I’ve been booked a couple times here at The Pumpkin Patch, a daycare center a little west of my old home town of Madison. I’ve been able to find a couple gigs around it but nothing popped up for this one. So, I decided to head out and back for relatively good pay, in spite of gas, tolls and a certain amount of exhaustion.

I split 4th Street at 5 am, not much of a problem since I’ve been getting up and going to the gym about that time for the last few weeks. I knew the traffic would okay, but one never knows once I get into NY and CT. As it happens, the trip up was a breeze, with some time to drop in at Ocean State Job Lot, one of my favorite cheap box stores.

I got to the site with an hour to spare, and found some time to meditate after the long drive. I headed on in and the folks were glad to have me back. I set up outside in the shade of the large trees for my 10 am set. It was going to be in the 90’s for the day, but things were just fine for my show.

There were about 30 kids in my space with toddlers and teachers on my left behind a fence (that made some unfortunate connections with current times…). So, I started in with my material. One toddler was so enthused with the music that he started leaping in the air with joy, but then forgot about his feet and took a header onto the pavement. It was an inauspicious beginning for the set but the caregivers tended to the lad and eventually he was up and running around again. It was a sobering moment.

I broke out the scarves towards the end and the kids danced around and it made a nice conclusion to my set. We packed up and I was able to head back home about 11 am, check in hand.

The drive back was not so much fun. I made the mistake of heading towards the GW Bridge instead of the Tappan Zee and hit lots of bumper-to-bumper traffic with road repair. Thankfully, I had my podcasts and music CDs to make the drive more pleasant. All in all, it was a ten hour trip and I was beat when I got back.

I was asked to do a rare opening set for the Smithereens and Marshal Crenshaw at Arts Quest that night and I turned it down. They gave me two day’s notice and it was for $100. That bothered me, and I was not sure if I had the appropriate material for this crowd as well. Anyway, I was glad that I did due to my long day on the road. Still, it would have been a treat to do the gig.