I'm offering an early entry for September, because I'm undergoing eye surgery tomorrow (Aug. 29) that may lay me up for awhile. I'm surrenderiing my vision to the expert surgeons at Alaska Retinal Consultants. There's a hole in my macula, and a partially-detached retina behind it -- yikes. They want to take care of my cateracts while they're at it, at least for the one eye they're working on. Thank goodness I can still play concertina while lying face down on a massage chair. I'll have to retire the dulcimer for awhile, though. It is good to slow down from a very busy summer and be put into a forced-relaxation -- a good way to start Fall!
I recently acquired a new (or newly-refurbished) hammered dulcimer from our friends Mike and Tanya, and I've been enjoying its unique voice compared to my usual -- the strings are newer and its sound is very bright! It may be awhile before I take it out in public, but it's nice to have a backup. Meanwhile, Jim is gradually replacing the strings on my old-reliable. I'm looking forward to playing with Ben Saylor, our former flute player in Crooked Road, who now lives in California but will be joining us at some of the sessions this month, and for a stage set at Galway Days on August 11th. Alaska Zoo and the State Fair are also on our agenda this month. I am facing eye surgery at the end of this month, and since the recovery time is still uncertain, I'll attempt to make my next monthly updates to this site a little early; otherwise I might catch up near the end of September.
We are so grateful to have our friend Sky Kelsey back in Alaska. A former fiddle student of our daughter Amanda, Sky is fan of Irish music, and is very skilled at fiddle, flute, bohran, banjo... you can come hear him play with us at the Thursday night session at McGinley's. We are also grateful for summer visits from Willow Feighery (flute player) and Tania Opland & Mike Freeman. Sky came out to the Highland Games in Palmer and was helpful in setting up the Irish Club's tent, where we shared some tunes. Unfortunately, Sky will be away during Galway Days on Aug. 11th, but we expect Ben Saylor to be visiting then. Feeling blessed!