steve blathers on

Eileen and I met the piano guy at the Boersma cottage yesterday. I and several family members and friends have purchased a piano to donate to the cottage. We also had wheels put on that make the piano more serviceable to the situation.

Jason is a man in a wheelchair who has been there since the cottage opened in 2007 seemed very moved by the donation. The shabaz was concerned about how loud the piano seemed. The piano guy pointed out that even though it might annoy the workers, the brightness of the piano probably serves the resident elders who are often a bit hard of hearing.

One new elder whose name I don’t remember was hovering about in a walker. When I asked her if she was a pianist she gave the standard disclaimer of people who have studied the piano but don’t feel competent. But she did say she would have to give the new/used piano a try before too long.

The installation of the piano took longer than I anticipated (after we got the wheels on, the piano guy went to his truck to look for some material to protect the walls from the iron on the wheels). I did manage to play several little Bach pieces. This is when the shabaz lady went a bit anxious. I pointed out to Eileen that this anxiety is typical in a situation where the food chain is full of people who generate impossible expectations on their employees. Freidman used to call these people peacemongers. Heh.

After this we had a full day of putzing around in Mom’s apartment at Appledorn, lunch with Mom at Wendy’s (her treat), a meeting with the hospice bereavement counselor, carting Mom around and Eileen working in the yard. I did manage to get over and practice organ a bit. 

I still have not heard back from the organist in Greater Missenden where I will be headquartered for my two weeks in England. I managed to convince myself yesterday that given some rehearsal time on vacation, I could learn the last movement (the Sortie) from Messiaen’s Pentecost Mass for Organ. I re-read Dame Gillian Wier’s comments on this piece. It finally sunk in that the difficult middle section emulates the call of the lark. Cool. Cool. 

This section of the piece is fun. There is the mad lark melody that floats over two other parts. These parts are in a sort of rhythmic palindrome. The first chord in the left hand begin 23 sixteenth notes long. The next chord is 22 sixteenth notes in duration. Each chord thereafter diminishes its value by one sixteenth note.

In the mean time the pedal notes are doing the reverse beginning with 5 sixteenth notes durative value then increasing in value by sixteenth note increments. The pedal is not the lowest voice in this ensemble since it registered two octaves higher than it is written. The low sounds come from the chords. 

Anyway, it’s fun to play and I think it would be cool to listen to. Especially if I can play it mostly correctly. 

Eileen received a bouquet of roses from Elizabeth the daughter. Very nice. She and I both are still very stressed out from the activities of the past few weeks (Dad died 3 weeks ago today). The visit to the bereavement counselor was very helpful. Eileen’s family is as usual not helping her at all, to say the least. A big piece of her grief for Dad is the fact unlike her own parents he accepted her. Ay yi yi. 

Mother’s day makes me a bit crazy the way it looms in the minds of so many people as a Hallmark moment. In the past I have made sure that my own Mother knows I love her on this day and pretty much left it at that. But since Dad’s death is so fresh I feel like it would be a good day to have Mom over for a cookout. Unfortunately this clashes with the Hatch expectations that all of the adult kids (and spouses) show up for the last hurrah with the Mom and Dad before they hop in a car and drive to their Grayling house for the summer. 

Eileen feels torn, needless to say. So she has come up with the compromise that she will drive up this afternoon (after work and during the tulip time madness) and spend some time with her Mom then. 

Families. You gotta love em.

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