made it to 65


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Although yesterday was a rough day for me, I am feeling surprisingly optimistic this morning,  despite being exhausted.  Today is my sixty-fifth birthday. Made it this far which is farther than I thought I would. Maybe that’s the source of my good mood.

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I will try not to destroy my good mood by discretely reporting on yesterday. I was tired from our long Tuesday trip. But my day really took a turn for the worse, when I felt like I had to raise some questions with my beloved boss.  Rev Jen has made it clear that she values my insights even when she doesn’t quite see things the way I do. Maybe i should say she values them most when we don’t see things the same.

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We went an extra half hour fleshing out my objections to some ideas she was running with. By the time we were finished, as usual, she had decided to give my objections some thought and profusely thanked me for making her uncomfortable.

This whole encounter drained me.

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Jen was a half hour late for our appointment. I checked in with the office. Mary the office manager agreed to send Jen up to the organ after she finished a conference call. I used the time to work madly on my Handel concerto movements for Sunday, something I plan to continue today.  By the time Jen came upstairs I had figured that she had forgotten me and was content to work on my practicing.

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After our meeting, I came home and grabbed some lunch. Then i went back to prepare for the evening rehearsal. Mary the office manager is still getting back into the swing of helping me prepare Large Print Versions of the opening and closing hymn (for my aging choir) and supply me the pointed Sunday Psalm one week early so that we can practice two weeks on each psalm. Yesterday, as I was prepping I kept hopping in the elevator (hey I’m a transitional aging dude) and going downstairs to the office to tell Mary several mistakes she made in her prep. She mistakenly gave me a second copy of this Sunday’s Psalm instead of the Psalm for the next Sunday. On the Large Print Version of the opening hymn, she clipped off the lower staff, so there was nothing for the Tenors and Basses to sing.

Since we had the Parish Picnic after church Sunday, Eileen had not filed any of the music from Sunday, so I did that. After putting Sunday’s order on the board in the choir room, I decided we needed a descant on the opening hymn. The choir’s first Sunday really went well. Part of this was a cool choral interlude on the third stanza of “Earth and All Stars.” We also had a lovely descant sang well to our second communion hymn, “The King of Love.”

It seemed weird to follow that Sunday with a Sunday with no descants, so I wrote one. As I did so I berated myself for overfunctioning which made it even more fun.  Then to the organ for a intense workout on Handel.

Eileen had a retired librarian luncheon. When I came home from practicing around 4 PM, she was still not back yet. I told myself I would put the notes into Finale for the dang new descant, then go visit my Mom, which is what I did. Came back and put the words in the music, then printed up copies.



Here’s a link to a pdf of the whole thing: h475. H475 is my shorthand for Hymn # 475 in The Hymnal 1982. The text is “God himself is with us.” The tune name (which is inadvertently omitted in my sheet music) is Tysk.  This descant fits with the hymnal harmonization. It occurs to me that I should put up more of my composed descants. I recently answered a letter from a colleague in Muskegon (Dick Hoogterp) who told me he was also playing my piece on Nettleton. I’m not sure how hip he is to the internet (he wrote me a letter ferchrissake), but I directed him to this web site for free Jenkins music. I also offered to snail mail him some of my other organ compositions.

Before going to my Mom’s, I rescheduled her hearing aid appointment which was originally this afternoon. I’m busy and moving Mom these days means hefting the wheelchair into the car, something a bit difficult for Eileen.

I also answered an email from my cellist who was wondering what time the wedding is that she is playing with me on Oct 1. Also what music she is to play. We know the day and that they want Bach cello suites in the prelude. I emailed her to tell her I didn’t have the info. Then I emailed Rev Jen asking for this info.

I tried to get some rest in before the evening rehearsal. Unfortunately I laid down and read three chapters in a choral technique book by Timothy Seelig.

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After rehearsal I wryly reflected to myself, sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar eats you. Although, it was a good and effective rehearsal, by the end of it I was so exhausted and discouraged I was thinking of resigning today. Just kidding.

I did recall the old golf story and told it (once again I am sure) to Eileen.

Two golfers played golf together regularly. Their games were evenly matched enough to make it fun for them. Then one of them started improving. And improving. The other golfer was unhappy to lose all the time. Finally, she had an idea. She gave the winning golfer a golf technique book. Their games quickly returned to a more equitable skill level.

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Eileen said, it’s about the choral technique book, isn’t it. It is, I replied.


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