The end of summer is strange. If you don’t have kids, you don’t have the hectic running around for school supplies, new clothes, meeting teachers, helping them figure out classes. Nevertheless my cells get tingly at the end of August. It’s embedded. 

I only went to summer camp twice; once when we were living in South Africa for six months building a new boat. My sister and I were enrolled in school in Cape Town, and my mom was excited for us to have the camp experiences she’d had growing up: she had visions of us singing songs around the campfire, roasting s’mores, making friends. 

My sister and I feeding deer in a park outside of Cape Town, NOT Camp SOS!

The camp was called, wait for it, Camp SOS. I kid you not. That huge red flag aside, and the fact that it was one of the few things we participated in that was not integrated (this was still during Apartheid), off we went for a week of what turned out to be more like forced labor camp. We marched in drills, had to drink either coffee or tea at meals (I was eight years old). The counselors would burst into cabins after lights out to do toothbrush checks. If one toothbrush wasn’t wet, the whole cabin was forced to go outside and run laps in their pajamas. In the dark. Raining or not. 

The two things I remember most about that week were that I didn’t change my socks even once because I was so distressed, and that my sister came to check on me any chance she could (she was in a different section because she was older). Oh, and there was sheep poop everywhere. Needless to say I was unimpressed.

About to board the train for Santa Cruz with my buddy (I’m the short one).

I had a MUCH better camp experience when I was 11 at a place in the mountains above Santa Cruz, California. I was there for three weeks with two of my best friends from 6th grade. The camp was full of horseback riding and hiking, archery, ceramics, yes there were s’mores, the counselors were great, I was homesick but had a lot of fun, and we sang songs every night. My mom was vindicated. The memory of SOS faded.

This summer has been interesting. Park City is lovely. The mountains are green. The aspens shake and shimmy and the pines smell sweet and like sunbaked bark. People are nice. But it hasn’t felt like home. We both missed our pillows. And our coffeemaker.

I’m fortunate to still have my parents with me, but I worry about them now like they worried about me when I was at camp so long ago. There have been some mishaps and scrapes and Denise and I decided to come home early. So the other morning we packed up our suitcases, dog toys, food, monitors, laptops, books, guitar, one huge wooden bowl embedded with crushed turquoise we bought at an art fair and all kinds of other stuff I don’t remember having when we drove up, and headed 670 miles south to our home in Phoenix. Throughout the day we came upon the aftermath of massive thunderstorms, always after the flash floods had subsided and the roads were muddy and steaming. The skies were swollen with clouds and light. We passed around and between Bryce Canyon and Zion, weaving through cattle pastures and Navajo Nation, below the dam that separates Lake Powell from the Colorado River with the Grand Canyon on our right, through Flagstaff, down past Sedona and Bloody Basin Road and Horse Thief Basin and into our city. 

Jolene and Teddy were underwhelmed with the beauty.

There are those who say that being alive is like being in school, that you never stop studying and learning and when you graduate from one big lesson you get a rest and then it’s back to school again. I’m inclined to agree. 

So it’s back to school. Camp is over and September is peeking around the corner. Change is in the air, and the crickets are out in force tonight making noise about it all.

I wonder what classes I’ll get. I hope I like my teachers.

First in an occasional series…
Did you know that the show “Cougar Town” used a Tom Petty song to title each episode? I know, what’s “Cougar Town”? That’s not the point. The point is that you can pretty much use music to explain/accompany any conversation, theme, world event, anything. Which is one of my favorite things to do/one of my most annoying qualities. I can be in an elevator and someone can say something really innocuous like, “Nice sunny day today”, and I’ll start singing “Gonna be a bright, bright sunshiney day” under my breath. I watched a lot of “Cougar Town” about a million years ago when I was going through a breakup and needed something mindless to tune in on, and I had already watched every “Friends” episode at least four or five times (don’t judge). People like to harp on escapism — people like to talk about the importance of being aware, staying informed, being hyper vigilant about the world, your country, your relationships, all of it, everything. And while I am a big advocate of being awake and firmly rooted in reality, I also believe that escapism is not only helpful to living a healthy life, it’s critical. Actually I don’t like the word escapism — seems kind of judgmental. Or maybe that’s leftover from my own self-judgment, worrying that if I take a break, somehow I’m trying to escape something I’m obligated to stay within. Our brains get so tired. The rest of ourselves follow our brains through every loop and winding curve of every thought, and the brain just keeps going even though it’s like a tired little kid who’s being told it HAS to keep going, otherwise we’re in danger, we’ll fall, we’ll miss something, the other shoe will drop!!! The truth is that shoes drop every day. The world is a strange brutal place. The world is also a loving, beautiful place. Therein lies the rub, as they say. (Cue “Rub You the Right Way” by Johnny Gill!) It’s a healthy thing to escape. Watch something sweet. Play a little guitar. Have fun. That’s not frivolous. That’s the thing that makes your battles worthwhile. What I’m saying, other than the fact that whoever created “Cougar Town” was a huge Tom Petty fan, is that I’d like to see folks tuning. Either tuning in or tuning out, however you look at it. Watch a movie. Read a book. Listen to music. Go to a show. Go to my show. The universe awaits.


It’s Earth Day, butterflies and bees are humming and buzzing, and I’m buzzing too–I’m about to release a new video and single and play a show and it feels gooooood!!


A few weeks ago I had the huge pleasure of shooting a video with my favorite muppets — aka the boys in the band– and being directed by the talented Christopher Ciccone. We rocked, we rolled, we wrapped at 3 a.m.

Christopher giving JP some pointers. "Make love to the bass, JP!"
Christopher giving JP some pointers. “Make love to the bass, JP!”

The thing about being here on earth (ahhh, see what I did? Brought it back to earth day) and doing what you love is that, while you never know what is coming around the corner, you do know the odds are it’s going to be an adventure. And that’s what it’s all about my friends–the adventure. The journey. Charles Bukowski wrote, “Find what you love and let it kill you”. I’m more of the, “Find what you love and let it guide you” school. But either way, you get the point. We’re here for a second. Do what you love. Trust me on this.


And come play with us this Saturday night! Celebrate the birth of a new project!! Dance With Me! xox sarah

Saturday, April 25th
Room 5 Lounge
10 pm
143 N. La Brea Ave
Hollywood, CA for details and tickets