Sunday, September 17, 2006

Wild hair

It doesn't happen often, but Friday night we (fanfare, please) called in a babysitter (summer nanny Jill, now returned to her real life as a seminary student). The occasion: Westwood's annual parent social. Gun-shy about leaving the muppers, who regularly fall to pieces when we excuse ourselves to the bathroom; fairly insecure about my rusty socialization skills and woefully disorganized closet, bereft of anything resembling "Westwood Chic;" and just generally exhausted and irritable from the previous week: oh yeah, we were ready to par-tay, bay-bay.

And then the strangest thing happened: we had the BEST time. I had a smidge of wine (fantastic stuff, that wine; check it out for yourselves) that magically made me funny and charming and, yes, chic and able to converse with anyone on any topic at a perfectly normal level of volume. Trey had lots of wine, so he was all of the aforementioned and much, much more. (Able to slam-dunk in an impromptu one-on-one basketball game! Not at all shy about describing details of my childbirth to total strangers! You get the idea.)

At some point I must have realized that even a smidge of wine was perhaps not best on an empty stomach. Noting that the party was starting to wind down and we still had a good hour before our babysitter turned into a pumpkin, we dragged the Weintraubs and another couple out to a late dinner at Houston's. More wine, more witty banter, more good time had by all... UNTIL someone noticed that ours was the only occupied table in the place and that it was, in fact, five minutes past pumpkin time. I love how Jen described what happened next, so I'm just going to quote her directly:

You have never seen three couples move so fast, or look so guilty when arriving home to their various sitters. It was seriously one of those high school flashback moments where you missed curfew.

It was comical. I very nearly drove over two parking medians as I left clouds of dust in the restaurant parking lot. We screeched into the driveway, burst through the front door and startled poor Jill, who'd fallen asleep on the couch, and threw wads of money at her as we begged her forgiveness.

We should really get out of the house more often.

So today, we did, albeit avec les enfants. In the brief time that this blog has been up and running, how many times have we used the term "road trip?" Well, throw another log on the fire. Today, we pointed the Mommywagon toward Winnsboro. Why? Here's the backstory:

When we were in college (yes, THAT far back) we liked a singer-songwriter named Sara Hickman. Over the years, we saw her perform at places like Cactus Cafe in Austin, Mucky Duck in Houston and Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Then we became parents and quit going to clubs. Meanwhile, Sara continued to make fun music for adults as well as little people. A few months ago, a playgroup friend told me that she was playing a kids' show at Poor David's in Dallas. Why not? We packed up the kids, headed downtown and had a heckuva time in Sara's thrall.

Since then, Carter has, like any good fanatic, kept her CD playing constantly and begun referring to her as "Sara, my friend with the guitar." So late one night last week, I thought, "Hmmm. Wonder if she's playing Dallas again anytime soon?" Checked the calendar on her whimsical, wonderful website (be sure to check her fun blog) and, sadly, found no Dallas dates, but noticed that she was playing at this groovy little coffeehouse in Winnsboro.

Well, heck, I thought, that's just down the road. It'll be fun!

It took a while to convince Trey of the inherent wonderfulness of the plan, and to parse the meaning of the phrase "just down the road," but he did roll with it. (Thanks, sweetie.) After a fattening breakfast at nearby Kel's, we traveled east on I-30 to the quaint main street of Winnsboro. Sitting right in the middle of the block (how had I missed this before?) was Crossroads Coffeehouse and Music Co.

What a treat! Within a few minutes of our arrival, the proprietors, Lynn and Lindy, greeted us and thanked us for coming. Offered us snacks and drinks from the old soda counter and let us pick a table for the show. Didn't seem to mind one whit when the muppers careened, punch-drunk, from one corner of the old hardware store to the next; even invited us to the back of the place to poke around. It felt so completely cozy and comfortable and cool.

And, of course, there was Sara: funny and talented and engaging and zany and endearing. When Carter became suddenly shy and reticent to join the big kids sprawled on the floor at Sara's feet, she gently and gradually coaxed him into participating and, in short order, having an absolute blast. She even (oh, how I wish I had taken pictures of this) solicited Trey's help in leading the wee ones in song and (yes!) dance, thus earning him the nickname MackDaddyTrey. The whole thing was just much too much fun.

So we were a little bummed to hear that Crossroads is trying to find its financial footing and hoping to make it to its first birthday celebration in November. Not sure how much we helped with our small purchases (happy early birthday to Carter, who's now the proud owner of a cool harmonica and an even cooler ukulele), but it made us feel good to support what appears to be a wonderful endeavor. Lynn and Lindy really seem to have their hearts invested in the place; please don't hesitate to make the drive and see for yourself.


At the same time, Sara is navigating the ups and downs of launching her first adult CD (the ambitious Motherlode) in quite a few years. (I bought it last week in Austin and adore it; without going into too much detail, let me just say that the parental anthem "Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?" in and of itself makes this a must-buy.) If you get the chance, check out one of her CDs or try to find a show near you.

Thus ends this philanthropic call-to-action, and thus ends our rocking weekend. Hope yours was swell!
Big love... F5

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jenina said...

Wow - I am so sad that Chad and I left early - we LOVE Houston's! Your blog is so great - I will definitely be checking it daily!

12:16 PM  

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