It's been so long

I haven't even come to this site in a long time. I really should cross post notes from Facebook in case notes should get lost. Meanwhile, nice to visit.

I was going to wait until next weekend, but...

I was going to wait until next weekend, but we will have company (Mike and Carol Morse) until next Monday and then the next day is December 1st.

Do you want to play the advent game this year?

If so:

1) Do you want to play here or on Facebook?

2) if you joined the Facebook group, do you just get a message from me asking?

My brother

I don't want to forget this delightful tidbit my brother shared yesterday.

I was mistaken (I finally realized) for a restaurant reviewer from WNYC radio when dining at a new upscale French restaurant in Soho. You have no idea what good food and friendly service is until you are mistaken for a critic.

I haven't posted in so long.

And I haven't even been here to lurk very often. Facebook more often, but even there, I've been out of touch. It's travel and company month. August 1st we flew to Chicago for "FlamingOfest '09" which is just as silly as it sounds. It is puppet theater with puppets that are plastic pink flamingos. In the 70s we had student teachers who came to our school for the band program in Michigan, and they had created this in college. The gathering in Chicago was a re-enactment of these songs. Judi flew in from CA, friends came by train from MI, and two people flew up from FL. Many of these people are a big part of our history. Ken and Pam's wedding reception was at our house on Thanksgiving in 1978. We took part in Curt and Judie's wedding when Curt turned 40 in 1972. Bob walked Judi "down the aisle" when she and Scott were wed in 1988. Not sure if all those dates are correct. We had a blast gathering and laughing and remembering and preparing. We need people in our lives who share our history.

From Chicago, some of us drove on down to Indianapolis for DCI -- Drum Corps International finals. What a lovely city downtown. It's always exciting to watch drum corps on finals week. We were thrilled the Blue Devils had an undefeated season as that is the corps where Judi's husband, Scott, heads the percussion department. We celebrated our wedding anniversary there and we had Nutella. Nutella milkshakes are wonderful!

The drive back to Chicago on the 9th was slow and the flight home was delayed, but we arrived safely home at 1:15 a.m. on Monday the 10th. On Tuesday, Lisa Blake and her daughter, Morgan, arrived for a visit. Lisa was a student of ours when we first were married 44 years ago. She has remained a good friend all these years. She left on Thursday and Mike and Carol Morse arrived. I've known Mike and Carol for 49+ years as Mike was my first friend when I got to Olivet College in January of 1960. His father was minister of a church in MA four miles from where my grandfather was a retired minister. I sang for Mike and Carol's wedding in June of 1960 and they have remained close, close friends of ours all these years. Last night we were trying to recall when they first met Bob.

Mike and Carol left this morning and on Thursday a woman we have not seen for many years arrives. Bob first worked with her in an elementary school choir when she was in 3rd grade. She sang for our wedding 44 years ago when she was 13. We eagerly look forward to getting to know her again.

In between all of this we are doing more teaching. Our daughter, Melinda, has joined our studio since her job has been cut back to four days a week. We are finding that we love teaching together and she can work both with my voice students and Bob's acting students. She has strengths and a background "in the business" that we don't have. If you have a desire to read about the studio, check out:

"Michigan month" will end this weekend, but how wonderful it is to connect our current life here with all of our Michigan history.

Picking Cotton

Every so often a book comes along that is intensely moving and filled with lessons. Picking Cotton seems to me to be this generation's To Kill A Mockingbird, only Picking Cotton is not a novel. It is the real story of a young woman who experienced an attempted rape and the man who went to jail for that crime even though he was innocent. More amazingly, they become good friends. In the very first chapter you are given that information. Nevertheless, the first half of the book is painful to read. We are reading details of the horror of being a rape victim, the flaws in our judicial system, and the brutality of prison life. It's not a pleasant read. But then we are treated to the most amazing story of redemption and forgiveness. You can imagine how bitter a man imprisoned for eleven years for a crime he didn't commit might be. Can you even imagine that he isn't? Can you imagine that he forgives, and he helps the woman to forgive herself for wrongly accusing him? For those of us who grew up with a Christian heritage, there is no better example. Also, we are reminded of the flaws in our judicial system even by those people who conscientiously try to enforce justice. What better reason to abolish the death penalty. Too often innocent people are killed. Picking Cotton is a book filled with life lessons. My words only touch the surface. I urge you to seek it out.

The role of music in life...

I hope it is okay to post this speech. It's a thoughtful read.

Well worth taking the time to read this:

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without."
Confucius (c.551-479 BC)

Welcome address to freshman class at Boston Conservatory given by Karl
Paulnack, pianist and director of music division at Boston

Read more...Collapse )

Birthday reflections, part 2

We had a lovely time on the evening of my birthday, meeting good friends for dinner at a Mexican restaurant with pastries at their home afterwards. Good visit time. I loved the food. And then the weekend continued. Daughter, Melinda brought Lucy dog over to walk on Saturday morning. Good mom and daughter talk time, even though it was cold. Tea time after with Bob joining us was fun, too. Melinda and I ate the leftovers from the night before. Bob joined us for left over donuts and pastries. Then on Sunday, Bob suggested moving a little furniture around in the study. Moving furniture is one of my favorite things to do! Bob usually hates it. And to get the changes in the study meant a few living room and hallway and upstairs changes. I had a grand time. I only like house cleaning if I get to move furniture. We had Sunday night popcorn (nearly all of our Michigan popcorn is gone, I sadly report) and other treats while we watched the Oscar ceremony. Even I stayed up to the end! More good wishes continue to come by snail mail. I've dragged this celebration out about as long as I can.

Written early in the day February 20th on Facebook

No doubt I'll have to add to this as the day goes on, but I must make a few notes now so I don't forget. I'm quite overwhelmed by all the wishes here. Makes me feel most cared for. Also, it calls to mind birthdays of years past in Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. So many of you have been a part of my life for some years.

We expected to have a meeting here at the house this morning and I had planned to bake something sort of healthy. Meeting was cancelled. I began to crave a coconut doughnut. (This craving goes back to my years as a church choir director in Michigan.) However, nowadays I think I ought to walk to Dunkin' Donuts if I am going to eat such a treat. Thus I did, even though it was bitter cold with a fierce wind. (Reminded me of NYC in the winter.) Arrived there in time to get the last coconut donut and to get something Bob would like, too.

Just before I left, I had a phone call from someone (I didn't catch what she said her role was) at the South Hadley town offices wishing me a happy birthday. What a lovely town gesture.

Later this afternoon I will teach one lesson and then we will go to Northampton to have dinner with friends at a Mexican Restaurant. Bob doesn't like Mexican food, but he will share with me this treat once a year. :)

Yesterday we shopped for my presents. I got some new slippers that I am cozy and warm wearing as I type. My mother often would buy me slippers for my birthday as they would be on sale after Christmas. So it is a nostalgia gift besides feeling good.

And then, because I have this dark sense of humor, Bob bought me, AS REQUESTED by me, a new snow shovel. I don't think my old shovel is going to last the season. They have to be lightweight for me, but the plastic ones do break down. I find some delight (hopefully not at my husband's expense) in saying I got a snow shovel for my birthday.

We finished the birthday shopping with a daffodil plant. This time of year I crave flowers that will remind me that spring will come. I got a hyacinth for Valentine's Day. Just a few more weeks and surely plants will come up in the yard -- and snow will be gone.

That's enough to say for now. Thank you for all the memories, of times spent with each of you, that come to my mind when you are writing to me here. Love and hugs!