It’s finally here, my favourite event of summer: Riverfest Elora.
An entire weekend of amazing live music, dancing barefoot in the grass, enjoying good food and drinking some fine beverages out of colourful plastic mugs. It doesn’t get any better than this and it’s right in our own backyard.
It’s not actually in my backyard you understand, but if The Sheepdogs need a place to camp, I’ll set up the tent, or if Men Without Hats want to join in on a bonfire, I’ll buy the s’mores. Dallas Green can bring his guitar and we’ll sing campfire songs. Maybe K-OS and Alice Merton would like to park at my place. I’m good with that. I will make room. I would flip out if A Tribe Called Red wanted to sit on the patio and talk music. I’d even make breakfast for Joel Plaskett Emergency and not burn the toast. I’m pretty sure this band would be game to dance in the kitchen. I’d be happy to throw some burgers on the barbecue if the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were hungry. I’ll buy extra chip dip just in case. Mi casa es tu casa.
Riverfest Elora is a big deal in our house, so much so that I was going to title this column “how Riverfest Elora interferes with my marriage” just to make the Carpenter laugh. I didn’t because, although it is a fact, he has heard it enough.
Since this is the only time the Carpenter really comes out of his self-imposed cave, you should see how seriously he takes his volunteer work at this festival. It’s intense. It’s exhausting to watch. It’s darn sexy, too.
Our driveway is a mess of sawdust and paint drippings and there is lumber in various places around the yard. The saws and hammering start early on weekend mornings (sorry neighbours), while he works away constructing things that I’m still not even allowed to tell anybody about, because this year, the Carpenter decided to over-achieve on his volunteer duties. When he gets an idea, he just runs with it. He’s also likely a little high from the paint fumes. Maybe that explains why this is the happiest I’ve seen him in ages. The Carpenter loves Riverfest Elora. And I love a happy Carpenter.
But there was one Friday night when we were kid-free. We had the whole house to ourselves. I texted him a flirty date night suggestion. Dinner at the pub. Draft beer for him. Gin for me. Then home to see which one of us could stay awake past ten. Hot, right?
His response was immediate. “I have stuff to do tonight for Riverfest.” That one stung a little. Not quite as much as the next week when he left me at home to go to the pub with the Riverfest crew chiefs. That’s right, he ditched me. Twice. His punishment? He had to make me stovetop popcorn drizzled in butter both times. Everyone has a price. My silence can be bought.
I adore the Carpenter’s commitment to this festival and the reason he does it, but if I’m being honest, I do fantasize his volunteer carpentry for Riverfest Elora will translate into inspiration to complete our own home renovation projects. Sigh. I think we all know how that story ends.
Wait. Maybe if the bands really did come hang out in our backyard it will be the incentive he needs.
Sheepdogs, call me.