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A Rollercoaster Ending for June

Updated: Jul 3

These last two weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster! I had an amazing week and then a challenging week.

On June 19, my friend Jenny played bass and I sang vocals on “The House of the Rising Sun” at the Red Rooster in Madison. It’s a super cool joint. We were joined by two of my heroes, Beth Kille on electric guitar and Jenna Joanis on drums. You just couldn’t ask for a better band! And, we ROCKED! My daughter Sydney was there with friends Maeve and Eric which made it extra special for me.

The reason we were there to begin with was that Cathy Couture had a CD launch – her second CD is entitled “Amazing." After she played her stellar set, gals from Ladies Rock Camp could perform a song. So many talented women! Whenever I leave an event like this, I feel happy and content. And that’s saying something.


Thursday, I went to The Loop in Sun Prairie where they had an art installation that I was honored to be part of. Sun Prairie had a Community Art Making Project with a Piano Parade. There are 6 pianos in town for a few weeks that are painted, etc. for folks to see. Rachael Katzenmeyer at The Loop sent out a call for writers to add to the art on her piano. We communicated and she asked if I could write a poem about Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998. I wrote a poem and sent it to them and they added it to the piano!

Ross Hudson is the artist and he painted some sparrows on the sides with my poem as I mention sparrows in the poem. How wonderful to collaborate with other artists! If you have a chance, check out the pianos in Sun Prairie.

Friday I found out that one of my newer poems, “Kindertransport,” will be published in The Solitary Plover! It’s a publication that honors poet Lorine Niedecker from Wisconsin. When I first began writing again, they were gracious enough to publish several of my poems in their seasonal publications. It’s a wonderful feeling to have your poems published by others! The Solitary Plover summer edition should be coming out in August.

On Saturday things turned in a different direction. We had terrible rainstorms and there were 6 tornadoes in this portion of the state! Given that there was so much rain dumped so fast and the power went out, I had a backup in the basement. About half of it is finished. I’m still dealing with the mitigation, but essentially all of the flooring and 2 feet of drywall will be ripped out. Insurance only pays a little bit of this due to the limit on the endorsement so between the mitigation and the restoration, it’s going to be a costly storm. Two good things happened: I was able to get a service to come out last week and I was able to find a contractor who can do the work to restore. It’s tough because we’ve lived here for 24 years and inevitably, we have a lot of stuff. So we will be working through the contents of the basement in a keep/toss/donate fashion. I’m trying to keep my wits about me, but work has been crazy, too, so it’s just taken a bit out of me this past week. I’m looking forward to a short work week with the 4th of July. I could use a little R&R.


Here's hoping you can weather the storms in your life and music can make you happy.


In Memory of Matthew Shepard


Tender is the sparrow that no longer sings,

succumbed to the darkest night in Laramie.

His memory lives in promises and laws,

triumphant against the will of hate.

Let’s chat soon.


With affection,

Carrie VS

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