Archive for the 'Apple Hill' Category


For one blissful day at Apple Hill, the campus was bathed in the sweet, sweet mist of wireless internet access.  I should have known not to get attached.  I should have known it was too good to be true.


The good news is that there is a a great coffee house in Keene where I can grab a few minutes of the interwebs if I get up really early and drive for fifteen minutes to get there.  I have discovered that the interwebs are like my morning coffee: non-negotiable.  My day is no good without it.


It’s That Time of Year

Well, tomorrow I go charging off into the woods for another year of Apple Hill. To say that I am unprepared to leave is the understatement of the century. My house is a mess, I am unpacked, and I am in denial. I love Apple Hill, but it is traditionally exhausting, and I am already exhausted from a particularly tiring stretch of work activity. Oh well, life moves forward! This year’s musical faculty is chock full of my favorite people so once I am there, the laughing will come fast and furious. I have no doubt that Apple Hill will be incredible, as usual. Getting out of town tomorrow on the other hand…..that could be dicey.

If I have not returned your call recently, please forgive me. If I have not returned your email recently, please forgive me. If I have been a general knucklehead to you recently, I am genuinely sorry. I don’t know how I ended up so overwhelmed this Spring, but I did. (I still think it’s Spring, that’s how out of touch I am these days.) I might be hard to get a hold of in the woods. Email and cell phones are always a little iffy out there, but I’m bringing my computer this time, so at the very least, I can drive my butt into town and find a signal to civilization.

Probably the best thing that could happen to me right now is two weeks in the deep woods- like it or not.

Happy Birthday, You Old Bag!


There are few people in the world more fantastic than Elise.  Elise has a positive energy unlike anyone else on earth.  Part of the reason I love Apple Hill is that it provides me an annual opportunity to laugh my ass off for two weeks with Elise.

Elise is the violinist in the Apple Hill Chamber Players, and she and I attended Oberlin together.  Our birthdays are four days apart (mine was on Saturday) and every summer at Apple Hill we celebrate by referring to one another as "You Old BAG!"  This year she kept threatening to present me with an actual old bag for my birthday, but the remote nature of Apple Hill means there is not much opportunity for thrift store shopping. 

My birthday fell on the day of the three hour (no intermission) end-of-session concert.  One of the greatest miracles of Apple Hill is that rather than wanting to kill myself during this potentially mind numbing concert, each year I am riveted.  Riveted .  This year I was especially entertained because as each group came out (there were 17 groups) they taped a letter to the wall of the barn/concert hall.  By the end of the concert, the barn looked like this:



Today Elise turns 31.  Remember Elise, 31 is a prime number.  Prime number = prime of life. 

Happy Birthday, You Old Bag!   I love you, man.

The Devil Shops at TJ Maxx

On our day off from coaching at Apple Hill, Aurie, Elise, Sally, Iris, and I went to a matinee showing of The Devil Wears Prada.  So much fun.  The theater was next door to a TJ Maxx, and with our appetite for clothing whetted by the movie, we all agreed that a little shopping was in order. 

Most of the people who read this website know me, and most people who know me will agree that I am not a particularly fashion conscious person.  I wear concert black, or jeans and a t-shirt.   My penchant for comfortable clogs is well documented.  I seldom wear any makeup beyond lipstick and some eyeliner, and I wish I was joking when I tell you I get my hair cut an average of twice a year.  I’m pretty much oblivious to fashion- but I’m also pretty much always comfortable.

Which is why I cannot believe I now own the following items:



My only defense is that I was utterly intoxicated by the pretty clothing in the movie.   I shopped under the influence of influence. 

Go see The Devil Wears Prada, but when you do, be warned: after the movie you will have to learn how to walk in stilettos. 

Good luck.

Shacked Up

I’m home!  Sorry for the long absence.  Dial-up is barbaric and unworkable for blogging.  Apple Hill was amazing.  As usual, I am exhausted and exhilarated by the experience. 

The music at Apple Hill is miraculous.  I look forward to playing and listening at Apple Hill more than anywhere else I play all year.  I’ll write more about it in the next few days, but for tonight I’ll just say this:  Apple Hill makes me want to be a better person.  It’s that good.


All good things come at a price, and at Apple Hill that price is civilization.  For two weeks I’ve been without television, internet, privacy, and dry towels. (I don’t know why, but towels never dry in New Hampshire) 

Here are some images of the dreaded Bat Shack.

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I have never felt as assaulted by nature as I did this year at Apple Hill.  Once I moved out of the Bat Shack, I had to make peace with some comparably innocuous mice- and the mosquitoes were vicious.   Even when the temperature was reasonably non-hellacious, the humidity kept us clammy and bloated.   

Fortunatly, the food at Apple Hill is delicious- some of the best meals I eat all year.  Good food makes up for a LOT. 

Plus, I’m willing to admit that nature can have its pretty moments.

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Now, I have five days in Buffalo and then it is off to play in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.  I intend to do some intense sleeping tonight, and some rigorous television watching tomorrow.

Apple Hill

Hi Guys!  Mike and Aurie have allowed me to bust into their living quarters and use the dial-up computer.  Hurray!  I can post from Apple Hill, but there will be no pictures.  Attempting to download pictures while using dial-up is an exercise in absolute frustration.  Eff you, dial-up.  I shouldn’t complain because dial-up is better than no internet at all, that’s fo’ sure.

I am in a very good mood today.  The wonderful woman who adopted Trixie just sent an email updating me on the situation.  It sounds like old Trixie is in very capable and loving hands.   Leaving Trixie in Batavia was traumatic to say the least, but I feel so much better now.  Alicia, Trixie’s new mom, seems totally confident that things will work out, and her confidence is contagious.  Hurray!  I want to send a special shout out to my Mother and to Ashley, both of whom brilliantly calmed me down during the post-Trixie-abandonment hysteria.

The Apple Hill Center For Chamber Music is just a wonderful place.  I love it here.  This year is especially fabulous because the following people are in attendance:  Elise, Mary, Mike, Aurie, and there is a rumor going around that Jesse might make an appearance.   Oh for FUN. 

The only real problem with Apple Hill is that it is fairly…..rustic.  Mother Nature and I are not always so great together, as I am a city girl through and through.  Coming to Apple Hill always challenges my natural distrust of nature.  It’s too quiet here, and there are too many biting bugs.  The total darkness freaks me out, and the beam created by a flashlight is inherently spooky.  The first night in the woods is always the roughest, and let me assure you, this year was the roughest first night on record.

Here at Apple Hill we sleep in shacks.  My shack consists of a bed (futon), and a chair.  The shack has electricity, but no plumbing, air conditioning, or cable television.

This year, as an extra bonus, my shack contained a BAT. 

Thanks a bunch Mother Nature.  Bee-otch.