An annual weekend of frolic and fun and festival'ing and food and... um... oh ya, folk music!
Photo: Dan, Martha, Pat, and friend performing at Willow last year
Our friends moved into an old farm house in the middle of cornfield-country many years ago, and being a wee bit out of place and all, they were quite surprised to find a hippy-dippy folk festival takes place every August in their side yard. It's a fundraiser for the Methodist church next door and attracts hundreds of music-lovers, but I'm convinced Dan and Joan command just as much attendance as the festival itself.
Many of our friends sign up to perform and we gather around to take in their lovely voices and instruments. Sometimes we are moved to dance, and the grrrls all wear pretty skirts and flowers in our hair.
Dan and Joan graciously open their yard to friends for a weekend of music, extraordinary communal meals, garden walks, and late night drumming on the porch. We've enjoyed many Willows, and have many amazing memories.
Photo: Gemma, Joan, me (and Brendan with camera)
This year is special for us because it's the first soccer-free Willow weekend in several years. Usually we have to juggle our time between Willow and games and neither event gets full attention.
Photo: Dan, Taylor, Rob, Chris and little Maya
And one of the highlights is spending time in their gardens. These pictures don't do the place justice - their yard is a magical wonderland, every corner a work of art. We take long strolls there, and the kids chase each other through the paths. We are sent to pick fresh herbs and vegetables for our meals and retreat there when we need a quiet moment.
So tonight I'm busy cooking a weekend's worth of food - marinated vegetables, black bean salsa, zucchini bread, pesto pasta, with quiche and granola and yogurt for breakfast. We're packing our clothes and yard games and tents, and the camera batteries are recharged - we're heading to Willow!