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Spring is Really Here! By Kristen Moore

7 Apr

Raindrops falling down, greening our grass. Birds busy at feeders. Phone ringing with home school groups looking to arrange trips. Kids and moms seeking to learn and serve, signing right up to help add native plants. Comments waiting approval, like: Hi! I planted some strawberries about eight years ago but they did not like the conditions and vanished from the small planted bed. Little did I know, they were making their way stealthily underground and via runners to a flower bed about twenty feet away – and emerged there this spring!! With lovely fruit!!!

A salve to a soul nearly battered by email and messaging. As the waves were to my psyche as they crashed at my favorite place. Too busy to visit, too busy to feel the calm of this land and the invitation to explore and linger.

We look to June 17 and 18th for the Ithaca Reggae Fest! Beyond often tedious planning, we radiate happiness that such a team has gathered to create a conscious celebration of Cayuga Lake. Information about various happenings will begin to be shared as festival time nears. How might you celebrate Cayuga Lake? Will it be through dance, observation, food, environmental education, art or yoga? We’re so glad to hear from people who already have their tickets and are stoked to attend! How might this goodness ripple out? It is a grand question to ponder. In the meantime, we try to see who flies or crawls beside us. Let our breath fill our bellies and our dreams our minds.

The Burns Sisters Bring It to “The Hills of Ithaca”

16 Nov

“Together WE Stand.” The Burns Sisters gathered a few friends for their annual concert at The Hangar Theatre. Joining Annie and Marie were Doug Robinson, Bobby Sweet, London McDaniel, Tony Markellis, David Borisoff and Martin Horn.

Saturday evening at The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY, The Burns Sisters played their annual concert, this year in honor of Veteran’s Day. Joined by numerous talented musicians, “Together WE Stand” was an emotional treat!

Delighted to perform, the bandmates displayed their talents through diverse styles of music, covers and original songs.  Joining Annie and Marie Burns were Doug Robinson, Bobby Sweet, Tony Markellis, London McDaniel, David Borisoff and Martin Horn. Two organizations were highlighted that help veterans, The Blue Star Mothers of America and Stand with Me. As someone who grew up with a devoted dog at my side, I know how valuable their companionship and support can be.  Stand with Me trains teams; a veteran and their dog, to learn skills that will help veterans navigate life after military service. Francess “Myrph” McMahon, founder and director of STAND WITH ME, stood on stage under the bright lights and explained to the audience the benefits and importance of service dogs,  and their training program.  Two of her students, one canine and one human, joined her onstage to demonstrate their progress and unity.

Marie Burns’ singing was haunting as she sang “Kilkelly”, a song written by Peter Jones.  Each line expresses another decade’s yearning for an Irish son who had emigrated to the United States.  Based upon family letters, this song is but one example of lyrics generated from writings from long ago.  “Hills of Ithaca” and “Lehigh” share Woody Guthrie’s words, written about a trip to Ithaca in 1947 or 1948.  Marie explained this on stage Saturday and does so here as well.

“My Peace” was dedicated to everyone on Veteran’s Day.  Woody Guthrie’s lyrics were set to music by his son Arlo Guthrie.  This calm, reassuring song ended the second set happily.  Then, the band sizzled for an encore of “Free Little Birds” an old Appalachian folk song.  The musicians’ joy spilled off the stage as they jammed.  Their rendition was smoking but this traditional version, “Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s” is fun too!