That means three things:
a) It’s time to take a glance back on the vanishing year…
b) …and a peek at the year ahead
c) …and it’s time for “Tom’s 2nd Annual Handy Holiday Gift Buying Guide.”
So without further ado…
2. News for December: A quick look back at the year…
—I’ve settled into my new life with my new wife in south Mississippi. (Who’d have thunk it?)
—I’ve written (or co-written) a batch new songs.
—Though I relish my time at home, I’ve also treasured my shows & workshops.
Bottom line: I’m amazed and GRATEFUL for the continuing opportunity to make music and write poems and teach and host tour groups… and share it all in a meaningful way. Grateful! And more grateful than I can say to YOU for listening and reading… and for so many friendships made along the way.
As Van Morrison (one of my musical heroes) succinctly put it in song, “What would I do without you to see me through?”
b) A peek at the year to come: Ireland and Idaho updates
We’ve still got 4 to 6 seats available for each of my 2019 tours.
2019 tour dates:
June 24—July 3, 2019 (to Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare)
July 6—July 15, 2019 (to Counties Mayo, Galway & Clare)
FYI, it’s early, but…
Dates for my 2020 Ireland tours will be…
June 27-July 6, 2020 (to Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare)
July 18, 2010-27 July, 2020 (to Counties Mayo, Galway, Clare)
(That’s in case you’re looking ahead.)
So happy to be hosting another group on the Main Stem of the Salmon River…
This trip is a beautiful opportunity to step away from my crazy busy life for a long deep breath, and what a gift to share it with kindred souls.
DATES we’ll be on the water:
August 30-September 4, 2019
ALL the info’s at my website HERE.
(A few seats remain.)
3. Tom’s 2nd Annual Handy Holiday Gift Buying Guide
My mother usually had all her Christmas shopping done by the end of July. Not only that, but she’d help the rest of us out with ideas for gifts for each other. Alas, I have to step up!
Note: Of course we prefer to buy locally we can. Amazon (or other) links are provided for easy reference. For music gear I highly recommend Sweetwater Sound. They’ve got it all, they know their stuff, and they are real people.
For Him or Her:
If you’re like me, you like your beer to stay cold and your tea of coffee to stay hot. And boy oh boy, these things really work. They’re elegant too, and the glass they’re made of is the same stuff they use in Pyrex, so they’re dishwasher safe.
For Him and/or Her… who travel:
You don’t have to be a touring musician or outdoors person to appreciate these items, which have The Official TK Seal of Approval.
I like having my own pillow with me when I travel, and this little thing is the coolest. It’s got a high-tech valve that makes it extra-easy to blow up and deflate, and it rolls into a little fist-sized pouch. Super cool.
To buy, click HERE.
And there’s a helpful short video on it HERE.
BTW it comes in 8 colors. I like orange because I lose things. (Also available at Amazon & your local outdoor store.)
Hey it seriously dries you off, then dries out quickly, weighs just 6 ounces and folds up into next to nothing. BTW I’ve tried other brands. This is the one.
The body towel is plenty big enough for me. Buy it HERE.
They also make a beach towel for $40, HERE.
For Him and Her:
I’m cold natured. It must have to do with growing up in the Deep South. And in cold weather I ain’t ashamed to say that I really like wearing a pair of very thin silk long john bottoms under my jeans.
Right now I’m wearing a pear of “Terramar Men’s Thermasilks.” They’re into their second season of service with no rips or holes. (No small thing.)
At Amazon for Him, $32 HERE
Or for Her ($32) HERE
Note: You can order very similar super-light silk pants at Wintersilks and LL Bean.
For Him or Her… or for each other
Both trips are special and make for unforgettable experiences for a couple… or a couple of friends.
For the Audiophile (who’s into vinyl LPs)…
f) Here’s a dream release: 50th Anniversary Beatles White Album on 180 gram vinyl, remixed and remastered by Giles Martin (their producer Sir George Martin’s expert producer/engineer son).
At your local record store ($40)… or (if you don’t have a local store) at Amazon HERE.
g) A. A. Milne’s classic, “Now We Are Six.” In hardcover with the E. H. Shepard’s original pen-and-inks of Winnie-the-Pooh and his famous friends. At Amazon for $12 HERE… or (better yet) at your local bookstore.
h) “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.” My favorite contemporary children’s book. (Maybe that’s because I identify so strongly with Lilly?) In hardcover at Amazon for $14 HERE… or at your local bookstore.
4. TK Poem of the Month
Ten Dollar Bacon
the old man
ahead of me
in the checkout line say
Ma’am, look here
I gave you a twenty dollar bill
and her reply, Yes sir
and that’s your change.
But all I bought, he says
That’s right sir, she says
and that’s your correct change.
Crossing the parking lot
I pass his ancient pickup,
the window coming down
and a crooked finger beckoning.
Yes sir? I say
That bacon! That bacon
he says, cost ten dollars.
Ten dollar bacon!
I know, I say.
That place is so high
I avoid it
whenever I can.
My wife, he says. She told me
to pick up some bacon
on my way home.
Now I can’t tell her what I paid
and I’m ashamed
for buying it.
Well, I say, hopefully
it tastes good.
It might, he says
but I tell you what:
There’s no bacon
taste ten dollar good.
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”
-Toni Morrison, author (b. 1931)
“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.”
-Annie Dillard, author (b. 1974)
6. Tom’s Tour Events coming in 2019: Massachusetts (teaching), North Carolina (solo), Texas (solo), Maryland & Virginia (Sherpas), Ireland, Texas (again/teaching & solo), Ireland (Inishfree Tours host), Idaho (musical river trip host)… Michigan (solo)
See Tom’s updated tour schedule HERE!
—Interested in booking Tom for a concert, lecture or workshop? Or booking one of Tom’s excellent trios, the Sherpas, the Waymores, or the New Agrarians? Visit Tom’s booking page HERE.
Peace to All!
(theme song plays softly)