In late October, my mothers-in-law, Amy and Shatar, came for a visit. Benjamin and I decided to throw a little party for them, and the party turned into a salon! Yay! One of my Halloween wishes came true!

Formally, a salon is defined as “an assembly of guests in a (drawing room or parlor), especially common during the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc.”

While our small gathering was not comprised of leaders per se, we did form an impressive group. Together we were avid readers, experts in nutrition, physical therapy, and mixology, florists, gardeners, ballroom dancers, sculptors, poets, and musicians.

We served an excellent assortment of charcuterie, which Amy arranged beautifully, and the beverages flowed, thanks to Shatar’s generous pour. The highlighted drink of the night was vodka and grapefruit juice with sprinkles of pink salt. I think we decided to call it the Salt Shaker, because we are movers and shakers, tee hee, but this cocktail is also traditionally called a Salty Dog, or a Salty Sam, in honor of Amy and Shatar’s favorite golden dog residing in Colorado. Whatever the name, it was delicious!

So we sipped and ate and gathered around our coffee table to talk. Conversation topics included salon favorites like travel, politics, and music.

Born in Snow, our new trio project, shared some songs for the group. First, Benjamin and V performed “Amber Song,” and then we played three more songs that we’d recorded this summer—“Homemade Rocket,” “Make It Poetry,” and “Stone Cold.” We shared our processes for each song with our friends and family, and they graciously offered feedback. Yes, we knew that because our loved ones love us that they were bias, but still, it was a beginning, a little test balloon to see if people of varying age groups and experiences could relate to our work. And they could! Yay!

Along with the supportive praise, we learned that more of a male voice (or more of Benjamin on vocals) could provide a balance in our work. We were told that we sounded “experimental” and that if V sang in a minor key, this could be beautiful too. I listened to these comments and thought about how I have fallen into song writing, how I have learned so much about music from my husband and my friend, and how fortunate I am.

After we played, our friend, Loretta, shared her writing. She had just returned from a month in Greece where she had worked with women and children as a volunteer trauma counselor in a Syrian refugee camp. Needless to say, Loretta’s work was powerful. I was left with images of children hanging paper chains on chain link fences and phrases like “these children are children like my own.” Through her work, and currently in more recent conversations, my friend teaches empathy. How lucky we are to know her!

That evening, in our humble salon, we raised some spirits, drank some down, and it was a perfect Halloween!