Greetings and salutations from Yellowstone!
I'm still here! Hurrah!! This is definitely not a year like any other and hopefully not like any to come. If you are planning on visiting the park, just know that it is not like the park you may be used to. Face masks are required inside of all buildings for your protection and for the protection of others. A lot of places are closed (like my beloved Inn!!! :( ), and there are limited numbers of people allowed inside buildings, so there are lines. Those of us who work here understand and share your frustration – please don't take your anger out on us! Worst of all – there is no music! I encourage you to write to Xanterra or post on Tripadvisor how much you miss the music and maybe add just how healing and soothing it would be for guests and employees alike (hint hint). I'd love to be employed this winter....
I am proud and astounded to say that we who work here have so far kept the COVID cases to two in the entire park. If you have ever experienced a Snow Lodge winter as an employee, or even as a guest, then you well know that what comes around goes around – to pretty much everyone. Some of us suspect that we may have had early exposure to COVID this past winter... But who knows? Anyhoo... I continue to wear my name tag and sanitize door knobs and am grateful that it seems to be helping.
In my off time I have been working slowly but steadily on a new CD. I am getting ready to publish “Flying Daffodils” as a single, with a “B” side of a new song called “With Me, With You”. I was inspired to write the latter song by some dear friends of mine who lost one of their parents while in lockdown in nursing homes. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones and have not been able to be with them or to give them proper goodbyes. “With Me, With You” is meant to be a song for closure and for finding peace with an incredibly difficult situation. I am very close to being finished with the mix and it will be released soon.
Recently I have been given permission to practice on my lovely friend, the Kawai piano, in the Inn. This is top secret, so don't tell anyone and I can't let you inside. I must say, the Inn gets really spooky without any lights on after dark...I've been playing by headlamp.
Again, if you have any requests for the new album, let me know! So far I have at least partially in the cans my two new songs as well as Hallelujah and Purple Rain. I think I'll be working next on Both Sides Now and Cannon in D, as well as Last of the Mohicans. The Lake Quartet has also been starting in on some remote recording. This is all new territory for us, but we tried a Scott Joplin rag for our first distance recording, and it seems to have come out well. I have to get permission before I can post it, otherwise I'd include it in this post.
In other excitement, Giantess geyser erupted for the first time since 2014 (so I've heard, and it clicks with my memory) and just last week the smoke from a wildfire started billowing from the Lone Star area – about 3 miles from the Old Faithful Village. Yeeks! Fortunately the wind has been blowing it away from us and we got a good soaking of rain a couple of nights ago, so it is holding steady at 850 acres and we are expecting to get some nighttime temps in the 20's soon, so I think we won't have to evacuate. To all those who have had to evacuate while remaining socially distanced and wearing masks, I send you my heartfelt prayers and wishes for well being. Well, that goes for all of you.
May you be well.
May you be free of suffering.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.