Saturday morning, just after 11 am, my cellphone rang. It was my sister, calling to say that she and Green Mountain Grass were leaving soon and would be driving up to Philly for the day. The bus is still busted and is hanging out in Maryland being repaired, but the bass player’s very generous parent is giving them the lend of her SUV for the next 10 or so days so they can make their gigs (with rented trailer in tow).
Since I had no idea that they were even thinking of coming up to Philly, I was sort of surprised, but life flexed and made room for this unexpected treat. It was so fun to see Raina and finally meet the band about which I had heard so much. They pulled into town around 2 pm and I worked my magic (if you can call being repeatedly polite and friendly a magical act) to get them a parking spot in my building’s garage (without connections, parking an SUV with a trailer is not an easy thing to do in the city). The band headed to Rittenhouse Square to do some busking while Raina went with me back to my apartment for a while to get something to eat and raid my closet. She left full salad with avocado and hard boiled egg (check out the egg-themed Fork You), wearing boots, a dress, a black hooded sweater and a pair of sunglasses that moments before had been mine.
We headed over to the Square some time later and caught the tail end of their set. They pulled Raina up to do one song, and I was taken aback by the transformation she undergoes when she’s on stage, even if that stage is nothing more than a chunk of the sidewalk that runs past Rittenhouse Square. The occasionally-irritating sister I grew up with disappears and a confident, talented performer emerges. No matter how many times I observe it, I am always slightly awed.
I parted ways with Raina and the bluegrass band a little before 6 pm, when the guy I’m dating and I headed to get some food. We did see them briefly before they left town, though. They reappeared at my apartment around 11:45 pm, to use the bathroom, sober up slightly and pick over the contents of my kitchen like locusts. They did a great job of eating the remaining 4 pounds of ham I had left over from a Fork You filming on Thursday night (seriously, until they arrived, I didn’t know what I was going to do with that much ham. Most of the time I don’t really even eat ham). They also ate just about all the bread in the fridge, and took with them a popped bag of microwave popcorn and the majority of a large bag of peanut M&Ms.
Raina is going to be popping in and out of the blog a whole lot over the next couple of weeks as in about ten days she’s going to arrive and demand (well, I did tell her she could borrow it) the keys to my car so that she can get to some gigs. She’s going to be in Philly for four days (April 15-18) and then she’s taking off in my green Subaru wagon for another round of gigging up and down the east coast. Raina brings with her chaos, mild inconvenience and so, so much fun. I can’t wait.