This weekend we had two shows booked: Borderlands Brewing Company in Tucson AZ on Friday April 17th, and the next night, tonight, at The Quarry in Bisbee AZ. This morning, Saturday April 18th, it has become abundantly clear that The Universe has summarily decided that we are not supposed to do either.
Jen and I have a pretty good division of labor worked out when it comes to Dutch Holly. I take care of breaking down, setting up, transporting and maintaining all of our gear, and Jen takes care of arranging childcare for our son, Max when we play.
The gear thing is a lot of work, as you can see from the video below, but I’m particularly well-suited to this task because my simple one-track man brain can handle it: It’s the same set of stuff every time, it’s largely just physical labor, and hardly anything ever changes. As much work as it is, it’s always a known quantity. Sometimes at shows people see me loading in or out, setting up or tearing down, and they ask if they can help. Usually I refuse because I have a system that works and it creates more work for me in the long run to deviate from my system, so I actually prefer to do it myself.
Jen’s side of the operation is not so simple. It relies on multiple people and is subject to their availability and schedules, so it is in constant flux. For an out-of-town show, she’ll need to arrange childcare from the minute we leave Prescott to the minute we return. Most often, this is some complex concoction of a sleepover at a friend’s, an afternoon play date at another friend’s house, and some kind of in-home childcare, usually provided by our family friend and Max’s live-in tutor, Bert. Her job has been even harder since we lost Aunt Julie last summer. Julie was the closest thing to a grandma Max has ever known, and she took care of him regularly while we were getting Dutch Holly off the ground. Jen’s job is anything but a known quantity, and typically, her multi-tasking woman brain has always managed this with the grace and competence of a Chinese plate spinner.
This weekend, however, is apparently cursed.
First, Friday night just couldn’t get worked out. Everyone we normally rely on was either going to be busy or out of town, or both, and we can’t take Max with us because our car only has room for us and our gear. We thought of renting a van and bringing Bert and Max along, which we have done before. But in that situation, we wind up paying nearly 4 times what we make, and that’s really bad for business – far worse than cancelling a show more than 2 weeks in advance. Still, we hated to cancel especially because Borderlands was generous enough to a sponsor the T-Town Sessions video we shot back in late February:
Then this morning, Max woke up with a fever of 102. So even in the fairy-tale universe where we had managed to arrange some kind of childcare for last night, we would’ve been 5 hours out of town with our boy sick, and THAT is bad for family business and the band.
Dana House, the owner of The Quarry, is a business owner and a mom herself, and she was incredibly understanding and gracious about our cancellation. Jen has been on the horn trying to get some replacements and I have to say that the short list includes some pretty talented folks, so that is encouraging.
Without fail, The Universe has a funny way of putting us in the right place at the right time, whether or not it jives with our plans. By now, Jen and I have enough experience to know that when circumstances pile up so forcefully to block our plans, it’s time to surrender our ideas about what should happen and remain open to suggestion. So, here’s our invitation to The Universe: Reading you loud and clear. Whatever else you have in mind for us, we’re on board. The lines are open, and we’ll be waiting for your call.
LATE UPDATE: Dutch Holly will play at The Quarry in Bisbee on August 1 2015.