Holy cow, it’s been a minute

Hello from North Haven!

I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve left this space pretty quiet for the past few months. I’m sorry! How’s it going out there? I put my head down to finish the fall show and suddenly Thanksgiving, Chanukah, the Winter Concert, a Christmas trip to Montreal, and New Year all just happened.

We’re enjoying the winter quiet, particularly in two ways: playing music, and ice skating.

On the music front, I started a band last spring, a feminist punk power trio called Bait Bag. Post riot grrrl, maybe. Riot mom? Anyway, it’s probably the manifestation of something like a midlife crisis but it’s a lot of fun. We recorded an EP, made a sweet Web site thanks to Claire the drummer‘s web media expertise, made some shirts, took some photos, and even played a few shows. Soon we’ll play off island! That’ll be cool.

A riot mom (photo by Amanda LaBelle)

Also on the music front, Pen started taking piano lessons! From me, since that’s just about the only option right now, so that’s an interesting dynamic. She’s picking up note reading really quickly, getting a little frustrated with rhythm, and generally very enthusiastic. She’s playing violin some too, although her very gifted 13-year-old teacher is a little limited in what she can teach her right now since she’s still too small for a 1/4 size violin. But she’s getting the basics!

Actually reading music, be still my heart (photo by William Trevaskis)

Ice skating is something fairly new for all of us. I used to skate (poorly) as a kid, both on a flooded field in Farmington and occasionally on a lake or the swamp across from the Parker Pond boat ramp. In college I actually got worse at skating, and resorted to being dragged across the ice by a friend for the “marching” band’s half time skate show at a hockey game. But we took Pen to a rink when we were in Montreal to try out the skates she got from her Abuela for Christmas, and while it wasn’t a complete success, I realized I actually enjoy skating.

Since we’re having a snowless island winter so far, but it’s been plenty cold, there are three extremely viable skate ponds available, and boy are people availing themselves. For the last three days I went down, twice with Pen, and slowly skated in between pond hockey players and kids pushing folding chairs. She’s making slow and steady progress, and since all of her friends are there, is willing to put up with the cold and the actual balancing on the ice thing for the social scene. Really organized parents even complete the winter idyll with thermoses of hot chocolate and tiny marshmallows. Four year olds, high school students, parents and teachers are all grateful for the outdoor activity and cheer each other on, whether they’re scoring goals or hesitantly letting go of the chair back.

Progress by increments, and a lot of fun (photo by Amanda LaBelle)

I hope you’re out there enjoying the relative quiet of winter, if it’s quiet where you are, and getting outside. I just got an email from my summer employer asking about availability and schedules, so the busy time will be back before we know it.

Courtney Naliboff

About Courtney Naliboff

In addition to this blog, I'm a contributing writer to kveller.com, a Jewish parenting site, a blogger and book reviewer for reformjudaism.org, and the author of Salt Water Cure, a column in Working Waterfront. I report news from North Haven for Working Waterfront and Island Journal, and was a speaker at the Maine Conference for Jewish Life in 2015. Follow Frozen Chosen on facebook or visit my Web site for more writing and free music to download!