lovely audience. It's our only show for the day. Afterwards we go tubing in the Colorado River. (Six month pregnant lady on a tube... yeah, I don't have a picture of that for you!) It's the only way we can imagine "getting outdoors" in this 100 degree heat, and Jeff has somehow managed to pack tubes in the car along with all that other stuff...
In the evening we make quinoa pasta and homemade pasta sauce at the Yerbic household and talk shop with Gail and Mark. Gail has been an incredible supporter of our career and she's got lots of ideas for everything from fundraising to a return trip to Mesa County next year. "If you come back with the baby, my niece can babysit for you!"
The next morning it's off for two shows--Orchard Mesa and the Main library branch. Afterwards we get a smoothie and take Cornelius our stuffed bobcat along for the journey. Here I am taking a snooze with him at the juice bar...
Later, Jeff and I fall asleep for real watching a movie with the Yerbics, two concerts in this heat is exhausting!!!
Our final day in Mesa County is filled with two delightful concerts in De Beque and Clifton. The shows are small and we get to connect with the kids and parents in a way that is harder to do with large audiences. De Beque has a population of between 400 and 500, depending on who you ask. Our performance is in a hot gym and by the end we're both sweating buckets. I find myself looking forward to the moment when Rigatoni Spumante, the Opera Singer, will spit water all over me. Afterwards we share ice-cream with the kids and parents in the library.
Once we're done with our shows we drive to Aspen to stay with our friends, Tom and Grace and their son Jack. After dinner, Grace and I talk babies while Jeff and Tom (friends since high school) catch up. It's a beautiful life and tomorrow we get a day off before we head to Mountain Fair in Carbondale! Stay tuned for more...