Sunday morning I woke up at 4:11 because Lucy needed a drink of water. I keep meaning to put one of those automatic waterers in their room, like the one the chickens have.
And then I couldn't get back to sleep. Because I was excited. So at 6am I got up and fed the chickens, who broke loose when I opened the door. Much clucking and flapping. And then I went to the garden and picked tomatoes and parsley and cucumbers and the last of the leafy greens. I mixed my harvest with soba noodles, smoked salmon and some dressing and put it in the cooler with everything-else-imaginable that I had prepared the night before.
And then we met Sarah and Lucy's friend who we shall call Lucy (to avoid confusion) and Lucy's friend Lucy's little sister who is friends with Studley. We shall call her Studleigh. And we brought my nephew because I could no longer carry the picnic hamper unassisted.
And the 7 of us drove FOUR HOURS across the state to listen to Beethoven's 9th at Tanglewood. It was so worth getting up at 4:11. Lucy, Lucy, Studley and Studleigh did not give us anxiety attacks by being unruly. The only outburst was during the Ode to Joy when Studley shouted "Yay!!!" in response to one of the solos. And who doesn't want to do that?
It is just completely gorgeous there. Huge, green lawn with big trees here and there. You can kind of see performers if you sit very straight and squint. But who really needs to see them? The sound is rich and full and probably perfectly listenable all the way to the back corners of the lawn. And it is a visual treat wherever you look. If you're not so into landscape, the people-watching is beyond all reason. You cannot find a more richly varied cross-section of humanity.
So let me back up a little. When we first decided to go I called for tickets and was advised to wait and get them there so I didn't have to pay the service charge. The lawn seats, says Mr. Boxoffice, never sell out. So we walk up to the gates and someone who looks like he can be trusted says, "do you need tickets?" We say yes and he hands us tickets. For all of us. And he tells us to have a nice time.
Have I mentioned how much I love free tickets?
Let me back up further. Last year when my nephew was here we went to many friend-owned businesses - restaurants, t-shirt shops, galleries, coffee shops, etc. He was under the impression that because we knew the owners, things were free. Almost like we were going to their homes. I explained that we pay for things at our friends' businesses because they have families to feed and Everyone is friends with Everyone and if we didn't all pay for things it would Just Not Be Good. It was sort of an economics lesson. And it fell on deaf ears because he asked One More Time and I (head spinning) said with great authority "NOTHING IS FREE!"
He has quoted that outburst several times over the last year. Cape Cod, where Nothing is Free.
So of course we have had all sorts of free stuff handed to us during his visit this year. And he does not let me forget.
But I made him eat octopus, so I'm still one up on him.