Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Waterfont Blues Festival - The Whole Shabang

As I write this, I am sitting on the upper deck of our boat listening to Linda Hornbuckle and Janice Scroggins singing at the Blues Festival and the title of their set is “Old Time Gospel Hour.” The sun is intermittently peaking out, our guests have all left, it is just Hubby and I resting and listening to music. It is a good time to reflect on our three weeks at the Portland Waterfront.

I read four books while here: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (two words: Lifetime movie); My Sister’s Keeper by Jody Piccolt (thought-provoking and well written); Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman by Jill Kelly (warm memoir), and Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg (sage wisdom). Making time to read has become a struggle since I’ve discovered the fun of art, so it was a treat to have my face buried in a book much of the time.

Early on I tried to do artwork, but I found myself too distracted by my surroundings and the many visits I had from my kids and grandkids (lucky me). I managed to prepare the bases for an Inchie Swap I’m in (I've just chosen a random link to illustrate what an Inchie is, but if you google the word "Inchies," you will get hundreds of hits!), and that felt good. The theme of the swap is “By the Sea,” so I used an old nautical chart for the background and I ordered 60 miniature anchor charms from SkyBluePink, an excellent resource for embellishments, doodads, and whatnots. When I return to my studio, I’ll attach the anchors, add a word, and a small image, either of my cousin in a sailor suit or an old-time bathing beauty.

During the Blues Festival, we hosted dozens of friends (and quite a few strangers!). On the 4th of July, we had 35 people on our boat. And over the course of the three weeks we have been at the waterfront, 119 people have stepped foot on our boat. Some were strangers that Hubby invited on board for a tour. One of my favorites was Eric Lindell, a musician and performer from Louisiana who played at the festival. He had just completed his set and was walking on the dock with a band mate. Hubby said to him: “I like your music,” and Eric replied, “I like your boat.” Hubby of course invited them aboard. His band mate stood in the pilothouse, his hands on the big wheel and summed up his feelings about the boat: “This is the shit!” They both joined us on the upper deck for a short time, and were gracious enough to allow me to snap a photograph of them. When Hubby and I went into the festival the next day, we headed to the Music Millennium booth and purchased both of their CDs.

Today Hubby invited two couples on board for a quick tour and before we knew it, all of their friends were on board, too – all 10 of them! They were a group of artists and potters from Bend and in town for the Blues Cruise aboard the Portland Spirit. About 2:30 p.m., as the Portland Spirit motored by, there were 10 friendly faces standing at the railing eagerly waving at us. Howard tooted our air horn (the “boat clap”) two blasts as we enthusiastically waved back.

I tried to snap a photo of everyone who boarded our boat (not the strangers), and I encouraged everyone to leave a message in our guest book. Here is a sampling of the comments that were written:

Blues Festival, great food, perfect weather, fun people, awesome yacht! Feelin’ ritzy titzy that I got to be one of the chosen ones. Thanks for a great day. Jasmine.

Sun coming thru the clouds, lull of the river on your beautiful boat . . . music . . . yet a fun, peaceful day. Thanks. Claudia and Mark

Thank you so much for your warm hospitality. It’s not often you meet people with genuine intention. I appreciate everything and look forward to continuing to get to know you both. Thank you again and God speed. Mark and Lori

Thank you so much for your generosity to accept complete strangers and make us feel as family. Your grace, generosity, and acceptance are awesome. Thank you. I am incredibly touched by your kindness. Maggie, friend of Jill

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