I woke up quite suddenly at 3:30 this morning worrying about #2 daughter’s Independence Day weekend. #1 daughter is all by herself on the other side of the country while her husband is on a submarine, but I have given up worrying over her. She is a grown up, and I can’t do anything about her weekend. However, #2 daughter, though she is practically finished with school and has a Real Job and may soon actually rent a place of her own, still seems like my responsibility, and as far as I know, she does not have anyone grilling anything for her.
She has a four-day weekend, so obviously she should come home.
I proposed to my husband that he should go get her. This means that he will spend 20 hours of his weekend in a car, driving up and down Highway 71, which may or may not be better than #2 daughter’s going without hot dogs. He agreed. But at midnight, he suddenly woke up with the realization that he had a dentist’s appointment that would interfere with this plan.
Thus it was that I had to wake up at an ungodly hour to try to come up with a solution to the dilemma.
Actually, I wasn’t trying to come up with a solution at that point. I was trying to go back to sleep. I was, however, unsuccessful. So here I am.
Last night in choir practice, we read through a snazzy new piece. They said it was not new. “There’s a solo on page 4,” said the director. “Who did this last time?”
There was general agreement that I had been the soloist. Um, no. I had never seen this music before, I thought. Frowning a bit, I tried to remember it. “Maybe it’ll come back to me,” I offered, “but I don’t remember singing this.”
Well then, they thought, it must have been #2 daughter. You would think I would have remembered that, but I would take their word for it.
The director remarked that it had been January 2004 when we last sang it. I have only been attending this church since March 2005. Surely not, everyone said. They were prepared to argue with me on that point, but I’m pretty confident of that.
So we don’t know who sang that solo last time.
We then moved on to the thorny question that bedevils all Southern churches at this time of year (Northern ones too, for all I know): to robe or not to robe?
There is strong feeling that it is too hot to wear robes. Some churches have separate robing rooms for the men and the women, so the ladies can sing in their slips. Now that I think of it, this doesn’t help the men much. They don’t walk into the sanctuary with their ankles and bare necks showing under their robes, so they obviously can’t just be starkers under there.
Other churches give up robes for the summer. Invariably, this causes shock and dismay among the higher-leaning folks, and singers who like to wear jeans and T-shirts to church.
“If you’re going to go without robes,” the director said, “then you have to dress nicely.”
This touched off a tie vs. no tie controversy. The Oldest Tenor, who likes to wear overalls under his robe, remained silent, but there were mulish announcements from the second sopranos: “I’m not gonna wear a dress.”
It could have been one of those complicated responsive readings.
Basses: “Do we have to wear a sport coat?” Pitch that low and put the word “sport” down in the basement.
Tenors: “Ties? Ties? Ties?” Let that one be a rising 1 3 5, repeated continually with a crescendo.
Altos: “I don’t own a tie.” An occasional legato phrase, ending below the top note of the tenors.
Second Sopranos: “I’m not gonna wear a dress.” This can echo the tenors, an octave above.
The sopranos said nothing. They include the wife of the pastor, who doubtless already feels that she has to wear a dress.
Aha! When the dentist’s office opens, we can change the dental appointment. I’ll stock up on watermelon and ice cream and dust off the croquet set. Too late to go back to bed, though.