Teeter Totter Life

Posted on August 22, 2005 by Sara Hickman. | 1 Comment

Cat-in-the-Hat had a birthday party today. He turned 4 1/2 years old. iolana came home from school with him hanging out of her pink backpack and announced today was the day for his party. You may wonder just who is Cat-in-the-Hat? He is a pink, ragged mouse with a black nose and matching eyes, clear fishing line whiskers and a bean bag body. He is very loved.

So, Lily made a chocolate chip pancake cake while I got busy slicing lemons. io, Lily and I squeezed lemons while I was boiling sugar water. The lemonade came out just dandy. Not too sweet, not too sour. Lily then decorated the pancake with icing (she drew a picture of a triangular piece of cheese, then finished out with scrolled white icing all over the plate). We decorated a breakfast tray with tiny ceramic plates, Lily cut 2 inch napkins and placed teeny-weeny forks on top. The lemonade was poured into minature toy champagne flutes.

Then all hell broke lose. The girls started fighting over a chair size for the mouse; I realized it is still only the beginning of school and they get so worn out during the day…they just let their hair down at home…but I couldn’t allow them to be rude to one another, so we went to seperate ends of the house, one screaming all the way, the other in tears. I just loved them both and asked them to work it out after they finished being upset. It was some work getting the “I’m sorry”s to come….but, then, suddenly, sunshine filled the house, the clouds were off and distant, and we were gathered around the little birthday yummies, ready to consume our hard work.

Of course we had adorable, infintisimile (sp?) candles, all the wicks lit….Cat-in-the-Hat enjoyed herself tremendously as we all sang a rousing version of the birthday song, and io blew the flames away. Lily cut the cat and we also devoured some peanut butter crackers, with many toasts in between mouthfulls of good food and drink. Hooray for Cat-in-the-Hat! May you always be by my baby’s side!

Well, I was tired today, but stayed in a bright mood. This weekend was jam packed with travel and performances, starting in Oklahoma City at the leaning Blue Door. I hadn’t been there in eight years, but I couldn’t have felt more at home upon my return. I love having friends that you just slide right into banter with, as if you’ve been living next door from one another all these years. I enjoyed hanging with Otis…the breakfast at Classen Grill was a HUGE highlight!…Kari and Eric came out (and their baby….so exciting! Due in just a few months!)…seeing Greg, the owner of the club, always brings a smile to my face. He reminds me of someone so dear, but I can never quite put my finger on it. Perhaps a cousin from another life, I don’t know. But just good joo-joo…Everyone that was there, just helpful and friendly as could be. Oh, and thanks to the effervescent Leslie, too, for taking such good care of me….her eyes! Wow! She must be part blue-point Siamese…come on! No one has eyes like that who isn’t part cat! You know, even the folks at the Courtyard Marriott…what were they? FRIENDLY as all get out, too! Cuz when the taxi didn’t show up, one of the young ladies came out from behind the lobby counter and gave me a ride to the venue! (Every time I called down to the front desk they were calling me “honey” and “darlin'” and “sweetie”…I’m telling you, say what you will about the south, but it has its good points, too!)

I did miss my Spike. He couldn’t come out to play as he now lives in Santa Fe, but I put on my best behaviour, in his honor, and played like a lioness out of the cage. Grrrr. He used to be the Editor in Chief of the Oklahoma Gazette…even let me cover SXSW one year, and I wrote such a long article on Adrian Belew, he had to cut it in two, I swear!

Greg of the Blue Door can make the stage feel like Carnegie Hall. I really, truly, love the way he makes me feel on stage. His sound system and the way he sets me and the guitar up, well…gosh! I feel like I could make anything sound like Tina Turner meets Carly Simon. And my guitar(s) sounded HUGE and kick ass. So, I did. Kick ass, that is. You know it’s funny, people always compare me to Joni Mitchell (I’m not complaining, mind you), it’s just funny all my influences rarely get noticed in how I deliver a song, a twist of phrase, a note or a bend.

A very kind man came up to me before the show and wanted to share a story. His wife had brought him a song and told him to listen to it, as it described how she felt about him. The gentleman was about 6′ 2″, with a long, kind face, aching shoulders. His started to melt as he told me his wife had passed away last year, and I held him as he sobbed. Tears were running down my face, and I took him into the office to let him have some privacy. We spoke for awhile, and he told me the song was “Simply”…could I please sing it for him? Yes, yes, I said, choking back on his sorrow.

I let it rip the whole show, new songs and old. At the end, I played “Simply”…I wasn’t sure whether to look into his eyes, but finally, I realized his wife would have wanted me to…..certain phrases, I raised my face and sang directly to him. It was very moving, for me…
We held each other again before he left. I could be wrong, but he seemed less weighed down, he seemed to realize he was loved.
I am honored to have been a part of two lives through music, and I am astounded by the power that music can have, out there, on its own.
Who knows why we write songs, or make art, or create dance, poetry, music, photographs… but, thank God that these things can live on and bring comfort or joy or relief to someone seeking any of it. They are the strings of the heart.

Then I couldn’t sleep all night. It was hard and awful, but gosh, if that bed didn’t feel so soft! I loved the creaminess of the sheets and the room was completely dark. I just couldn’t shut my mind and just let go…

The clock was staring at me, and I stared back, and it was time to get up, shower (my motherlode plan for when I am about to fall over; never fails.) Went downstairs and Otis was waiting. We loaded up his borrowed 1979 Caddy, which was a blast, all metal and smelling like cigarettes and leather. We drove to the grill and had an excellent, five star breakfast. Then, off to the airport, hugs goodbye, chatted with the skycaps, saw my guitars head down the line and up I went into the friendly skies of Southwest. Beautiful, clear day, me loving the earth from up above. I was an astronaut!!!

Landed in Dallas, where I was met by the charming Tom Noe. Played his A frame all wood house in the woods Saturday night…

AND…There was Mark, who had just been at the show in OKC the night before!!! (And the show at McHenry’s in Ft. Worth and…) Mark! Stop it! You’re crazy, I tell you! How many times can you see me perform and not just lose your marbles? I tell you what, I’ll hire you to play extra shows…you’ve got to know all the lyrics/chord progressions by now…you can be me in Arkansas while I am playing in New Mexico! Sign here if you agree to this plan! You know we both have blonde hair…no one will know!! It’s perfect! You’ll make extra money and maybe I’ll get some sleep!

Anyhoo, back to the house concert in Wylie/Wiley. I still have no clue which is the correct way to spell that town. You’d think I’d pay better attention, but I was paying so much attention to Tom, I didn’t get to pay any attention to the city’s welcome sign, so you’ll have to look it up if you want to know where I was…I can not spell it, but I sure will talk about it….because….

A) I had another great show, except this time with NO MIC or P.A., so it took a little adjusting to go from a huge sound system to my
little voice trying to belt it out to 40 people in a living room with carpeting!!! This is why most musicians drink/use drugs/have too much sex/have no sex/can’t sleep (you know which problem I have (and don’t have! ha ha)….we have to constantly re-adjust to whatever the environment is that we have agreed to bare our souls.

B) Everyone was so super SUPER! Joseph, Alan and Paul were CRACKING me up with all their nefarious heckling, me heckling them and then them heckling one another and we had an entire different set of storylines breaking out to whatever I was doing….it was a complex evening and I love love loved it. I like it thick and fast and it was flying in all directions. Keeps me on my toes (which were barefoot, by the way, with sparkles on my toenails. Sparkles ROCK!) And people bought my cds, which was extra great because I am in the mixing stage of the new album and all that money will be going into the mix, so THANK YOU everyone for putting up with my/our antics at the Wayward House of Women…or is it Wayward Women’s House of Sparkle…? Or “SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT WE HAVE NO RULES HOUSE OF MUSIC AND SPARKLE!” Whatever you want to call Tom and Linda’s house, it sure was a dee-light and I enjoyed having my own apartment to crash in (no, I didn’t sleep Saturday night, either, and fell into Tom’s arms the minute he knocked on the window and peeked in to see if I was up….thanks for comforting this weary woman, sir Tom!)

C) I RODE A BMW motorcycle on Sunday morning before heading back to the airport…Tom took me to SONIC!!! Whoo-hoo! I didn’t go as fast as Kristin (de Witt), who he told me went 130 miles with him a few years back!!! But, let me just say, I loved riding! I was wearing a gypsy, flouncy skirt, hiked up to my thighs, the wind blowing along the length of my legs, my arms wrapped around Tom’s waist, knees in tight….we were flying down the road! I have GOT to have a motorcycle before I die….What a joy! I suppose I’ll be a grandma someday, driving around with a dog on the back…both of us with red bandanas, heading for Wyoming. Camping out in the rain. Sharing snacks.
Let’s see…I’ll name my dog Snickerdoodle. I won’t have an alarm clock. He’ll just lick my face when it’s time to get up and get going.

Ok, I’m off to have a cuppa tea with soy and rest in my loving husband’s arms. He just walked in, chewing gum (man, that was SEXY!!! he never chews gum)….

I’ll try to write more soon. Gene is coming to town for a week, the GENIE, who brings you the website, the newsletters….maybe we’ll write an entry together! We are going to start working on a documentary…..there, I’ve forewarned you!

Sending love out into this good night. I hope it is, indeed, a good night for you.

In case you are reading this: Goodnight, Howard. Goodnight, Julie. Goodnight, Mal. Goodnight, Kevina. Goodnight, my love,

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One response to “Teeter Totter Life”

  1. Jim Rossman says:

    Your long rambling blog entries make me feel really good when I’m reading them…just wanted you to know.

    Hoping to see you at Poor Davids…that’s the day before my 40th birthday…he he he…


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