7. Heading home was hard

| July 6, 2014 | Reply


Mary Jane Farmer and Gail Barbee

Mary Jane Farmer and Gail Barbee

I wrote this for the newspaper with which I worked for 14 years, in Sherman. Wrote it in September 2004. It could have been written yesterday, as the feelings I wrote then were exactly what I felt on my recent weekend at Kerrville Folk Festival.

The color of the day was tie-dye; people stood in the road talking and no one honked at them; and handshakes were extinct, replaced by hugs.

It was the Kerrville Wine & Music Festival. I went down there Friday, felt a warm chill as I passed under the “Welcome Home” sign, and set up tent. Welcome home, Mary Jane.

Kevin Welch, even if he’d been the only performer, would have been worth the trip. When he concluded with his “Til I’m Too Old To Die Young,” I cried from the intensity of the lyrics. Written when his daughter was born, the now-teenager sang with him on the chorus. I didn’t get a chance to ask her what that must have felt like.

There were kids’ concerts, a musical church hour, songwriters’ showcases, wine seminars, (which I missed, being a non-drinker), bike ride, and yoga.

And rain. But not until Monday, when it was over. I have a wet tent to put up

Nancylee and Dorothy

Nancylee Kennedy and Dorothy Hammond

in the yard to let dry, and about half the Hill Country in my back seat, in the form of mud pies. Actually, by Kerrville standards, that 1-inch ranch was just a slight mist.

But it wasn’t all about that. It was about getting back to friends — many from as far as 30 years ago, dining with others in Kerrville, and meeting new people who became more friends. It was about being kind to one another, respectful of each person, no matter what differences there are, and about honesty.

It was about family. Like I said, some of these friends I hadn’t seen in lo-these many years. Yet, ol’ home turned into yesterday, then into today, and it was like we’ve never been apart.

It was really hard to head back home, but I did. And it’s OK. I’m back in Lois Lane mode. The other side of that “Welcome Home” sign reminders departers “It can be like this always.”

Like the overhead flocks of birds heading south for the winter, I’ll return in the spring.

‘nuf said.

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