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Those three activities will likely be the entire gist of my summer this year – yep, I finally got myself a motorcycle!  A 2006 Honda Rebel, to be exact.  I swore on my life that I’d never own a Honda Rebel – it’s a wimpy girl’s bike after all – but when I went over to see it and sat on it, I fell in love with it.  It’s perfect for me – small, lightweight, efficient, zoomy.  So, needless to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the bike the last few days practicing my skills.  You might even see me whizzing past your house if you live in this beautiful Valley (what amazing weather we’re having these days after all those weeks of dreariness).

With beautiful weather also comes lots of opportunities for some great hiking.  I’ve been on a couple so far this year – Burnt Meadow Mountain over in Brownfield and Little Deer Hill up in Chatham.  Those were solo hikes, and then yesterday, Shawn and I together hiked up to Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch where the water was strong and clear and the day was simply brilliant and amazing.  As I type this, another gorgeous sunny day is awaiting us out there.

And, of course, I’ve been playing nearly non-stop!   The concert with Kristen Short at Saco Coffeehouse was really a treat.  I’ve really missed performing with both her and Rusty.  It was an honor to be a part of it after her struggles with breast cancer (she’s in remission now!!).   She also showed up at Norway Open Mic Night last Friday and she joined me on stage for a few of her original tunes.  It’s so awesome to see and hear her back at it!  🙂  Saturday was very hectic – after taking part in a memorial service to celebrate the life of my dear friend Mardy’s wife, Cynthia (who lost her very brave struggle against Alzheimer’s this month), I went to The Met to play with Shawn as part of the Kindness Weekend Celebration in North Conway and then packed up and headed up the road to Wildcat Tavern to play the rest of the night with Jeremy.

Last night saw the end of an era – Carl has been the host of open mic night at the Red Parka in Glen for a decade now, and he’s finally decided to step down and pass that torch.  It was quite a night – Carl, Shawn and I started the night with a few of our quickly-becoming-signature jazz grooves (including our rendition of the Super Mario Brothers theme which always gets the crowd going) and then the stage opened up to Swamp Dog, Jug, Reklis, Becca, and other assorted character until finally Audio Kickstand took the stage (and I sat in) to send everyone home.  Quite a send-off, I’d say.

This coming weekend will be a busy one for Shawn and me.  Thursday night is open mic at Ledgends Pub in Gorham, NH.  Then on Friday night, we are the feature at Parish Hall Open Stage down in Peterborough, NH.  I’m excited that we were invited to be a part of this unique monthly event.  It’s awesome that will be in Peterborough, too – an old friend and former bandmate from many moons ago, Marc, lives in that town with his wife and kidaloons (that’s what Jeremy calls them, anyway) and he will be graciously putting us up for the night.  The next day, after some reminiscing and whatnot, we’re back on the road and headed down to Cafe Verde in Lawrence, MA for a 2 hour show at 8:00 p.m.

Overall, life is great and continues to get better every day.  Isn’t that how it should be?