The Real World

As many of you know, Susan and I met at Camp Andrew Jackson (a little over four years ago). When I worked at camp, and when I would go down to help out with retreats. I would always think of the drive back to Cincinnati as returning to the real world. Being down at camp was always like a great retreat, where I would be able to focus in on the things that really matter. Now I have two kids, a 9-5 job, and a mortgage. The real world is more real than ever.

This past weekend was a great way for me to bring the real world with me, as Susan, Andrew, Mari, and I headed south, for the Clear Creek Music Festival. If you missed it in earlier posts, the Clear Creek Music Festival is organized by one of our favorite bands: Zoe Speaks. They host the festival on land that they own, about fifteen minutes outside of Berea. It is a fairly small festival, where most people camp (we stayed in a hotel in Berea, but we hope to be able to camp next year) and the only running water comes from a spring.

We went down on Saturday and attended the festival all day Saturday. Sunday we stopped by the festival early, for one last visit, then we went to camp, just to walk around and finally introduce Andrew to his namesake. We stopped at Papaleno’s for some pizza, and then came back north.

Looking back on this past weekend. It hardly seems real. As I sit in my cubicle and type this, I can only imagine the experience: driving down KY highways, then onto KY backroads, then down a gravel/dirt road, parking in a makeshift parking lot, walking down the trail into an open expanse of terraced hillside. The seating area in front of me, focusing on a homemade stage composed of rough-cut trees, powered by a generator. Pottery, tamales, lemonade, jewelry. Leftovers from the pot-luck the night before. Kids running everywhere. Pick-up trucks. Tents. All set against a beautiful backdrop of folk and bluegrass music, against an even bigger backdrop of wooded hillside. Open-mic contrasts Scooter, the beer-bellied, jolly man, who spent the night sleeping next to the fire, with a log for a pillow, with a four-year-old girl, singing Que Sera Sera. Andrew running, exploring, learning. Mari along for the ride, refusing to sleep for fear of missing something. As night falls Mitch & Carla finally take the stage. Susan and I are exhausted, Andrew is whiney, Mari still won’t sleep. As they take the stage the magic begins to settle in. It takes them a while to get tuned. Mitch breaks a guitar string. Carla can’t find her pick. Finally, they start with some new stuff, and some covers. The moment I remember most is standing, holding Andrew, next to Susan, who was holding Mari. Mitch & Carla played my favorite song: “Money’s Our God.”

We work hard for what we’ve got,
Seems like we just need a lot.
Debts keep risin’ ‘bove our heads,
I wish that we could save instead.

Say money’s our God, makes our decisions,
But if money’s our God, I want a new religion.

Daycare, carpool, traffic jam.
Daddy’s workin’ late again.
Our kids are raised by someone else,
I’d rather be with them myself.

Say money’s our God, makes our decisions,
But if money’s our God, I want a new religion.

I fall down on my bills and pray,
We’ll get out of this debt some day.

How much stuff do we think we need?
Grandma would have called it greed.
Tell me what we’re workin’ for.
I never see you anymore.

Say money’s our God, makes our decisions,
But if money’s our God, I want a new religion.

After a great set, Mitch and Carla vacated the stage for the next act; we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

As I rocked Andrew to sleep last night, I thought about what an amazing time it was, and what an amazing life I have. People always ask me, and I sometimes ask myself, “Five years ago, is this where you would have pictured yourself?” The answer is always “no.” I never could have dreamed things would be this great.

I posted some pics from the trip, which you can see here: Clear Creek & Camp AJ.

The next few weeks have more adventures for us: from the daily challenge of getting Andrew to take a nap, to a trip to Cleveland.

As always (though not very well in the past month), we’ll keep you updated.

Zoe Speaks dot Com
Clear Creek & Camp AJ Pics

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