Don’t Worry, I Got Music, II

   Last Sunday, Adam was asked to play the hand drum during a dramatic reading of Genesis. I knew about this one week before that Sunday, except that I FORGOT TO TELL ADAM! So, we show up Sunday morning, and they ask, “Where’s Adam? We need to rehearse the reading?” OOPS!
   So I got downstairs to retreive Adam from Rite-13 class, and tell him he’s going to play the hand drum during a reading, and we’re rehearsing it now. Adam gives me that “what the heck?!” look, which I totally deserved. We go upstairs, and our reader and Adam work out a few things, mostly, that this is the story of creating, of God toiling away and working hard and making noise while making things, and on the last day, He rested.
   It is really hard to communicate what happened during the service, in front of the congregation, but it was magical. Our reader, Patricia ‘Pat’ Mussin, is especially gifted at this sort of thing, and Adam was able to play this simple, little hand drum, and provide what I can best describe as additional emotion to the profound story of creation. Adam got lots of compliments from the congregation afterwards for the contribution he made to bible verses that everyone already knew so well.
   Don’t worry Dad, I got music, too.

Aaron’s senior project

A couple weeks(or months, I can’t remember) ago, I had to do a presentation for my 6th grade project: JavaScript. I explained the history of JavaScript, a little about what it is, and then my own program that I wrote myself. It’s pretty cool. there are a couple of buttons and a character below. When a button is clicked, the corresponding attribute is changed. It’s really neat. try it.

Labor of Love

   A few weeks ago, we decided that we needed a new van. Our old trusty 1999 Mercury Villager was getting on in miles(over 143,000), and rusting more than we liked, and our confidence in taking it on long trips was dropping. So, when Cyndi and I got a new van, we both thought that instead of using the Villager as a trade in or selling it, we would donate it, and we would specifically donate it to Rochelle. She doesn’t take long trips, and we promised to maintain it for her(Adam was excited about this part). So, the kids and I spent the better part of a Sunday and cleaned the heck out of it. Wash, vacuum, windows, cleaning the vinyl, floor mats, etc. Then we gave it to her. She has been without a vehicle for some time, and, always active in her church, recently has needed a vehicle, specifically a van, for hauling church stuff around for outreach. Sometimes, things work out just fine.

Mother’s Day

   Today was Mother’s Day. Our tradition is for the kids and the other parent to cook breakfast and serve it in bed. Arianna asked Mom what she wanted for breakfast last night, except that she insisted that she gets to make the ‘aigs’, so I guess that means Cyndi was going to have eggs. But she also asked for waffles.
   This morning, Cyndi and I awake and lay in bed for a while, before Cyndi nudges me out of bed. Afterall, she’s hungry and wants to get started on her day. Okay, so I ooze out of bed(hey, I wanted more cuddle time), and the kids are already awake, and we start up the kitchen with lots of loud banging about. Arianna gets the aigs, and helps me prepare them, and then cooks them herself. Aaron prepares the waffle mix and runs the waffle iron, while Adam starts to work on serving table and toast and buttering it. Arianna even shows me how to make Mom’s coffee.
   After a while, everything is ready, so we carefully take it all upstairs and serve Cyndi, who has been patiently waiting in bed. We ALL climb in bed and enjoy a nice breakfast while Cyndi opens her cards and receives flowers. The boys and I made cards on the computer, but all week long Arianna has been making home made cards with scrap paper and stamps and markers and…well, you get the idea. She hands Cyndi a bag of all her work, probably a dozen or so cards and papers.
   My favorite says, “You’re the best Mom I ever seen!”

   Happy Mother’s Day, all!

Don’t Worry, Dad, I Got the Music

   Today was Mother’s Day, about which I’ll write later. But I wanted to share something that happened in church, first. By now you know Adam, Aaron and I have played in church, or for church, twice. They asked us to play again for the offertory, a song called I’ll Fly Away by Albert E. Brumley. So, Aaron’s bass teacher wrote out a bass part for him, and we rehearsed it after church last week and everything went well. After listening to the song, Adam decided NOT to add the drums, because it would not really add to the song. The way Trinity does it, it has sort of a campfire feel to it, so I agreed with Adam that it was not worth packing the drums.
   When we showed up early to do a soundcheck and rehearse, the choir director tells me that we’ve also been asked to play Lord I Lift Your Name on High for the recessional. So, naturally, I freaked. Afterall, this was NOT THE PLAN. If I had known, we would have packed Adam’s drums and practiced, etc. But Aaron just says, “(don’t worry Dad), I have the music.” So, he gets the music out of his gig bag, and is ready to go, just like that. I ask the guest guitarist, a high schooler, if she knows it, and she does. So, we do a quick rehearsal, I do a little arranging for the guitar part, and then we have to go downstairs and robe. I was really bummed we didn’t know last night, because Adam really wanted to play this song(which he did last time we did it in church).
   The service goes flawlessly. We do I’ll Fly Away. I’m running the sound board for this, so I can hear it from the back of the church, and it sounds wonderful. I see and hear Aaron change the bass part by playing it up an octave for part of the verse, and it sounds great. I later ask him why he did that, and he says,”well, they’re singing up high, so I played up high.” So now he’s ad libbing! The congregation applauds for the song, which they only do when they really, really like it. See, they’re not supposed to applaud in church, but sometimes, they can’t help it.
   Later, we play the recessional, which has become my trademark song at Trinity, and it just JAMS. Aaron plays the bass two different ways, one way, which is simple, and another way, which is much more decorative, which he saves for the last two times through. There were a lot of baptisms this day, and it takes a long time for the choir to process out while they are singing, so we end up playing LOTS of verses, and Aaron plays the decorative bass line LOTS of times. We got into a really nice groove, and I totally enjoyed what I was doing, nevermind that IT WAS NOT THE PLAN! The congregation also enjoyed it, and we got lots of compliments, as did Aaron himself. Our friend, Pete, told him “Man, your bass line was KICKIN'” Another told us, “It’s so nice to see you and your boy playing up there.”
   I guess I didn’t have to worry. Afterall, he has the music!

Come on in, the Chowder’s Fine…

“Won’t you bring back, Won’t you bring back Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder
It was tune full, every spoonful, make the yodel louder
After dinner Uncle Ben used to fill his fountain pen from a plate of Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder

It had ice cream, cold cream, benzine, gasoline
Soup beans, string beans floating all around
Sponge cake, beef steak, mistake, stomache ache
cowbells, doorbells, beckon you to die
meatballs, fishballs, mothballs, cannon balls
Come on in, the chowder’s fine”

Thursday, Arianna had her spring concert, for lower elementary school, grades 1-3. This is what they teach your kids when you send them to an expensive private school…someday, I’ll ask Adam write an entry on Toe, Knee, Chest, Nut, which he sang years ago.