Although I’m a little late with blogging about it, I still feel the need to address it here on the internet for God and everyone to see: I love the 4th of July. However, in spite of my deep love of cookouts and fireworks and all around togetherness, Independence Day always tends to remind me that we’re halfway through the calendar year. Then I start getting antsy and looking towards New Year’s, finagling and trying to figure out how I’m going to fit a vacation into the mix before it’s all over. This is just another step in my ever mounting quest to learn to live grateful. This year, I don’t want to miss all of the wonderful things that the next half of the year holds because I’m already fretting about the new one that’s still six months away!
I think that in continuing with the learning to live grateful philosophy, I’ll only fret today about the sunburn that I got when I went out in the ocean with my nuclear (and adopted) family for the 2nd Annual Bristol Court 4th of July Regatta. Along with Sven and Della, and Skip and Patty and their families, the Mac Family (minus the wiener dogs) spent the day anchored on a sandbar somewhere between the lighthouse and the bird roost, swimming, playing and picnicking. It was a great reminder that sometimes it’s okay to slow down and enjoy the good things that we have going for us and the people we love. Obviously, if I had to make a Quarter-of-the-Year-Resolution to focus on that stuff, it’s not something that comes naturally. But it’s healthy and totally necessary for me to occasionally have my filter readjusted to help me see all of the good that’s in front of me. Capping off the sweet heart-mojo that I was still drunk on from the night before at the City of Sopchoppy’s 4th of July celebration (where we played along with the New 76er’s, the Rick Ott Band, and Tobacco Road, among others), time with my family out on the water did just that– Refocused me and reminded me of all that I have to be really happy about.
I’m relatively healthy and in spite of the fact that I’m still prone to raging bouts of teenage angst that skew my perspective, I’m surrounded by family and friends that are creative and fun and compassionate and take care of each other.
I live in Florida and it’s beautiful.
I have the advantages of being in a city complete with its own Research I University, cultural events, posh boutiques and fancy things. But anytime I want, I can load up and cruise out to my folks’ house where I’m lulled to sleep by crickets and frogs. And as soon as I feel like fresh peaches or blueberries or blackberries, I can call up my friend Beth and we’ll load up her kids and drive down the road a ways to pick all of the fresh fruit that we want from a helpful farmer who also gives out free recipes. Honestly, I’m living the best of both worlds. And that’s not even taking into account what I do for a living! I mean, seriously? How many people can say that their job is to do exactly what they want to do?
Today in a phone conversation with our producer Dave, he said (and this is not a direct quote, it’s a Sarah-fied interpretation of a much longer conversation), “You guys are recording artists. Like visual artists use color and lines to convey their hearts, you guys use sound and texture and words to do the exact same thing—you paint a picture.” Raised by a visual artist (and wood stove store saleswoman) mother who had us distinguishing Cassatt from Renoir around the same time she had us distinguishing A’s from B’s, the Mac girls were taught a deep reverence for visual art at a young age. So today, Dave was speaking my language and after five years doing this Sarah Mac Band thing, I finally realized that this is a respectful profession. Like… for real, we’re doing something cool! Not only is it cool and an amazing outlet for creativity, it also requires that I do it in community with two of my favorites in the world (out of people, food, things to do, places to visit, shoes, books, anything… Charlie and Claire are just my all around favorites) and in spite of all of the hard work, it’s really fun.
More fun than wrapping up in a Snuggie with a cup of coffee and a good book! More fun than wiener dogs! More fun than watching chubby toddlers with ice cream cones dripping down their arms explore glow stick necklaces for the first time at the Sopchoppy 4th of July festivities!
Even whistling Alice Cooper songs in the van is fun when you’re doing it with the people you love the most!
Although it most likely will not feature any Alice Cooper, tomorrow’s set at the Swamp Stomp at the Tallahassee Museum, will still be hella-fun. Our friend, Tallahassee music icon, Del Suggs said of the Swamp Stomp “It’s acoustic music with a sunburn.” That’s definitely the kind of music you want to see. Especially since it’s not the kind of sunburn that you get from the 2nd Annual Bristol Court 4th of July Regatta and you fret about. It’s more of a swampy, family-friendly, bring your kids out to see the native Florida wildlife, and have an easy evening with your friends kind of “sunburn.” You don’t even need aloe vera for this one!
We’ll see you guys there and in the meantime, I’ll be working on my list of reasons that I’m living grateful.