Friday, August 24, 2007

Willow 2007


Willow is over, once again. It was a wonderful gathering! We had all the makings of a fantabulous time with many of our favorite friends....

We had drumming.

Oh, how I adore an intoxicating drum beat in the background of any Willow gathering. That afternoon, I followed the rhythm and found Eric and Jordan having a jam session in the front room. I started slapping my leg and dancing around like a drugged-out hippie, so they pretended not to see me.

We had camping. Several of us camped in Dan and Joan's yard, seen here. But some of us retreated to the Duff-compound just down the road where we had quiet and stillness, and a breath-taking view, and coffee and quiche for breakfast, and newspaper reading on the new screened-in porch. We want to move in, we liked it so much. 'K, Duffs? You don't mind, do you? We take our coffee at 7:00.

We had henna and mehndi.

I found Becca, a friend of Brit's (who couldn't be with us this year - boohoo), and invited her to join us. She brought along her henna and I found her and Kenz painting each other's legs, with a gaggle of kids watching them. I begged mercilessly for her to do me first, shoving small children out of my way as I budged in line.

Ain't it purty?

There was willow wreath-making.

Last year, some of our kids made willow wreaths ahead of time for all of us. But this year, they didn't - the spoil sports. No matter, the next generation of willow wreath makers have arrived! Maya made a lovely one for me and even asked which flowers I wanted and exactly how many. Then she decided she liked it a whole lot and kept it for herself.

And instead she gave me this willow headdress. I felt like royalty in it, even though some people said I had weeds in my hair. Harrumph... such disrespect for a Willow goddess will not be tolerated.

We had porch time.

This is the perfect spot to be - for conversation, for a lounge on the porch swing, for a cool breeze, for a nap with music in the background. For admiring the wittiness of your son, like Pat is doing. Isn't that what you were doing, Pat?

We had volunteering.

Dale and Diane have family involved in the Willow church so they sign up to help. Then Diane rounds up our children and makes them do her shift for her. Cuz she's bossy like that. Thankfully, our kids always have a fun time working the soda tent. Here, several take a break over a game of cards while three others take their turn running the stand. At least we think someone is running the stand. I see the cashbox there - wait, are they playing poker with the soda tent money?

We had communal cooking.

There's Dan (the master of Willow), Laurie and me. We stripped basil leaves for a lovely tomato salad as Joan barked, "No, not like that you ignorant fools!" (She gets a little saucy when she's supervising a bunch of lulus in her kitchen.)

The finished salad masterpiece:

And the kitchen goddess was at the top of her game, as usual. Joan, you never fail to amaze us with your creations - this year, turkey mole with all the trimmings, caponata on thick grilled bread, and an array of garden salads had us all moaning in pleasure. Deeeelish. I channel you each time I enter my kitchen, and always hope I can bring home some Willow magic and inspiration. So please stop yelling at me.

And of course we had music.

Here's Doug playing his mandolin, in preparation for his big Willow debut. You rock, Doug! And we salute you. (flicking lighter)

We had garden walks.

Several garden walks. Dan and Joan's gardens were exquisite yet again, and yet again I was sent to pick herbs for the kitchen. This time, 3 kinds of basil.

We plucked cherry tomatoes off the vine and ate more than made it to the kitchen.We drank coffee amid the squash plants and took pictures of gigantic tomatoes. We started our weekend there and ended our Sunday there.Such beauty...

And of course, we had singing.

Dan led all the kids in several songs, and here, Pat and her daughter, college-bound-MacKenzie, sang some of their favorite Willow tunes as Dan accompanied them on guitar. Don't they look lovely up there? (Evan - pay attention. Yer family's singin', boy!)

Finally it was time to leave. The kitchen was empty, the haybales stacked. The guitars were put away and the energy started to wane. We savored our last meal together and took coffee to the garden for a sunset stroll.

And another Willow is over. *sigh*


K. said...

This experience sounds SO AMAZING, you made me wish I was there. And believe me, I hardly ever want to leave home. :P

Silvia said...

That looks so fun! Is Willow a group that evolved over time, or did it start from something in particular?

Linda said...

I'm curious too!

Laura said...

This was actually the 40th year, I believe... it's a major fundraiser for the Methodist Church that hosts it, but since our friends just happen to live next door we've been able to morph the weekend into an extra-special homemade gig with lots and lots of friends. There's an open-mic stage and you have to sign up early to get a spot. Talent ranges from amateur-fun to super-talented and everything in between. There are campfire sing-alongs that organically occur after the festival closes, too, and we wander the campsites and join in sometimes, star-gaze, and people-watch before retiring to the porch for drumming or to our tents for slumber. It's "mini-Woodstock meets the comforts of (a friend's) home" and we are just lucky Dan & Joan are our friends! For this reason and many, many more!