November in the Hill Country is a magical time. Ok, any day you wake up with good things to do and are inspired to do them is a magical time - but the cool nights bring the stars back and crisp mornings to follow, with skies of azure and cups of morning tea.
Old Joe got new shoes - there's a song title for you, please send us a copy. Joe the truck, beloved 1974 Dodge pickup of the homestead, was fitted with fresh 255-70s for its next chapter of service. It's amazing how hard 8 or 9 year old tires get... to quote Joe's namesake, it now "rides like a Cadillac."
I'm thankful for the amigos at Rodriguez Tire out in the little yellow shack by the highway and all hard-working people of service. I don't know about your world, but in mine, someone comes and actually takes my garbage away! Paid for, sure, but that's just outstanding.
I'm thankful for tin roofs - they sound great in the rain. Which we've had plenty of. I'm thankful I found my sanctuary on high ground and I didn't get convinced away from the challenge of building it. I'm thankful we have a little town that rallied around the people who were affected by the floods, and who will stop and ask a hairy little man in an old orange pickup with a flat tire if he needs help.
I'm thankful I don't feel the need to blame others over things I can't change and am smart enough to know I don't fully understand. All you who know so much... I hope you work some things out. I'm thankful for my little garden, and that's the patch I'll be working on. Because it needs the most work.
I'm thankful I get to do what I feel my life added up to - that it fills the world with music and its potentials; to share in the moments and ceremonies of life, its coming togethers, the harmonies between us.
I'm thankful for the good circle around me that helps this all happen, the center of which is my wife Jamie, and we are very thankful for the continuously growing family of players blessing us with the opportunity to build you instruments. It is an honor to devote my time and life to the tools of your music - thereby of your muse and FOR the tune you share with others, your song, and the good effects of this into all of your lives. I get to serve all of that - it puts me right up there with people who serve food or counsel the troubled or hold the door for old soldiers in wheelchairs. Mechanics replacing headlights on Christmas eve; that's greatness I aspire to and every now and then I'm thankful I can come close and give something special to someone.
I am thankful for the gift of music. It soothed and carried me and still does. That I get to share the fruits of that garden outward with music and words and pictures... and songs of wood & wire... I am thankful beyond what I can serve to you on this platter. I only hope you have such things in your life you can cultivate such thanks and reverence for and feel gratitude's perpetual springtime in your garden.
I'm not doing the update next week, but as always lots of work will be going on. On Thanksgiving itself, things will be pretty quiet around here - I'll do some work in the shop on your orders, that's the highest I can offer of thankfulness in practice. I'll probably have some Native American flute music playing, and it might be different here than your ceremony there. But from my sacred space to yours and to your circle from the Wingfeather Workshop, have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.
Listening to: The Best of Bird (Charlie Parker), Mike Stern Standards and Other Songs, Symphonic Pink Floyd, Les McCann Invitation To Openness; Keith Richards "Life" autobiography audio book; Jack Owens Blues At Home 8