Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When with the ever-circling years comes ’round the age of gold

December has been busy, and for all intents and practical purposes, I seem to have stopped blogging. Not forever, I hope. But definitely for this week. Life is busy, life is full.

Last week we attended the Georgia Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker. Two of our grandchildren were in the performance. As always, it (and they) were exquisite. Our grandson had a solo in Act I as the Toy Soldier, and was part of a trio of teenage boys in Act II who danced as the Cavalier’s Attendants. Our granddaughter was a soldier fighting with the mice in Act I, an Umbrella Girl in the Tea portion of Act II, and one of Mother Ginger’s children.

Our weekly staff meeting at the church took place Monday from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Afterward, I rehearsed with the pastor, who will be singing a solo in next Sunday morning’s service. While I was gone from home, Tim B., my son’s friend, performed a random act of Christmas kindness for Mrs. RWP and me. He sent two of his workmen over to move our furniture and re-stretch the carpet throughout our house, which had started to resemble the Sea of Galilee on a stormy day. It saved us a chunk of money and made our home much more attractive (translation: less tacky).

Last night Mrs. RWP and I attended (brought homemade cupcakes to, actually) a Christmas party for the residents of Hope House, a group home for mentally-challenged adult men. Currently there are five residents: Greg, David, Mike, Randy, and Nick. A good time was had by all. As if by magic, food appeared in abundance, as did many gifts. Officially, the party was a project of the UMW (United Methodist Women), but a goodly number of UMM (United Methodist Men) were in attendance as well. Mrs. RWP’s cupcakes were to die for: German chocolate with cream cheese icing, with either red sprinkles or green sprinkles sprinkled (what else?) over the tops.

Tonight my presence is required at a rehearsal of a musical program at which I will be the person at the piano. Some old friends of mine, David and Lisa K. and Dawna and Daniel T., are presenting a Family Christmas Concert at Grace Community Church in Marietta. Out of the blue, Lisa sent me a Facebook message last week asking whether I could participate in the program. When I say “Out of the blue” I mean that the last time I had any communication with Lisa was seventeen years ago when she sang at my daughter’s wedding. So it was a pleasant surprise. Both Lisa and Dawna, who are sisters, have beautiful trained voices. David plays the trumpet and conducts a jazz orchestra. I think Daniel sings as well. The last time I saw these two couples, they jointly had no children and Lisa was expecting her first child. Now there are nine children altogether, four Lisa’s and five Dawna’s. Time flies when you’re having fun. Lisa’s oldest, John, is quite the trumpet player himself, and Dawna’s Michael is an accomplished cellist.

Thursday night is the musical presentation itself. I hope to see Dick and Martha S. (Lisa’s and Dawna’s parents) there as well. Dick was at one time either a violinist in or the conductor of -- I can't remember which -- the symphony orchestra in Helena, Montana, and Martha played the viola. A few years ago Dick and Martha both suffered broken backs when the deck at their house collapsed and they fell fourteen feet to the ground. Martha is also a breast-cancer survivor. It will be good to see them again.

Sunday morning at our church we are having a Service of Lessons and Carols, so I am busy rehearsing for that as well. I will be playing the familiar Ukrainian Carol (Carol of the Bells), singing a solo, accompanying the pastor’s solo, and playing for all of the congregational singing (of which there will be a lot more than usual), and generally making a nuisance of myself.

I have to put up our tree somewhere in there in my spare time. Also, we have not bought one single Christmas present yet.

Those are but some of the reasons why, for all intents and practical purposes, I have stopped blogging. But for someone who has stopped blogging, I think I just acquitted myself pretty darned well.


Yorkshire Pudding said...

It's good to have a full life when you are well into your retirement and your cup certainly seems to be running over right now. Regarding the home for "mentally-challenged adult men", do you think there might be a space for me even though I'm a "mentally-challenged adolescent man"?

Pat - Arkansas said...

You are a busy bee, RWP. You are acquiting yourself very well during this Advent season. You're singing a solo? Methinks you have been blessed with many talents, and you're using them well. Be sure to rest enough; it's easy to become overwhelmed/overextended in doing good things.

rhymeswithplague said...

YP, I don't know how I ever found time to earn a living. I have discovered that it doesn't matter whether there is a huge choir or no choir at all, the instrumentalist remains just as busy and perhaps in the latter case even more so, filling in the gaps.

As a matter of fact, there is space for one more resident at Hope House. Only you can decide whether to join us on this side of the pond, however.

Pat in Arkansas, I'm singing a solo and all the rest (playing the prelude, playing the offertory, playing the postlude, accompanying the congregation) this Sunday, then there's a 5:00 p.m. service on Christmas Eve (I'm singing a song I wrote myself and accompanying myself, accompanying the pastor's solo, and playing some more), then an 11:00 p.m. service the same night (ditto from 5:00 p.m. plus a communion service). And the music is already planned for Dec. 26 and Jan 2 because the church office will be closed from 12/22 until 1/3 and the bulletins have to get produced. I think it is too late not to be overextended at this point. But if I hear "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" (insert comma wherever) I will definitely welcome the resting part.

A Lady's Life said...

lol you are dug in and well loved and this is a blessing for you and everyone around you.
It gives Christmas a good name and a good reason for it's existence for so many wonderful things to happen this time of year.:)

Keep up the good work:)

Carolina said...

Okay, this list is quite impressive. And solo singing ánd writing your own songs. Mr. RWP, I am very very proud to sort of know you and Mrs. RWP. I'm sure she bakes the most fantastic cupcakes. A very Christmas spirited post. Certainly for someone who stopped blogging for a while.

Big hug for you and your Mrs.
Good luck with all performances. Or should I say: "Break a leg?"

rhymeswithplague said...

Lady's Life, as our pastor once said, this abundant life is killing me!

Carolina, doesn't everybody write songs??? I just wrote one today (the first line was actually prompted by a young friend in New York on his facebook page, and the others are mine) that shows clearly just how spiritual I am:

Deck the jaws of jealous haters,
fa la la la la, la la la la.
Fry the eggs and mash the taters,
fa la la la la, la la la la.
Shop at Goodwill for apparel,
fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Otherwise, just wear a barrel,
fa la la la la, la la la la.

No one said it had to have continuity. I think I'm getting a little punch-drunk.

Egghead said...

You are busy! But tis the time of the year. I love the Nutcracker and how lucky for you that you get to see your grandchildren perform. Hope your holidays are wonderful.

Putz said...

hey hwey hey ole egg is still alive and seemingly well above {just above} my comment}and regarding singing my boy with his solo is on the front page of the ephraim emppty prise{newspaper{} he is squaushed in betwee a killer on the lef and a child molester on the right and him right smack in the middele of the paper<><><>oh and egg come visit me<><>,.the putz

Snowbrush said...

I shouldn't want to be so busy as you, although I'm glad you acquitted rather than having simply quitted.

rhymeswithplague said...

Vonda (Egghead), Putz, Snow, thanks for dropping by! I think the rest of the way is downhill....

I hope everyone who has commented on by blog in 2010 (and even, in the spirit of the season, everyone who hasn't) has a wonderful end-of-calendar-year-holiday-season, whatever the particular holiday may be, except for New Year's Eve, when I trust all of you will be spending a quiet, sober evening at home.