Lummi Island Wine Tasting April 27 ’13

Closed Friday!

Just a reminder: although we are back, for a number of reasons the wine shop will be closed on Friday, April 26. We will be open for our usual hours on Saturday, April 27 (2-6pm)…looking forward to seeing you all!

(remember: click on images for larger versions!)

May Day

beltaneAs it turns out, May Day, or Beltane, is the halfway point ( i.e. cross-quarter day) between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Like the other solar events people have celebrated since time out of mind, May Day was the perfect time to celebrate the fecundity of Spring. Traditionally it was a time for dance and song to hail the budding of new life across the countryside. Young couples paired off as a sort of engagement; if all went well, they would marry at the summer solstice in late June, and that is likely the origin of the June wedding tradition. Once again, rituals we take for granted turn out to have evolved long ago in concert with the solar calendar and the cycle of planting and harvest. Now, of course, these traditions have been reduced to their most basic commercial elements. Like the mythical Farengi, we are a pragmatic species!

When I was first in school (age 4 and 5), I remember making May baskets in class. And while the idea is Dangerous out of all proportion nowadays, the tradition we were taught was to put little goodies (jelly beans and such may have been provided at school–my teacher for both subprimary and first grade was a charming and attractive young nun named Sister Cecilia), and then to hang the May Basket on someone’s doorknob. I remember thinking about handing that basket on that cute red-haired girl’s door (oh, wait a minute, I was confusing myself with Charlie Brown…!), but so soon after Easter (at least in some years) the idea of goodie baskets seemed a bit redundant. Which of course makes you wonder whether the idea of Easter Baskets evolved from some overlap between the fecundity of Rabbits and the broader fecundity of Spring. What do YOU think??


We’re Back!

dscn0107We arrived home from nearly a month on the road this afternoon. Last night we stayed in a Washington State Park south of Olympia. Quite dramatically, after  the parade of brownish-gray, arid landscapes that have dominated our landscapes during our trip, the familiar setting of tall firs and dense undergrowth (and yes, a bit of Mud here and there) was a welcoming beacon. (Although, really, if we are honest with ourselves, does anybody really like Mud…?









Cigar Box Guitars

dscn0110Last night we camped at a Washington State Park south of Olympia. Our site was a short distance from a very distinctive old school bus, you know, the really big ones with the rounded sterns…? We noticed a smoke-belching chimney from a fire in the indoor stove, a fire in the outdoor fireplace, and the sound of old-time music as we walked by. This morning we had a chance to meet and converse with our neighbor and bus-owner, Terry Strasheim. from nearby Centralia.

It turns out he made the instrument he had played the night before: a “cigar-box guitar.”…! Apparently this is an old tradition undergoing a bit of a revival. Now maybe one needs to be from an earlier generation to understand what a “cigar box” is, and even earlier to know what a “cigar-box guitar:” is. The basic idea is that it is a stringed instrument with a fretted neck is attached to an old-fashioned cigar box as the resonating body. It has three strings, and is tuned like a dulcimer.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a sound recording of Terry playing his prototype instrument. All you need to know is that they are very funky, very compelling, and most often have only three strings. Terry can play a wide range of tunes on it. He does not yet have a website, but would love to tell you more about his work and his instruments. You can email him at for more information. They are awesome instruments; every music buff should have one!


Unfortunately we have arrived home too late to pick wines for this weekend. Trust us when we say that whatever we pour will taste great! Looking forward to seeing you all!

Wine Tasting

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