The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour ends at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival!!

 Howdy Friends!!
 
The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour came to a close last weekend at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma. I unplugged my guitar, walked off the stage and into the crowd, and then sang ‘May the Good Lord take a liking to you’ one last time before an unexpected standing ovation. And just like that, after 23 shows in 15 states over 6 weeks, with 11 plane flights (I’m still trying to forget the one I showed up 1 day LATE for), countless weird motels (I’m lookin’ at you Brownwood, TX!) and 4 rent-a-cars (one stretch included 6,000 miles of driving in 3 weeks), the EPIC journey was over. Phew…

 Woodyfest 2015 Copy 

photo by Michael Galassi

There were so many Great nights and Incredible shows along the way it’s hard to know where to start. Every show I played my heart out and almost without fail the audience embraced me and you could almost feel a little magic in the air. I wish I could point to one moment where it all crystallized and came together but it felt like it did during each show in one way or another. I played at festivals, in living rooms, bars, coffeehouses, courtyards, parking lots, fields and in one public library. One show started out in a noisy bar with me singing in the corner through a sound system and ended up with me playing unplugged—standing on a picnic bench in the middle of the bar—with the crowd so quiet you could hear a pin drop…THAT night—and the whole tour—still feels like a Dream…

And there were many old and new friends I met along the way, so many folks who put me up for a night in a spare room (or gave me theirs), fed me delicious food, told me their stories and inspired me in countless ways…And time after time, before long, I was made to feel like part of the ‘Family’. There’s a real gift to doing that, and I can’t say THANK YOU! enough to those extremely generous folks…

I’m sure with time, my memories of the ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour will change and inevitably some will deepen and some will fade…but the thing I can’t escape today as I type this, is that as recently as 5 years ago—when I was still playing open mics and before I’d ever booked any real shows—is that someday I’d get to play some of the places and festivals I’d never allowed myself to dream of playing, and that somehow I’d ‘belong’ in those places and on those stages…That’s the most gratifying thing I feel right now…just knowing ‘l can do this’. It’s pretty damn cool…

Neale Kerrville 2015 Copy

photo by Neale Eckstein

What’s next???

I have a handful of shows coming up—most closer to home—2 in Seattle, a couple in Portland and a few out of town. I’m honored to have been selected out of hundreds of submissions to be an ‘Emerging Artist’ at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Upstate, NY and have also been selected (after 5 years of trying!) as an ‘Official Showcase Artist’ at Folk Alliance’s Far-West conference in Oakland, CA…Yup—more flights and rent-a cars—so maybe, just maybe I Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet after all!!

For info. on specific venues, times, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html

New Music and News:  
 
***My tribute song to Woody Guthrie—‘Oh Woody’, rose to #2 on the national Folk music radio charts in June and the new CD, ‘What I’m Lookin For’ was #6 on the charts…Whoa~Incredible!!
***For more info, on the New CD, see ‘What I’m Lookin For’ below!

***During the The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour I played in 4 songwriting contests—the Tucson Folk Festival, the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, MA, the Kerrville Folk Festival’s ‘New Folk’ Competition in Texas and the Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Competition at the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City…

Rose Garden 2015 

photo by Nancy Murphy-Walsh

I took 1st Place in the Rose Garden Coffeehouse contest (I thought I’d NEVER win one!), 2nd Place in the Susanne Millsaps competition, and was a Finalist in Kerrville ‘New Folk’ (3 times in 4 years!), and in Tucson (3rd year in a row)…No one I know is a huge fan of songwriting contests—it’s a pretty weird experience ‘competing’ on what is essentially subjective (Music)—but I’ve met some wonderful people and so many other talented artists so I still think it’s pretty cool to do them…  

Lastly, I wanted to say ‘Thank YOU’ again for all the support. So many great things are happening in 2015 and every bit of ‘success’ I’ve had has been a surprise to me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream for a while. THE most rewarding part of playing the shows was meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I met so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what kept me going. It’s as Simple as that. So ‘Thank YOU!’ for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your overwhelming show of support.
 
Hey–If you have a favorite local venue you’d like me to play at or would be interested in hosting a House Concert (which ARE the greatest things since sliced bread BTW), shoot me an email, let’s talk!!!

Elizabeth Campbell CD Release 2015
 
And one last BIG Thanks! to my crack team–my ‘Tribe’–of ridiculously Cool Friends, Fans, Independent DJ’s and just Wonderful People (You know who you are!!!) who keep sharing the songs and the CD’s with their friends, family, etc. It’s truly extraordinary and it means so, so much to me. Please Don’t Stop Now!

Gratefully!
dan

***‘What I’m Lookin For’ has 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, and ‘Do You Ride Horses’ to name a few and several you’ve probably not heard before since I’ve not played them live. ‘What I’m Lookin For’ is my best songwriting yet so I really think you’re gonna love it! You can pick up a copy at my website http://danwebermusic.com/music/wilf.html where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc.

 Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For Cover

 

The “Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet Tour” has begun!!!

ADRYTourDatesWeb

 

Howdy Y’all!!

The “Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet Tour” has begun and it’s turning into an Epic journey!!

There are some incredible shows coming up including the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. Come see a show~and if you can’t, please tell your friends and family in those parts—I’d Love to see them at a show and meet ‘em!! 

For full details of each show including times, contact info, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html 
 
Here’s the List of Upcoming Shows:

5/30  Musicians Corner House Concerts, St. Paul, MN
 
6/1    South Sioux City Public Library, South Sioux City, NE
 
6/3    Whispering Pines B&B, Nebraska City, NE
 
6/4    Barley Street Tavern, Omaha, NE
         (with Township and Range)   
 
6/5    KC Café Radio @ Whistle Stop Antiques, Belton, MO
 
6/7    In the Know House Concerts, New Holstein, WI
 
6/9    Uncommon Ground-Clark, Chicago, IL
         (with Jack Shane) 
 
6/11  Public House Brewing, Saint James, MO
         (with Bliss Hippy)  
 
6/12  Stone Spiral Coffeehouse, St. Louis, MO
         (with Bliss Hippy)  
 
6/13   Flying Cat House Concerts, Indianapolis, IN
 
6/16   Nashville Side Streets, Nashville, TN
          (with Ronnie Dean)
 
6/17   Wildwood Center for the Performing Arts, Little Rock, AR
 
6/18   The Blue Door, Oklahoma City, OK
 
6/20   Dry County Concerts, Eastland, TX
 
6/21   Johnson Studio House Concerts, Huntsville, TX
 
6/26   Taste of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
 
7/11   Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Okemah, OK
 
7/18   Bite of Seattle, Seattle, WA
 
7/31   Pacific City Music Festival, Pacific City, OR

8/1     Pacific City Music Festival, Pacific City, OR 

8/15   Park Place Coffee, Gresham, OR
(with Bliss Hippy and Rich Waggoner)

8/25   The Secret Garden, Portland, OR

9/12   Clark County Folk Festival, Yacolt, WA

And there’s MORE Dates to come!!!

For full details of each show including times, contact info, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html 

Come to a show and see why Folks are saying things like:
“Dan, I have to tell you that I’ve been to over a hundred house concerts in the last 5 years and yours tonight was the MOST energizing of any and SO MUCH FUN!!! Smiling, laughing, singing, and relating to you were an every second occurrence! Thanks for sharing your energy, personal stories, and inner spirit.” – Cindy H. 

‘THANK YOU!’ for all the support. Every bit of ‘success’ I’ve has come because folks have embraced me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream a bit. THE most rewarding part is playing the shows and meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I meet so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what keeps me going. It’s as Simple as that. So Thanks for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your enthusiasm and show of support.

Gratefully,
dan

Party CIYH

 

‘What I’m Lookin For’ is 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, Do You Ride Horses’ and several you’ve probably not heard before. It was recorded at the same studio with the same team as ‘Ash and Bone’ and it’s my best songwriting yet—so I think you’re REALLY gonna love it!! You can pick up a copy at my website http://danwebermusic.com/music/wilf.html where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc. Thanks for getting a copy!!Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For Cover

 

Announcing the ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ 2015 Tour!!!

Howdy Friends!!

I just got back from the Tucson Folk Festival yesterday and am already re-packing and gearing up for the Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet 2015 Tour. As you can tell by the dates and the distances between them, it promises to be an Epic journey! There are also some incredible shows in there including a slot at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival which has a GREAT line-up this year. For info. on specific venues, times, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html

Come see a show and if you can’t Please tell your friends and family in those parts—I’d Love to see them at a show and meet ‘em!!

New Music and News:  
 
#1 The Brand NEW CD, ‘What I’m Lookin For’ was released on March 21st & 22nd at two really incredible SOLD OUT shows at Artichoke Music in Portland. Both were recorded for an upcoming LIVE CD that’s in the works down the road. I just want to say a HUGE ‘Thanks!’ to Everyone who came to the shows (and sang along!) for their show of support in selling out both nights, to my fellow musicians, to Artichoke Music and all the volunteers, and to everyone who worked so hard to make the shows so special. In short, it was FAN-tastic!!!

Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For Cover

‘What I’m Lookin For’ has 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, and ‘Do You Ride Horses’ to name a few and several you’ve probably not heard before since I’ve not played them live. ‘What I’m Lookin For’ is my best songwriting yet so I really think you’re gonna love it! You can pick up a copy at my website http://danwebermusic.com/music/wilf.html where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc.

#2 The REALLY BIG news is that I was again selected for the 3rd time in 4 years as a Finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s ‘New Folk’ Competition in Texas. I’m so dang excited! I was previously a finalist in 2012 and 2014 so this feels like getting to do my Senior Prom over again (which I skipped because I was too shy to ask anyone out!). Past finalists read like a who’s-who of songwriters I admire and love: Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Slaid Cleves, Johnsmith, James McMurtry, Jonathan Byrd, Danny Schmidt—just to name a few AMAZING songwriters. Here’s hoping the 3rd time’s the ‘Charm’ 🙂 New Folk

#3 I was also JUST selected as Finalist in the Rose Garden Coffeehouse’s 23rd Annual Performing Songwriter Competition just outside Boston, MA. I’m really excited to go back ‘East’ for a short bit before the “Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet Tour” starts. That’ll be right after my ‘Official Showcase’ at the SE Regional Folk Alliance conference near Ashville, North Carolina. It’s going to be a CRAZY couple of months!!

Rose Garden Coffeehouse

Lastly, I wanted to say‘THANK YOU’ again for all the support. So many great things happened in 2014 and even more are happening in 2015. Every bit of ‘success’ I’ve has come because folks have embraced me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream a bit. THE most rewarding part is playing the shows and meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I meet so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what keeps me going. It’s as Simple as that. So ‘Thank YOU!’ for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your enthusiasm and show of support.
 
Hey BTW–If you have a favorite local venue you’d like me to play at or would be interested in hosting a House Concert (which ARE the greatest things since sliced bread!), shoot me an email, let’s talk!!!
 
And one last BIG Thanks! to my crack team–my ‘Tribe’–of ridiculously Cool Friends, Fans, Independent DJ’s and just Wonderful People (You know who you are!!!) who keep sharing the songs and the CD’s with their friends, family, etc. It’s truly extraordinary and it means so, so much to me. Please Don’t Stop Now!

Gratefully,
dan

Party CIYH

A Stitch in Time: Pendleton, Oregon…

Grateful Blog Day 104: I woke up in Pendleton, Oregon the other morning, the town made famous by its annual rodeo and the woolen mills by the same name. It was a little disorienting since I’d been camping in the desert for several days and had seen or spoken with virtually no one. And suddenly there I was, waking up in a motel with the train roaring by and a complimentary breakfast. I skipped it. I drove around downtown 5 or 6 times. It doesn’t take long and after a few trips around the downtown blocks you’ve seen it all—5 or 6 times. I grabbed coffee and headed back to the motel to pack when I noticed the Pendleton Woolen Mills store. I was wearing my favorite Pendleton wool/down vest. It’s probably the most comfortable and most versatile piece of clothing I own. Its part vest, part coat, part pillow and part seat cushion. Half the time I come in the house and keep it on for another hour; it’s THAT comfortable and frankly, why be cold while the house is still heating up?

So I wandered in and the store was dead at that hour; just me and the sales clerk. She noticed my vest and we talked a minute or 2. Mostly I told her how much I loved it but it was in pretty sorry shape due to a torn pocket and exactly five different tears—the last 2 coming courtesy of some barbed wire I got tangled with a few hundred miles ago a few days earlier. She said ‘Take off the vest, let me see’. I didn’t really think about it, I just did. She saw the damage, said ‘a whip-stitch wouldn’t be pretty but it’d do the trick’ and I nodded ‘uh huh’ as if I had a clue what a ‘whip-stitch’ was. Then she said ‘do you have 15 minutes?’ Yeah sure. ‘Great!’ It what seemed like 5 seconds, she had a drawer open and a handful of spools of thread and various needles on the table and began sewing. We talked a little bit longer but I could see it’d be easier if I just left her alone so I did.

It’s weird, the whole time I had that feeling you get when someone chooses to take over and you let them—like getting a massage. At first there’s an unfamiliarity to negotiate, then some odd warm and prickly feeling in the back of your neck and then the general feeling of well-being when someone unselfishly gives of themselves. I’m pretty sure it’s not in the employee handbook for sales clerks to offer to sew customer’s Pendleton garments right there and then—I’m pretty sure they’re not supposed to fix them at all. And I’m quite certain there job is to sell you anther one. Believe me, I looked. No luck.   

So 15 minutes later she was done. Her sewing was efficient (mind you I’m no expert) and she said it was far from perfect but I begged to differ. I walked into the store with my favorite torn vest on, smelling of campfire smoke, and she literally just took it upon herself to fix it. I didn’t catch her name but I want to write the company a letter to tell them how Grateful I was she was working that morning, and how Grateful they should be to have her be the face of their company when she’s behind the counter. Like I said, I’m a big fan of the vest, but now I’m a bigger fan of the company and the fine ladies (and men) who work there. When summer hits before long it’ll get put in the back of the closet but when I pull it out next fall, it’ll be good as new…

Lost in Translation: Shouting into the Wind…

Grateful Blog Day 103: Yesterday I stopped off at a rest area to stretch my legs and write this blog. I had it all written—a picture, the works. But a storm kicked up and somewhere in the wind of the Columbia River gorge it disappeared into cyberspace and just as likely into thin air. I can’t recreate it so there’s no point in trying. The thing is when I realized it happened I was already back in the car, driving again, and just a few hours from home. I’d been out for several days and I was Grateful to be so close to home. There are many days that I feel that the ‘Grateful Blog’ is really special—and I so value that folk’s take time out of their busy days to read it. And some days I feel like I’m just another guy trying to shout above the interstate traffic into the spring Columbia River wind and who really just wants to drive that last 200 miles to get back home to his wife. It was a long and sometime’s crazy trip, and I’m Grateful to make it home again, safe and sound.

Handy Household Hints from Heloise: Confessions of a Life once Lived…

Grateful Blog: Day 97: I met a dead woman today. Walked in her house and knew she was gone. She wasn’t there but she didn’t have to be. The house was empty but she was there in spirit. The shag carpeting is often what you see first, but usually it’s the smell of mothballs, and dust. There the 1970’s amber glass light fixtures. The condensed ‘Best of’ Reader’s Digest’ multi-volume set right next to the picture book of the Grand Canyon, the Complete Book on Home Remedies and the Living Bible all covered under a thick layer of dust on a walnut bookcase. There is the ironing board at the ready, the cupboard full of bug spray and Ajax cleaner, and the Sears ‘Kenmore’ washer and dryer from the mid-1980’s. There is the cushioned toilet seat, the numerous pictures of Jesus and the lone refrigerator magnet that just says ‘San Antonio’.

There is the old powder blue Samsonite suitcase, the beaded sombrero from a trip to Mexico, the musical LP’s of ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, and the adjustable hospital style bed, with the rails now removed. There is the box of ‘Good Housekeeping Secrets to House Plants’, the wood paneling and the chain/swag lights. And of course there is the diorama woodcarving of the Last Supper and even a corkboard with several articles clipped from ‘Handy Household Hints from Heloise’ declaring ‘How to make your own cleaning products.’ There is the requisite macramé plant holder, the Rubbermaid bins with pens that don’t work from insurance companies, and the bathroom closet with liniments and hydrogen peroxide with nary a cotton ball in sight.

In a bedroom there was a black velvet painting of a Poncho Vila—or at least his likeness, and there was a picture of a young boy and missing smoke detector and heavy, smoky, musty pleated curtains and, two deadbolts, one chain and bars over all the windows. But somehow after 95 years, and likely the last 50 years in this small house with peeling paint, substantial rot and a suspect roof, she managed to escape it all and I’m Grateful for that.

How do I know that? Well, in her bedroom, under the water stain where the plaster had swollen, discolored and cracked, there was a picture of her on her heavy oak dresser, as a young girl, in black and white, with a friend at some lake. You could see it in their eyes, in their friendship and in the way they looked at the camera. No life or body or house could hold all that and I was Grateful she was finally free…

A New Song to Sing…

Grateful Blog: Day 96: Thursday was one of those days. Not only was I woken up at 2:37AM by teenager telling me my car window was open (it wasn’t, it was a neighbor’s car), then later that morning once I’d gotten up for real I dropped my cell phone in the toilet. Yeah, not pretty. It shorted out and died a quick and ignominious death. Finally I went to someone’s house for my job that turned out to be a semi-major marijuana growing operation. It was weird, a little uncomfortable, and then after an hour and a half in the house I walked back out to my car with what felt like a full-on contact buzz. I was a bit dizzy and that’s when it hit me, I hadn’t eaten all day.

So up at 2:37AM. Check. Cell phone dropped I toilet. Check. Contact high in drug house. Check. Forgot to eat all day, well that’s just dumb. I could explain all the other things, even if it WAS bizarre that they all happened on the same day. Then I went to this amazing song circle at a friend’s house. 20 of the most amazing songwriters you’re likely to hear. I sat down. I told the story of what my day had been like. Then I played a song I’d written, in between the teenager and the cell phone incidents. It’s impossible to know if it was any good but damn, it felt better than good because although it didn’t make the day make ANY sense at all, it did make me laugh at how weird the day was and how somewhat despite that—or maybe because of it, I’d written a song that felt really good to sing, and to share. I was so Grateful about that that I stayed extra late till I was the last to leave, assuring it’d been 24 hours since I’d been waken up. I mean what the hell, who cares about sleep and cell phones and your job when you’ve got a new song to sing…

The Doorbell rang 3 times at 2:37am…

Grateful Blog: Day 95: Last night I woke up at 2:37AM. I was in the middle of some lovely dream and then I wasn’t. I was slowly trying to process why my wife was saying ‘Get up!, GET UP!’ And then I heard it, 3 separate times, the distinct ringing of my doorbell. Really? The doorbell at 2:30 I the morning? Who the F#%K does THAT???

So I got up, trying to vaguely process that burglars don’t ring doorbells and not remembering exactly where my 12 gauge lever action shotgun is but I know it’s here somewhere. I got downstairs, remembered to kill the alarm, and looked through the peephole first but looking through that 1948 never been cleaned ¼ inch piece of glass half asleep is basically hopeless. I opened the door with a ‘WHAT???’ but what I really meant was WTF???

A kid. Maybe 17. Skateboard in hand. He says ‘You left your window down in your car’ I did? ‘Yeah, that Camry’. Ugh…’Hey kid, I don’t own a Camry, must be the people who moved in next door—in fact they just moved in last night. You should go let them know. Seriously, they’d WANT to know.’

So I sent him next door. I guess I’m Grateful the kid was looking out for me. His lack of timing notwithstanding. It could’ve been my car, or it could’ve been much worse. He could’ve been hurt or knew someone who was. In that case I’d have wanted to be woken up. The thing is I wake in a hurry once the adrenaline starts pumping, so I was up for the next several hours, trying to get my mind and body to quiet down. I caught up on a little reading, about Santa Fe’s Super-Chief streamline train in 1937. I read 5 chapters that started in Chicago and ended in LA before my mind drifted into that 1930’s scene and my eyes got tired enough to let me sleep again.

Sometimes it’s hard to be Grateful for anything, all day long, and then some kid rings your doorbell at 2:37AM and your reminded that we don’t live in a vacuum, that somebody’s gonna wake up ticked off that their car is soaked from leaving their window open, that somebody’s 16 or 17 year old is still out at 2:30AM (and he’s not your kid) and that none of your worst fears came true tonight. It’s a false alarm. Everything is still safe and sound inside your own 4 walls; it’s just a door closing, a book opening and a warm bed waiting away. Damn I was Grateful for that…

Edward Abbey’s desert: ‘You only get so many chances…’

Grateful Blog: Day 94: 94 Days of the ‘Grateful Blog’…my God…only 272 days to go. ‘94’ makes me think of 1994. I was 26 and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had a girlfriend who I’d just driven over 10,000 miles with from Seattle to Lower Economy Nova Scotia and back (via Yosemite, Eldorado, Oklahoma and the Great Smokey Mountains no less) in a Toyota Corolla. By the time we got back its safe to say we were borderline no longer able to stand one another. Later we found out that friends had been taking odds on how long we’d ‘last’ before killing each other. There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

I had another friend who’d just read and then sent me Edward Abbey’s ‘Desert Solitaire’ and I’d read it cover to cover and wound up fascinated with the Utah desert. Somehow I procured a pamphlet on opportunities to volunteer with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and they listed a position in Canyonlands National Park. It paid $198 per MONTH, but I’d get paid me to go check out what I’d just read in Abbey’s book. I was hooked. Sign me up! And they did…

I packed up everything I owned, threw what I couldn’t pack away, and drove 18 hours to get there. It was February and the interstates of Oregon, Idaho and Utah were snowy, treacherous and full of semis. But I got there to the SE Utah desert on the high Colorado Plateau just as spring hit. There were still some cold days but there were lots of sunny days in the 70’s. And it was gorgeous. It was everything Edward Abbey said it was and more. I worked in this place called the ‘Maze’ and ‘Horseshoe Canyon’ for about 2 years. To begin to describe either would take a book and even then you’d fall short for lack of words or lack of pages. At some point words fail to describe something THAT beautiful and just being quiet and listening becomes more important.

I learned that from the desert and a 100 more things it taught me. I’m Grateful for all of them, even the ones like heatstroke that damn near tried to kill me a few times. ‘Watch your step.’ ‘You only get so many chances.’ I learned those too. But everything has 2 sides to the coin. And while you do ‘only get so many chances’ you have to remember to take more than few—because you ‘only get so many…’

I’m Grateful I took that chance in 1994. When it gets to be ‘Suicide Weather’ in winter here in the Pacific Northwest there’s always a day in February when I realize that this is just about the time I’d be getting the call from the Park Service to go back to the desert. I know it’s been almost 20 years but I still feel that pull of the desert in springtime, I still need to go explore the canyons, see the endless, vast blue sky by day with its high rolling clouds and see ALL the stars at night. I need to soak in a hot spring for 4 hours and then come back later and do it again. The desert is all part of the process of losing yourself in something bigger to find yourself again. It taught me that too and I’m so Grateful I was listening because ‘You only get so many chances…’

Spring in Portland…

Grateful Blog: Day 93: Today was one of those days. It FINALLY felt like spring—here, there, and everywhere. I went down to the train station this afternoon to meet some friends. I roamed around downtownPortlanda bit in late afternoon. The ‘heat’ of the day as it were. The sun was perfect: warm, bright, and damn near too much but never warm enough and never too soon.Portland is no exception to practicality. All winter long women bundle up: Hats, scarves, Gore-Tex, and Polar Fleece. Then suddenly that first ‘real’ spring day like today and its skirts, heels, and dresses…

I’m a happily married guy. But you know, every year on the first warm day of spring when the sun comes up and the skirts come out I’m Grateful I’m a guy, and I’m Grateful that the world is just as beautiful as I remembered it, before the rain and the cold winter: the darkness, hats, scarves, Polar Fleece and Gore-Tex…

There’s just something special about a spring day in Portland when optimism seems to be measured in the inches of a skirt and not in inches of rain…