Dateline: July 1, 2019 Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Gate C27

My connecting flight to Jackson Hole is delayed by an hour or so. I’ll get there eventually. First rehearsal isn’t until tomorrow afternoon, so it’s all good.

We spent the weekend at our friends Elena and Seward’s home in Wellfleet, on the simplest couple of vacation days we have had as a family in a very long time. It was lucky timing for me: I turned 43 on Saturday and was happy to be with family, far from work, and somewhere beautiful and new-to-us for the occasion. New to my family, anyway - I’ve visited before but it’s been a while, and always as part of Quartet touring. This was nice.

Seward taught me how to open clams and shuck oysters, and he took me out for my first-ever real 9-hole game of golf. Distant thunderstorms were threatening enough that the course was almost entirely empty except for us, which made it super-low pressure and we were able to take our sweet time — the rain finally, barely, came but only as we were walking up the hill for our final putts on the 9th hole.

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My son got some music composition mentor ship time from Elena and my daughter got to help rake their beach and plant some flowers and go to the market with Elena. Elisabeth got to test out a new synthetic top joint for her oboe (it’s not a keeper) and generally relax.

And there was a canoe and a kayak available for the four of us (plus Barkley) to take out on the pond for a bit each day.

And lots of Yahtzee! was played. Not many Yahtzees were rolled.

And we all drove over to the bayside for the sunset on Saturday, capping off a fantastic birthday of chill.

And then we drove back to Boston Sunday night in order to visit this French horn shop in Jamaica Plain first thing Monday morning, so my son could get a new mouthpiece and a new case and a new mute for the used horn we recently acquired from his teacher’s colleague at Wilfred Laurier. It was fun being a parent in an alien (not a violin maker's shop) music shop where I really know nothing about the stuff on sale - just that much further-removed from my normal work environment… again, it was nice. Niiiice.

And now I’m here in Dallas, halfway (more) to Wyoming for two weeks as an orchestra festival musician. Looking forward to seeing a couple of old friends and meeting new ones. The schedule is relatively light, so I expect there’ll be some hiking happening. What else?

watch this space!

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