At this point it is almost becoming a tradition that Matt and I see Dorrance Dance in December. Back in the Before COVID (BC) times, we would go to New York in December. The impetus for the trip was always a Dorrance Dance show. We would tack on a play and some ridiculously delicious and sensory overwhelming dinner at Aquavit and then merrily take the train home.
But alas, this is the COVID Times and going to New York was not really in the cards. But that was okay because Michelle Dorrance brought her troupe to us. Dorrance Dance is a tap dance company. But not just tap dancing. This is spirited choreography that takes the percussion to new levels. It is masterful and imaginative at its core. Plus, it just makes a person smile. You cannot be sad watching tap dancers. It is a feel good experience. If you ever have the opportunity, just go.
The change in climate is not helping our trees. We have hemlocks. They suffer in the mid-Atlantic as it is. We get diseases, bugs. I spend a lot of money trying to keep them healthy. But one was dying a slow death and I decided to put it out of its misery. I could have called a tree company to cut it down but that was going to cost quite a lot of money seeing as it was a 20 footer. I decided to buy a chain saw and cut it down myself. Then I channeled Dubya and cut up the brush. I could have cut it with the lopper but why when I have a chain saw?!
Matt was very worried that I was going to let this tree fall onto our fence or even worse our neighbor’s house. I assured him I was my father’s daughter and I could control where it would fall. And I did. It fell smack dab between the oak tree and some bushes. I was more concerned about the chain saw itself. I have a fear of anything with a spinning blade. Even table saws make me nervous.
In August we make trips to the farm to pick blackberries. We pick and pick and pick some would say obsessively. Picking fruit can be very zen. The focus. The here and now. Thinking only of berries, examiningberries to see if they are ripe to pick, searching under leaves for the biggest ones.
When I was a kid we went blackberry picking in the evenings after we had dinner. The best spots were along old mine roads and coke heaps, places where cows roamed. The berry bushes were wild and had thorns so in the middle of August we had to wear long sleeves and pants. It was hot but we filled buckets. My mom would make blackberry jelly (topped with wax) that would last us for the winter. I don’t make jelly from my berries. I eat them straight, sometimes I make a cobbler. But mostly we just eat them fresh with some yogurt. Yummy.