Blog Post
Arizona - A Reflection of Winter 2014

Sitting here in our motorhome parked at the Queen Mine RV Park overlooking the Lavender Pit Copper and Gold Mine in Bisbee, Arizona, has caused me to reflect on this past year.  We started the year in Arizona and we'll end the year in Arizona as we have for the last 11 years. Did you know we are now in our 12th year of touring full time?   We were so busy and covered so many miles, we didn't have much time to reflect on that part of it.  

We've had a very fun and successful Summer and Fall.  It struck me sometime during this period that touring has become more "fun".  That may sound strange to some, but others will know what I'm talking about.  I've always been a super-driven person and I'm not saying that's gone, I've just become more relaxed, in the moment, like I feel on stage.   I'm also learning that it's OK to take a day (night) or two off a month!  

We bought our new motorhome in February which was the absolute right thing to do.  Now I can set up all my gear to rehearse, Kimberly can set up her keyboard and we STILL have room to walk in the living room area.  Three slides, what a great design!  The only drawback, if you want to call it that, is that we lost a LOT of storage space, but we've found out that we REALLY didn't need to keep much of that stuff, so we rented ANOTHER storage unit.  This one's in Tucson and very easy to get to when we come into town. So, it all worked out.

As we have every year, there have been many highlights.  Usually associated with special people or new places and gigs.  Actually our whole year felt like a highlight this time, so it'll be hard to pick out a few from this winter in Arizona.  

The first is what kicked off the new year.  We were booked at what was supposed to be a small event at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona.   Apparently word got out in a big way and we ended up with a huge event in the expansive picnic area where the stage was set up.  Paul Wolterbeek and his crew were cranking, trying to get enough chairs set up.  I think they ran out because many people still stood throughout.  

For this gig, I did a New Year's blessing, invited everyone to "smudge" themselves with burning sage and while that line to smudge went on and on, Kimberly and I performed a two set concert.  During the concert two videographers and a photographer captured the day perfectly.  We didn't know them before the show.  One of the videographers, Mike Rolfe, turned his piece into a biopic, Arvel Bird Story.  Another shot a great one camera video, and the photographer, Lola Rygwalski, took a picture of me giving the blessing after saying the prayers I wrote for the occasion. When we saw the photo, we contacted her and received her permission to print my prayer on the photo and give it away.  That's what we've been giving away when someone signs up on my email newsletter

Our friend Dr. Theresa had come down to spend New Year's Eve with us, Bev and Dan Armstrong, and Dolan Ellis and his long time love, Merilee.  Without Dr. T and Bev there to run the table, we would have been sunk.  There were way more people than BTA expected.  There was just no way to know.  We'll be doing a similar event this coming New Year's Day at the Arboretum.  I hope you can come out.

Later in January, we spent some time in California and got to see and visit Kimberly's niece and honey in San Diego, enjoy a small dinner party, and take a trip to Old Town for a delicious Mexican Lunch.  This was in conjunction with some gigs in the San Diego and Palm Springs areas.

February's highlights was  marked by the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Some of the absolute most talented musicians, musical poets on the planet are Cowboy Musicians.  It was the first time I ever cried listening to a poem about a horse.  I'm telling you these people were GOOD.  I was so honored to perform with several of them and share the stage with many more.

I'm returning to the Cochise Gathering this year, the first weekend in February, so plan to come out for that.  If you're in town, come out to Big Nose Kate's in historic Tombstone, AZ for a preview on Thursday night.  I've got some school assemblies on Thursday and Friday, and the event officially kicks off Friday night.  

The other super major highlight in February of course was buying the new motorhome.  We just had one hitch.  It took us until this December to sell the old moho.  But I digress.

After an adventurous ride in our new and let me just say, "unfamiliar" coach, we made it to Mt. Dora, Florida for the beginning of our Southeast Tour at the Mount Dora Native American Festival.  It was good to be back in Florida . . . to be continued . . .




Blog Index

2016 Off to a Wild Start!
    posted 2/19/2016

Fall - Time for Harvesting!
    posted 10/18/2015

In the Flow in Florida . . .
    posted 4/4/2015

Arizona - Animal Totems 3 - Florida
    posted 2/19/2015

Arizona - A Reflection of Winter 2014
    posted 12/26/2014

Logistics on the Run
    posted 11/19/2014

A Little Time Off in Ohio
    posted 9/19/2014

From the "Pitts" to the "Park"
    posted 9/11/2014

What a Labor Intensive Weekend
    posted 9/3/2014

Chandler Symphony Happening!
    posted 9/3/2014

Labor Day Wrap Up
    posted 9/3/2014