Dear Summer–



Dear Summer–


I know you won’t be leaving for a few weeks, not officially, but this coming weekend will likely mark your departure for many of us. And before we bid farewell, I want to take a moment to let you know how much I’ve appreciated you this year.


In my little neck of the world, you have been quite generous this go-round. From your sparkly sun to your clear skies – I’ve enjoyed your company and your stay. In particular…


The Light. Your beautiful display of light really caught me off-guard this year. I can’t point to a particular day or moment when I first noticed, but I’ve absorbed as much as I could, these few months, and your light has been fabulous.


Friends and Family. Although Mister and I didn’t travel much, we did manage a few visits with family and friends and those times were lovely. Because we’re us, certain memories will abide with us always, as we adopt sayings and moments and work them into our lives. “Lemon, Lime – same thing!”


Water. For some reason, this year marked the first time I felt at one with water. As you know, Summer, I have always loved swimming. But this year the experience was new. Each time I got into the pool (and I got into it a lot), I felt at home. There was such comfort in my skin as I glided through the pool’s water. And it was magical. Truly.


Food. Let’s be honest about this one. I always love summer food. The fresh corn and tomatoes, the Vidalias… Your bounty during these short months has been magnificent. Seriously. You’ve outdone yourself.


And now you’re readying to leave. I can tell because your light has already shifted. And your evenings are getting cooler. In fact, you’re getting so cool at night as to have lowered the water’s temperature in the pool. The mercury has dropped so much in there, it looks like this weekend will be the last hurrah. Your tomatoes are dwindling and I see leaves starting to fade and drop. Kids are back in school and the gears of fall are slowly starting to turn.


Yes – it’s time to let you go. To paraphrase Jerry Jeff Walker, it’s time to put away the bathing suits and to pull out the cowboy boots. Actually, Jerry Jeff’s song, “Cowboy Boots & Bathin’ Suits,” kind of sums up how I’m feeling right now. I know fall will be fine, in its own ways. I’m just not quite ready to let go, Summer. There’s been so much love and joy in you. Despite certain challenges (fires, drought, politics, to name a few), I have felt deep happiness during your stay. I know, I know – that doesn’t have to go just because you’re leaving. I get it. It’s just that, well… Summer – I think I may have finally gotten old enough to understand how truly fleeting you are. That I will only experience so many of your visits going forward. That you’re a gift in my life. A temporary, holy gift. Letting go of you means I have one less summer in my all-too-short ledger. And as I’ve loved you so much, it actually hurts to let you go.


But let you go, I shall. I plan to enjoy the coming weekend, to acknowledge your exit with as much grace and revelry as a girl can combine, and to toast your wondrous stay. You’ve been a credit to your name, Summer. I’m honored to have lived you. I’m grateful to have known you. I’m excited for what may come – this fall, this winter, next spring. I thank you and I wish you well during your slumber.


To Summer.


Love, your friend–


All Grown Up



What happens when a kid attends Rock Camp for Girls 4 years in a row? And takes guitar lessons? Her very own show at The Mint in L.A., that’s what.


And what happens when said cool kid needs a backing band? She gets Tom McNalley on guitar, Meghan Toohey on bass and Patty Schemel on drums, that’s what.



As I watched Claudi Dae perform, I remembered going into her band practice at Rock Camp, 4 years ago. She was so tiny! She was the keyboardist with her band, Crazy Rockerz. I remember her smiling as she played and I remember her positive energy. I knew then that she was a good kid. She still is.



As Claudi’s Mint show went on, I found myself thinking about life. Claudi’s parents gave her the gift of attending Rock Camp. After her joyful experience, Claudi pushed her mom, Misty, into volunteering at Rock Camp. And so we were given the gift of growing our tribe. Misty is as dear to us as any, and so is her daughter. I suppose that’s why we’re all so heartbroken over their upcoming move to Nashville. The whole fam damily is going, and that, friends, has meant saying goodbye.


But I’m not worried about them, as they’re impossibly fabulous people. Misty is an amazing photographer, and I don’t doubt for a minute that she’ll be producing beautiful work right away in her new town. Claudi is, well, she’s growing into a mighty rock star. I don’t have any doubts about the brightness of her future, either.



After Claudi’s show had ended, and before taking my leave, I told her I didn’t like that she had promoted the show as being her “last time in L.A., ever.” She responded, “But it is! I’m moving away!” I hit her back with, “So what! You’re gonna keep performing, and eventually you’ll tour and find yourself right back here – with so much love and support!” I’m not sure she believed me, but I believed me. And I believe in her. And in Misty. No, I don’t enjoy saying goodbye. But I am terribly excited for those gals. There’s just no telling how big they’re gonna shine…