Rays of Sunshine May 8

This installment is more like one big, bright, bonanza of sunshine.  Julia Plumb, our wonderful All Comers Band leader, sent a beautiful invitation for local musicians to share a little joy. We got an update yesterday that this might be especially welcomed on Mother’s Day, but anytime could work. We know there are lots of musicians out there in addition to our ACB regulars, and maybe there are other places where this would be welcomed.  Which is to say, feel free to spread the positive action around.  Sunshine on!  ~BFS Board

Julia Plumb playing in the sunshine

Julia’s Message:

All Comers Band! A word from your merry conductress:

Many of us are feeling the loss of connection we get from playing music together, be it at Belfast Flying Shoes dances, community jams and sessions, or informally with friends. Of course, with the added stress of keeping healthy and changes in employment, we need our music more than ever now to keep us sane.

Do I have a proposition for you!

As you may be aware, Tall Pines has experienced a number of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff. Staff are continuing to work hard around the clock to provide care while also managing the needs of their families (not to mention their own needs) and residents are experiencing the frustration and isolation of quarantine. Flic Shooter ([email protected]), a member of our community and director of Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County, stopped by while I was gardening in my yard last week and asked if I’d be able to swing by and play a little music around the perimeter of the building to cheer everyone up and help them know we are thinking of them. Am I ever glad I said yes!

I’ve been over to play a few times now, each visit imbued with a range of emotions. Seeing the flowers, messages, and mementos that families have left outside their loved ones’ windows, I feel for everyone who is forced by quarantine to be separated from the people they love and am inspired by the creative ways people have found to connect with each other. I treasure the moments of connection with staff and residents through the windows: clapping along, big smiles, laughter (usually at me when I’m trying to play La Bastringue and do the dance all by myself and all at the same time), “thank you” signs, and residents sharing the memories that surface of family bands, a grandfather who played fiddle in his rocking chair, a father who could chord anything on the piano by ear.

Will you join me in getting some (socially distanced) connection and providing some joy? If you are interested, here are some guidelines from Flic:

  • This invitation is specifically appreciated for the care facility on the right as you enter the Tall Pines campus (which is just off Wight Street in Belfast).
  • Best times are around 10 am and 1:30 pm so as not to interfere with meals and naps.
  • Residents who would particularly appreciate a little concert have yellow smiley faces on their windows. If curtains are closed, etc, go on to the next! Sometimes reflections on the windows can make it a little hard to tell if anyone’s inside or awake.
  • Brief visits are just fine.
  • Please wear a mask as a precaution. See how much joy you can express with your eyes and your music!

I’d add these points:

  • Use your common sense! Don’t touch stuff, keep distance from other people around the building, etc.
  • If you’d feel more comfortable going with a buddy to show you the ropes, contact me at [email protected] or (207) 370-8552 and we can do a properly-socially-distanced round together.

Of course, only do this if you feel safe doing so, are in good health, and do not need to be self-quarantining. Neither I nor Belfast Flying Shoes are in a position to give advice on what is safe for you. Nor can we guarantee the amount of joy you will feel as a result of sharing music and connection… but I have a pretty good guess!

Yours in music & joy,