Sunday, while the sun was out, we went to a Celtic Day celebration at the Mills Estate. There were Irish dancers and story tellers, Guinness and haggis (we indulged in neither). But, mostly, there were pipers:

I’m a big fan of bagpipe music, especially the Uilleann pipes, the national bagpipe of Ireland, which derives its name from the Irish, “píobaí uilleann,” which means “pipes of the elbow.”

Unlike the Highland pipes, which are inflated by blowing into a mouthpiece, the Uilleann pipes are inflated – normally while seated – by pumping a bellows held between the arm and the ribcage. While Highland pipes have a screeching sound, the Uillean pipes have a deeper tone and greater range and, to me, are much more pleasant to the ear. My favorite Uilleann piper is Davy Spillane, of River Dance fame; I think I have all his CDs.

Although there was a mixture of Celtic cultures, Scottish, Irish and Welsh, all the pipers at this festival were of the Highlander variety; you can tell because the pipers are standing and blowing into a mouthpiece. Here’s a pipe and drum band finishing up in front of the Mills mansion.

And here’s a picture of the Mills mansion house, up on the hill. It has always amazed me how some people spend their money. I mean, really, how many rooms do you need? We’re doing just fine living in a vehicle.

After the Celtic Day festival, we drove across the county and walked around an arts and crafts festival at the fairgrounds, then stopped back in the town of Rhinebeck for a cup of coffee.

Just as we pulled into the parking lot, it started to hail. You can see the hailstones on the hood of my Jeep. They were the size of 1/4-inch ball bearings! Weird; it was in the 70s at the time.

After getting pelted by hail and having our coffee break (where we met and talked with a very friendly local couple, Brad and Tanya [not sure about her name]), we drove out to the Omega Institute where Dale is taking her meditation course this week.

Here’s the classroom with Dale in lotus position at the head of the empty classroom.

It’s a very serene place – very New Age, and very Zen.

I thought the saying at the front door was apropos all the rain we’ve been getting. I’ve felt like I have been underwater all week.

And now it is Wednesday and tomorrow, after Dale’s class is over, we’re driving up to Albany where we’ll park the RV for a couple days so that we can fly home to attend John’s memorial service. So, I’ll be off-line for a couple days, but we’ll be back in New York on Sunday evening, ready to resume our travels to visit Trevor in Buffalo!

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