The Ties That Bind

Jan 26, 2019 | 0 comments

RCMQ, Winter 2016

The Rose City Mixed Quartet arrived yesterday afternoon, brimming over with bedding, towels, food and hugs.  Only it was a ‘bass-less trio’ not a quartet.  Mark was home with a cold and fever and couldn’t accompany Cameron, Helen, and Dale for their Winter Sleepover in Oysterville.  (Not that anyone actually called it that, but we’re hoping it becomes an annual event!)

They timed it, they said, to coordinate with our Friday Night Gathering and so, by a few minutes after five, there were fifteen of us sitting around our library fireplace.  Dale took it upon himself to be the fire-tender, Cameron and Helen passed appetizers, and the conversation flowed.  Sometimes the whole group focused on a single topic; sometimes there were multiple conversations among two or three.  It was never quiet, never dull and, as always, there was a lot of laughter.

Vicki and Fred

Among the first to arrive were Vicki and Fred!  OMG!  We knew they were on their way home, driving their huge, diesel-guzzling rig back from California, but we had no idea that they’d make it in time to walk through our door laden with appetizers “as usual!”  We hope they are back here for good.  No more of this living the RV life and only stopping in once every few years!

Among the snippets of conversation I overheard during the evening was one between Helen and Sue (of Sue and Bill-the-kilt-guy) about northern Montana – a common bond, apparently, where family and close friends live.  (Of course! That six degrees of separation thing.)  Another conversation between Dale and Charlie-the-school-para involved virtual educating and the school’s place in the socialization of kids – again a topic of interest between ‘strangers.’

Sue and Bill, 2016

(No, not exactly strangers, for sure!  I had the fleeting thought that it was Charlie’s late parents George and Martha who were standing near us at the Liberty Theater back in the aughts when we first heard the RCMQ and I introduced myself to them and asked them if they’d consider doing a House Concert in Oysterville.)

Cameron and Carol and Tucker (and maybe Cyndy) were engaged in their own conversation– maybe Portland haunts – I couldn’t hear; and Bill, Steve, John and Nyel were talking local politics.  No one sang although Fred offered to fill in the bass part of Missing Mark.  “We didn’t bring any music,” Helen said, “and I’m one of those who sing by muscle memory.  I need the music in   of me…”  I can’t say I got the nuances of that remark, but Fred probably did.

Tucker and Carol, 2017

Tucker’s show and tell involved his grandfather’s gold pocket watch, watchchain, and fob (a large gold nugget) and that elicited a whole new set of topics – family jewelry, Alaskan “green gold,” the pros and cons of engraving initials on inherited treasures.  And on it went – well into overtime! You have wonderful friends,” Cameron said later.  “Such a diverse group!”

“Really?” I thought.  And here I was thinking how much all of us have in common…  I think we’re probably both right


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