How My Life is Changing

Posted on August 18, 2009 by Sara Hickman. | 3 Comments

After an incredible journey to Maryland, where I filmed for PBS, and made
many new friends, giving them nicknames (Dave the Director became “Double D”,)
I rode a train by myself for the first time ever. Everyone at the train station
stopped to help me out and explain things. I ended up alone, for about
twenty minutes, down on the platform, the early morning sun captured by
my little cell phone (I’ll try to find a way to get the photos up), and as I looked
up and down the tracks, I felt so many feelings. Who all had ridden these trains
over how many years? Why was there a little yellow stool in between two of
the tracks? (To escape, I supposed, if one fell down from the platform.)
Would I get on the right train, and how would I get my two bags, guitar
and self onto the rush/crush of passengers?

Suddenely, there appeared a 70 or so year old man who looked slightly
like Einstein, but with big rectangular glasses and suspenders. We started
to talk, and he and I ended up riding together, eating cherries, talking about
Cape Cod (he was going to visit two female friends he’d known for 60 years!)
He helped me with my bags, and before I could hug him, the train doors
were closing and I hollered “THANK YOU!”

Off to the Philly Folk Festival with Tom Darling, the shuttle volunteer.
The rest of the weekend he was Darling to me. And the festival was
bestival—although incredibly blazingly hot, and muggy, I had fun performing
for the childless children’s stage, utilizing my zany wit to spice up the adults
hidden under shady trees, giving a shout out to Kathy from WXPN. Singing
with Ellis Paul and Tom Rush and Jack Hardy and watching the Decemberists
and Enter the Haggis (my new favorite band) and the wondrous Caravan of
Thieves (too bad Caravan of Dreams is gone!) I danced. I jumped. I
sang my heart out. I enjoyed meeting Shelby, a 14 year old smarty pants,
and Julie, with her two daughters, Emma and Shannon (in a band and quite
the fiddlist, I hear). I sang with Tom Rush in front of 25,000 people, and
slow danced with Robin Batteau while Ellis sang a slow number. And, then,
to my utter surprise and heartfelt delight, as I sang “Claim on My Heart”,
I looked out into the audience, and Robin was standing, alone, amongst
the throngs, playing his violin…to me. It was one of the most enchanting
musical moments I can remember in quite a long time. It made me love
the song, it made me love the moment, it made me love him.

Robin is the brother to David Batteau, who I have been blessed to write many
songs with over the past 15 years. So, now, I feel like I know more of the
Batteaus and I am blinded by their immense artistry and creative songwriting.

So many exquisite memories, ending with my getting to eat at the secret volunteer
breakfast yesterday morning (wandering the halls, looking for breakfast, and voila!)
I passed around iolana’s journal that I keep with her and had everyone sign/decorate
in it, and then shared “I Wish You Well” with everyone. So, as we sang, there were some
tears, there was the closure to the end of what seems to have been a very successful
festival. A big thank you to Jesse for bringing me, for Tim Drake and Charlie Dahan for
booking me, and to the one of a kind Gene Shay (WXPN, founder of the Philly Folk Fest
48 years ago!!!) No one wears ecclectic glasses better than Gene. He’s right up there
with Elton John, for sure.

My family was at the airport waiting, and boy oh boy, was I THRILLED to see them.
I love how Lily always has this knowing, wise smile and walks slowly to me, arms
settling around my neck, and how io is the jumper, into me, onto me, hugs and kisses
for all. And, then, sweet Lance, my gentle, patient husband, always last to get a deep
kiss until the girls start saying, “Ok, we get it!” and we seperate with a smile, gather
luggage….arrive home to my darling Lucky dog, more slurpiness and joy, and I water
my garden with io walking by my side, catching me up to date (although we talk daily)
or sometimes just walking with me…so we are close. So we are, truly, together, at last,

Woke up at 7 to walk with Lily, but she was too tired. So, iolana, Lucky and I hit
the street and walked the neighborhood. It was a blast. We talked about houses,
plant life, stones and one mummified toad Lucky found. We talked about school and
Lily’s birthday (which was wonderful!) io told me about the videos Todd shot…check
out io and sam on youTube…i believe it’s called “io fun”. The one shot concerning
Lily’s gathering is LILY13. Both beautiful, and I am grateful to Todd…healing and still
wearing a smile and a camera!

Went to Jason Molin’s this morning and worked further on our plan for 2010 and all the
goodies we are creating—songs, cd, workplan on how to find funding. We wrote a mission
statement for Family Time Rocks! We are getting the site up and ready for May 2010, when
I become the official State Musician. iolana came with me, and she painted a beautiful
version of earth with hidden continents shaped like winged hearts and birds and the sun.

At noon, headed home. I started around 1:30 with David King, a personal fitness trainer,
and we filmed the entire conversation that lasted 3 hours on what food is about, calories,
what to and not to consume, how our routine will work, getting set up on line to journal
my eating habits, a wristwatch and heart monitor to wear when I exercise, goals set,
measurements taken….it was exhausting just LEARNING about it, but I am comitted to
finally, truly, learning how to be kind to ME. I just really want to be healthy. This is my
body, and the only one I’ll ever have. And I must start learning how to treat it with
respect and love.

If you want to learn more about David, please visit his site:

I’ll be posting photos and video, so you can watch my progress. Right now, I weigh 155.
My goal is to weigh 128 by January 18, 2010.

And I will repeat that goal in my head everyday until I reach it. Mantra:
My goal is to weigh 128 by January 18, 2010. (And it’s not just about taking off
weight—it’s about learning my food habits, taking control of what I consume and
transforming my body into a sleeker, stronger me so I can REALLY jam on that thar

Sending love,

3 responses to “How My Life is Changing”

  1. Mary Dewey says:

    Sara, I had to smile when I read your goal numbers!

    I am 47 years old, 5’5″, and on April 13 of this year I weighed 155, and set a goal of reaching 128, which I accomplished in September! (And lowered by bad cholesterol number from 146 to 91 in the process.)

    Good luck to you — I know for SURE that if I can do it, you (and all of us) can too!


  2. kerri Arista says:

    good luck, sara-
    i know you can do it!

  3. Jay Monteith says:

    Sara – it was very special for me to see you and meet you at the Philly Folk Fest. I am glad to hear that you got home safely, and had the good fortune to enjoy the company of your family upon arrival.

    I left Sunday after your set with Ellis Paul and John Hardy; too worn out and tired to hang for the entire day after the ordeal that was 3 days camping in the mud, heat and humidity. The calling of the cool dark house was too much for me!

    The kids loved your CD, but Doreen hasn’t listened to Motherlode yet – maybe this week. Went online to find out the Austin City Limits is sold out for this year – maybe next year will work.

    Thanks again for making it a special weekend. All the best!


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