James picked me up from the theatre immediately after yesterday’s matinee ended at five o’clock, and we made the four-hour drive back home to The Woods for my single day off today.

It took about forty-five minutes to get out of San Francisco and over the Bay Bridge; there was lots of traffic late Sunday afternoon. Hordes of people were leaving two major events, a baseball game and an air show put on by the Blue Angels.

One of my colleagues in the pit of South Pacific advised me to ‘put on my patience hat, there’s gonna be a LOT of traffic this afternoon!’ so I took her words to heart, and felt more relaxed about the stop/start aspect of our crawl out of the City because I was mentally prepared for it.

We arrived home to pitch black darkness at 9:30, and crisp cool temperatures in the 40s. It’s always such a shock to be drenched in such silence after being in an intense urban area. My mind seemed to race even more, against the backdrop of this contrast.

We couldn’t have picked two more different environments in which to live!

We needed to come home once more before we hit the road with Phantom, so that James could winterize the water pipes leading out from the well.

Fall has definitely come to The Woods. Splashes of yellow adorn the deciduous trees, and there are patches of golden pine needles sprinkled throughout the evergreens. The meadow grass is brown and crackly. The sound of birds is curiously absent; perhaps they have already migrated South.

This is the time of year just before the rains and snows set in. A time of waiting for the transition to Winter.

It will be interesting to see if we can bring the Airstream trailer back home in mid-January; it is entirely possible that the mile-long, steep, rutted dirt road will be impassable with ice and snow. It usually snows in early January, as much as two feet in a single storm.

When we get back to California sometime the second week of January, we will call the town postmaster — who is also one of our nearest neighbors — to ask about the road conditions. If it’s bad, then we’ll probably park the Airstream in my brother’s driveway in Sacramento for a week or so, before venturing up to The Woods. We did this last year, and had a lovely visit with the family.

So we are enjoying our brief time at home now, and will drive back to our City Life bright and early tomorrow morning. Back to work!

There are two weeks remaining of the run of South Pacific in San Francisco. I am already waxing nostalgic about it; this has been a wonderful production to be involved with. I will miss playing in this excellent orchestra. It’s very unusual to have twenty-five musicians (with NO synthesizers) in the pit for shows these days. I’m so glad that this full-scale revival of a Broadway classic is being done now!