July 5, 2009

Saturday In The Park...

Yesterday was a ball, but I'm not really sure who had more fun, Kes, Handsome or me. Well, actually I am sure, but let me tell you about our day.

Last night, Handsome performed with the Highlands County Concert Band. We spent the morning in anticipation of the evening's concert, anxious to get on the road. We just kept ourselves busy with little tasks until it was finally time to leave. Kes was going too, so she was pretty tickled. After all, dogs love car rides, you know. After packing snacks for us, water and bowl for Kes, and the drums and attendant paraphernalia, we finally left our home around 4 pm for the one and a half hour road trip to Lake Placid.

The trip seemed to fly as we talked along the way, and we enjoyed some Florida countryside we hadn't seen before. We had not been to Lake Placid before, either together or apart. All of the rehearsals for this concert had been in Sebring, so this was even a new stop for Handsome.

We were both struck by the pretty, small town look of Lake Placid. There are three lakes around Lake Placid (the city), one called Lake Placid even though its actual name is something else; this one, called Lake June In Winter; and a third, whose name escapes me, and as we pulled through town, I was watching jet skis and boats pulling skiiers around the lakes. What, no alligators? Have I left Florida without realizing it?

We got to the park and made our way to the Pavilion where Handsome proceeded to unload his drums and set up for the concert. Of course we were there early (before any of the other musicians), but we'd planned it that way. I mean, setting up a drum set and other percussion instruments takes longer than walking in and taking ones' flute out of a case.
In the meantime, I put a lead on Kes, and she and I headed to the waterfront. We stood with all six feet in the water on the edge of a boat ramp and just watched people playing on and in the water. Kes would have been happy to swim out and say "hi, y'all" to everyone (she's developed a little southern accent since we moved here!). I smiled to see how happy she was to stand in honest-to-goodness lake water, which she hadn't done since we left Wisconsin eight years ago. I smiled realizing how happy it made me, too. I even tasted the water, scooping my hand in and bringing it up to my mouth...yup, it was fresh with no hint of salt!

Soon after, a boat came in with two Florida Fish and Wildlife guys and as they came ashore. I said that I was new around these parts and hated to sound like a tourist (having lived in Florida for eight years already) but "Don't people have to worry about alligators in this lake?". Their response was that the boat traffic seems to drive them out. There are occasional little ones that come in, but they don't stay long, and - now, here's the kicker for me - one of the young men said he would swim across this lake in the middle of the night without fear of being attacked. That was it. I thought we should immediately pack up our belongings and move here! That's not likely to happen, but at the very least, I could let Kes swim and have fun today without the ever-present fear that she'd be taken away by a reptile.

So, I asked Kes if she wanted to go swimming, she wagged yes and jumped in. In fact, my retriever was heading out to a set of pilons thinking that there must be something there to bring back for me. When I realized how far out she was going to swim, I called to her and she turned and headed back. Here's the proof:
Can you see her little Labrador smile? Trust me, it's there! Of course, she had to shake all over me when she got back to shore, but do you think I cared? I could hardly stay out of the water myself!

By the time we got back to the Pavilion, the rest of the musicians had arrived, along with a rain shower. We all looked at the sky and hoped that it would clear long enough for all of us to enjoy the evening concert and fireworks in the park.

At 6:45, the concert started, with Kes and me situated under a huge oak tree in our comfy lawn chair. Well, actually Kes impressed everyone by being mostly well-behaved and watching "Dad" perform. She has trotted into our music room on many occasions when he's practicing here at home, but she's never gone out in public to see him play with the rest of the band members. She was particularly impressed when Handsome blew her training whistle during the beginning of "Seventy Six Trombones". She bolted upright and wondered what he wanted her to do next! I laughed out loud at her.

Well, I wouldn't close this story to you this evening without sharing at least one of the band's (and Handsome's) performances. So let me leave you with our personal favorite, the Dixieland Groove Medley. Click on the photo of the fire truck at the beginning of this story and it will take you directly to the video. I hope you have as much fun listening to it as we did. By the way, the rains held and as we left Lake Placid, we could see the start of the fireworks out our rear window.
By the way...if you click on any of the smaller photographs (except the fire truck which is a hyperlink to the video), they will show up in a new screen as larger images so you can see them better.

5 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

mumsy said...

I'm going to listen to 'Handsome' playing, BUT I just had to tell you that my heart was in my mouth when I thought of Kessy out in a FLORIDA lake, past experience has made me terribly cautious,no matter what those young men said.Thank God you ALL had fun, as is witnessed by her smiley face,but this old Mum can't take too many of those surprises, my love.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Sorry to shock you, Mum. She was absolutely safe. I never would have let her in the water otherwise. I, too, have had nightmares about my water dogs and FL alligators. You know I'd never put her at risk in a million years.

This, however, was a wonderful day on Lake June In Winter (even though it's summer ;-) and a great day to add to our memory album.

Hope you enjoy the video after your palpitations subside!

blushing rose said...

So glad you all had a beautiful day. TTFN ~Marydon

KnitWithTammy said...

That is one happy looking puppy! ;)

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Thanks, gals.
After Mum's initial shock wore off everything was ok.

I always appreciate you stopping by and leaving a note!



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