Monday, November 18, 2013

Celebrate Me Home

It was the last weekend home with nothing to do before the holidays.
On my fourth trip taxiing folks back and forth to church--since you asked--once for myself and choir, once for Calvin and youth band and cherub accompanying, once for Bill and Mary for actual church and then to pick up the kids after choir after church--thank goodness we live 3 minutes and 47 seconds from church, unless you miss the left-hand traffic signal, which then adds 1:30, enough time actually to put on some lipgloss if necessary. I digress. On the fourth trip, I heard Kenny Loggins' Celebrate Me Home on the radio.

I love this song. It took me right back to driving home from Texas for Thanksgiving. I could leave after my gig at 2:00 a.m. and drive straight through, napping in Dallas, and make it home in time to sleep in my own bed. In those days I could drink a six pack of Mountain Dew and not be awake for the next week. I would listen to that recording of Celebrate Me Home over and over again for the last three hours in the car--basically from the Iowa border to Tipton. Singing in full voice helped keep me alert.

Play me one more song,
that I'll always remember
and I can recall whenever I. . .
find myself too all alone
I can sing me home. . .

This weekend was a different kind of celebrate me home. It was just a weekend at home. We are now a ONE unit of storage family, instead of TWO. That feels good. I had lunch with a friend, Bill and I had a great dinner out together and I got to bake with another friend while the kids played fort--dragging every music stand and blanket out.

I miss my sister. I wish we could be together at Thanksgiving and a longer Christmas. I don't really wish she and I were making the drive home to Iowa from Texas together. . . some things are better left as a memory. A road trip with cats and dogs in subzero temps is never really a great idea.

I had to have the talk with Calvin again about singing harmony on the unison liturgy at church.
Last night I had another kidney attack. However, I followed my instincts and it didn't escalate.  I'll bring my data to the doctor on Friday. My brand new washing machine is leaking water this morning. Suburban problems.

But, I'm singing a happy song. I'm happy to be home and not in the ER. I'm happy to be home and checking things off for Calvin's recital and Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to my mother coming to visit. I'm looking forward to holiday traditions with Bill's folks.

I'm celebrating me home.

Extended Live "Celebrate Me Home" Link

Monday, November 11, 2013

Comfort Ye

A weekend at home. Oh, the preseason calm. A fire in the the fireplace, meatloaf in the oven. Cue the Handel's Messiah.  Acceptable pre-advent music.

These photos are of my number one Christmas lighting assistant. Years ago, I gave up on Bill helping me with the outdoor Christmas lights. As newlyweds I dreamed of my dude on a ladder tweaking the icicles with little finishing nails. The little evergreens would be decked and he would flip the switch with a countdown.

Instead I got frozen fingers standing outside for hours and a stream of profanity that even the richest hot cocoa would not melt. Darkness shall cover the earth.

I learned that to preserve the season's spirit I would need to take over the Christmas lights. By myself.

It's not that Bill is sitting around watching football. We all have different gifts.

Fast forward twelve years and I have the world's best helper. Armed with a $10 fix it tool, there is nothing this kid can't do. We put the lights up laughing all the way. It's just like I always dreamed. And when half the string goes out just after you get the dang thing hung--he fixes it--just like that. Tidings of comfort and joy! Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem.

Thanks to Calvin, the lights are done. Except maybe one more tree we will add. . . every valley shall be exalted. We had a great day. The People Who Walked in Darkness have around 4000 lights.

Why on November 9th? Because it was fifty degrees and we had the time. See blog entry titiled "All Aboard the Christmas Train." I've been blogging for awhile now and I see the patterns. See also "Skipping the Meltdown." I have had a couple memorable entries. The pre-holiday excitement which turns to panic and the light which turns to darkness. The For Until Us A Child is Born turns to I'll Have a Blue Christmas. It's coming and there is no turning back. It's all good--the recitals, the pageants, the Christmas tea, the choral services, the wrapping, the travel. . . time is a crazy thing--to the kids it seems like forever counting down to Christmas but I started breathing heavy about October 15. That's when I bought the kid's Christmas outfits. Yeah. I did.

Oh Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion. . . behold, this year will probably be the same. But maybe not. . . every year I get marginally wiser.  Like the refiner's fire. . . the eyes of the blind shall be opened. His yoke is easy.

Part One of the season?  Calvin's Book Six Graduation Recital. Sunday November 24, at 3:00 at our house. Everyone is invited. He's playing K. 545 and K. 330, Bach, Scarlatti, a Chopin group and Dr. Gradus and Gollywog's Cakewalk. It's a big program. I'm super proud of him. He's really taking ownership of his musicality, I couldn't be happier for him. He's gonna end with Linus and Lucy from the Charlie Brown Christmas.  We will have brie and carrot cake and lingonberry punch. We shall feed the flock. . .

Rejoice Greatly.  It's going to be a lovely season.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Safe and Sound

He is home. Gar came home.
At 6:30 . . . an hour before the snow fell. . . he meowed at the front door.  
It's actually day nine of his adventure. 
We will never know where he was or what happened to him. 
He's skinny and dehydrated and his nose, paws, and ears are red.  

At 5:30 my sweet student said, "I really hope your cat comes back.  I think if he comes back everything will be better."  

Yesterday the washing machine had a global nuclear meltdown and I had to stand by with the fire extinguisher. This morning the roofers came back to make us feel petty about the thirteen million things that went wrong with the roofing job. About noon today, I had had enough. I was putting events on the calendar and realized I scheduled my studio Christmas recital DURING the advent choral service, which I help accompany. Primal scream. 

Sometimes you can't help but feel like your beautiful blessed life is just plain under attack.  What now????

I stood in front of the mirror and prayed out loud. I reminded myself that this house is a house of love, built to be a blessing to all and shelter us from the world, not to frustrate and exasperate us. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ--not kidney hoopla, not missing cats, not broken washing machines and wrecked decks and windows. . . not scheduling malfunctions. . . 

Nothing can really attack us. I believe that angels are standing by--when we just remember to call them. 

It's not that we always get our way. . .but this time Gar walked up to the front door and I can't help but believe the attack is over. I think everything will be better now. 
Welcome home Garfield.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lost Cat in Eagan, Minnesota

Garfield is still missing.  I'm hoping the blog title will come up on any google searches.
I posted a bunch of info on Craig's list and Facebook and I've called everyone in the county. . .

Once you have kids the whole lost pet thing stays in pretty good perspective, but I'm still blue this morning. He's been gone a week. Rosie stands at the corner of the screen porch with her nose up and cries. She doesn't know what to do with herself without him.

My pre-advent musical choice "Sheep May Safely Graze" is not really helping--the boys choir with Michala Petri on recorder.  It's so pure and clean and unlike to many things around us. But--it is above all beautiful and so is life.

It's supposed to snow this week. I'm actually excited about that. I'm ready to kiss this season goodbye. I'm ready to think about stocking stuffers and pumpkin pie. The firewood is stacked and the flower pots are dumped.

So Gar. . . where ever you are or whatever happened to you--we miss you and you were a good boy. I'm thankful for pets and the warmth and love they add to our lives.  
Lost cat Eagan
Lost cat Eagan, MN