Lockdown Lemonade #49 by Rick Drost

Lessons Learned from Lemons

When the pandemic hit, I was in the middle of renovating the upstairs apartment in my house. Gigs and gatherings were paused. This actually forced me to focus on managing the renovations. I’m grateful for small crews and good builders with patience and persistence. A few times I thought “Don’t try this at home” but everything finally worked out by the end of June.  I finally feel financially secure and I planted a little clover in the back yard that came up – never had  normal grass stick around for more than a season.  

I am most grateful for Zoom and Streamyard, and the whole community of people that put on open mics and concerts online, and the singers who participate.   This helped me keep some singing momentum up. When the pandemic started, I cobbled together equipment from a former band, got a lot of help from friends in the community, and started participating in livestreams. This extended my reach from UK to out West, hearing so many people and styles and songs that I liked, and staying in touch with folks across the country whom I would only ever see once or twice a year. 

I’m trying to pick back up on writing now – it always took back seat to whatever work project/deadline was looming, or whatever house project needed to be done. I’m happy to report that I’ve finished two new songs in the past couple of months, and can now focus on practicing them for performance. 

Lessons learned: find a focus and give it priority; pullback and rest if you’re tired; focus on something else until you’re refreshed. Then keep going. Feel free to ask for help – a lot more people can help than you might think; put effort into keeping up with new technology.

~ Rick Drost

Cambridge, MA-based Rick Drost writes and sings songs with depth and heart, songs that repay repeated listening and convey a long love of classical music, natural wonders, and poetry. Early songwriting inspiration came from Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Now a retired engineer, he loves to travel around the country singing at small festivals, house concerts, and open mics. Find tunes, lyrics and more at www.rickdrostsongs.com

Lockdown Lemonade is FAR-West’s response to the dramatic and drastic shifts of 2020’s global health and economic crises. For many, this cultural reckoning and political upheaval spurred a period of personal reflection and the discovery of coping mechanisms some of us didn’t even know we had. Lockdown Lemonade is a look at the bright side. With this collection of flash creative nonfiction, brief personal essays, recollections, and musings from members of our community, we hope to shine a light on the best things that can and have come out of the most challenging of times. This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at julieZ@far-west.org or Marlynn Block at marlynn@far-west.org Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.
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