Thursday, January 28, 2010

15 Minutes of Fame!

Last year on our tour, Ray Lacusta recorded two of our concerts (Raymore and Strasbourg) and interviewed us in preparation for a documentary on SCN (Saskatchewan Community Network). It aired for the first time on Wednesday, January 27th and will air again on Sunday, January 31st at 7:14 p.m.

The documentary will also be posted online any minute now, so if you miss it on television, you can watch it on the internet!

In the meantime, watch another musical duo from the Last Mountain area: Little Miss Higgins (Season 4, Episode 3).

Monday, January 26, 2009

final stop: Moose Jaw

The Minus 40 Tour is over, but this blog is not done. We've learned so much and have more stories to share. Pray for Dara as she drives home (probably Tuesday) and gets back into life in Pelican Narrows. Pray for Colleen, too, as she gets back into life in the Duval/Strasbourg area, working at the newspaper, helping Jeffrey with his pottery business, and pursuing other writing projects.

We look a little tired! And we cried a little when it was all done. But we had such a great time and definitely want to work together more in projects and performances.

Watch for our live albums based on the Minus 40 Tour coming sometime in the spring.



We sang to a small but (mostly) attentive audience (except for the group playing Outburst!) at The Pilgrim Centre in Caronport. It was a cold night and there were a lot of other things going on in town, but it was nice to be there and we were glad for the chance to perform (and practice) one more time before recording.

We especially had fun with volunteer participation on "I Google Your Name."

the moose

These are the moose we saw on the way to Eyebrow. Sorry the quality isn't very high, but it's a documentation of our experience!

in praise of moms and dads

Dara and I have had a strong sense of being cared for by God and by the people he used to accomplish care for us on this tour.

A particularly touching experience happened this weekend. I was driving to meet Dara in Southey, planning to park in front of a business I know. Well, I had just turned off the Strasbourg grid onto highway 6, when it felt like driving on really rough road. A flat tire. Shredded, in fact.

A few days ago, driving to Regina, I had suspected the tire was weakening and added air. Now I was stranded on the side of the highway, about 10 km north of our rendez-vous point. I flagged down the first vehicle to come along and hitched a ride with the chief from Daystar First Nation.

I met Dara at our rendez-vous point, we drove back to get my stuff from the van, left it on the side of the road, and dropped the keys at a car dealership 'just in case'. We didn't need the van for the weekend and, worst case scenario, I could take care of it on Monday.

After some pondering, we thought to call our friend Heather's parents, Dale and Pat. Her father, Dale, said he was going to be in and out throughout the weekend but he would have a look.

Dale called my cell phone on Saturday evening to say that he had taken care of everything: bought a used tire and put it on the van and parked it in their garage.

On Sunday we were surprised to see Dale and Pat in the audience in Moose Jaw, along with a couple of friends from Southey. We also learned that they had been wondering what they could do to support our tour and this gave them the opportunity they had been looking for

When Dara and I arrived at their farmyard just after 9:00 p.m. it was so comforting to feel so taken care of like that by a mom and dad. Not only did they donate a 'new' used tire and park it inside, Dale checked and topped up engine fluids, replaced wiring for the battery and block heaters.

We couldn't have done this tour without the support of our own parents, especially Dara's mom and dad who provided childcare throughout the two and a half weeks. These two small sentences don't do justice to the immense value of their giving!

And it was so good to see my parents briefly as they passed through Regina last week, to get their opinion on some CD covers and have a little visit with them over wonderful food at Melrose Place restaurant.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mothers of Preschoolers

Two of Dara`s boys came with us to a concert at Rosewood Park Alliance Church in Regina on Wednesday morning. It was the perfect setting for them: we entertained the MOPs group (Mothers of Preschoolers) and the boys played with the other children in another room.

It felt like a nice number of women to sing to -- not too many, not too few; cosy; all women, so there`s a different level of sharing than in a mixed group. As a single person without kids of my own, it`s always a privilege to bless those who a parenting young kids. I know it`s rarely easy, but it`s such a critical role that I want to encourage and energize parents of all kinds. I feel the same way about marriages, a strong desire to bless them, encourage them to hang in there (unless it`s downright dangerous), to be faithful and kind and to cherish one another.

This is why I love to sing a song my mom wrote about her parents who were married for 68 years. Here`s the chorus:

Mama and Daddy loved each other through the good and bad
When they started out together, love was all they had
It wasn`t always easy, this melding of two lives
But because of their commitment love survives

Dara could hardly sleep one night, this song was repeating inside her. She says her own marriage started out much the same way. But that is her story to tell.

Speaking of Dara, she won`t have internet access for several days -- likely not before Tuesday night, when she expects to get home to Pelican Narrows. Even though we`ve been traveling together so much and talking almost non-stop, I still look forward to reading her posts. Last concert tomorrow. There is a good chance we might cry ...


We're staying with a fan in Moose Jaw tonight: Dara's Aunt Brenda. She served us muffins and cheese in reference to our blog post about Raymore.

Literature teacher gives close reading to text, interprets with humour.

I love how Brenda fed us when we arrived after our second-last concert. (My friend Michelle fed us a light, healthy supper before our Caronport concert.) The physical nourishment makes me think of a word my cousin Marilou used of our Friday night concert in Weyburn: nourishing.

To know that we have fed people`s souls well, even as so many of our hosts have fed our bodies with just the right foods ... To share our bread with friends and strangers, this has also been nourishing for us.

p.s. Aunt Brenda a fan of the Minus 40 Tour, but she's an even bigger fan of Jane Austen! I'm sleeping in the Jane Austen room tonight. In addition to books and movies, there are two Jane Austen dolls: one from Little Thinker Dolls (basically a beanie baby!) and one an action figure complete with writing desk. Who knew?