Signs of spring: The road has big bare patches where the ice has all melted off, and there are a few patches of bare ground under large trees on south-facing slopes.
A kind of talent show called the Hootenanny Cafe was held in our local community hall in January and was a great success. A second one took place on Saturday evening. Anyone who wanted to perform was given a 15-minute time slot. There were storytellers, dancers, poets, musicians, and singers.
I'm not sure whether anything like this happens in the city. In a small community like ours, it seems to come together without too much effort. There aren't lots of rules and regulations, and the hall rental fee is very low. The organizers have put some effort into posters that they've tacked up on bulletin boards around town, but the most important advertising is word-of-mouth. Friends, relatives, and the first people to arrive help out with equipment and decorations.
I knew most of the crowd (spectators and performers) on Saturday. The acts were all enjoyable, but "professional" performances weren't necessary. All the artists love what they do, and the crowd appreciated the effort they made. The whole idea was to have fun, and we did. After everyone had had their 15 minutes of fame, the rest of the evening was devoted to a musical jam.
One of the things I appreciate most about rural living is the balance of solitude and socializing. I can have as much of either one as I like. If I'm in a solitary mood, I can go days without seeing or speaking to another person (except Charles, of course). If I'm feeling sociable, or having a problem, my neighbours are right there.
Anyway, we're all looking forward to the next Hootenanny Cafe a couple of months from now.