Yesterday was an unsettling day.

I started with my “customer care calls” and found one person who was having to put her dog to sleep and one who is worrying over a mountain of debt from caring for her mother until her death.

Next I spent way too long trying to determine the cold hardiness of pine trees. It’s somewhere between Siberia and Greenland, but I never did get any definite word on it. I was, however, able to find fairly convincing arguments that pine trees would not germinate on Mars.

Then both my daughters had unpleasantness at work. Like The Office, a program which my kids watch and enjoy. I can’t say that I enjoy it, exactly. It makes me feel thankful that I work under pleasant circumstances.

Then a shipment went astray and I had quite a bit of time tracking it down, culminating in a drive to rescue the boxes from the porch of an empty house.

People wanted me to quit working and cook for them — not once, but three times during the day. This does suggest to me that I was working too late, but I had had to take some time out to search for those boxes.

Then my husband and I had the following conversation:

“Where did you get those beans?”
“The farmers’ market.”
“The farmer’s market.”
“Where? Who?”
“The French farmer.”
“Your friend?”
“No, the French farmer. Patrice. The one from France.”
“Oh. I thought you said the farmer’s market.”

I was trying to work at the time, and this conversation was conducted in a steady crescendo, immediately followed by the dogs’ idiotic barking because The Empress and That Man had arrived. They reminded me, once we had gotten the dogs in hand, that rehearsal was coming up almost immediately.

At rehearsal, I caught up with some old friends. The Egyptian had a little legal run-in. A tenor is spending six hours a week in physical therapy. The bitter little soprano from the Chamber Singers said, “French stinks” for no particular reason. The son of a family we’ve grown up with has a son in the ICU.

We had a new piece of music, Poos’s Ave Maria. Seriously creepy organ music. While the piece sounds exciting, it also sounds like the sound track to a horror movie (you can tell just where the stabbings take place), except that of course the words are the “Ave Maria.” If you do not know these words and cannot understand Latin, you might find this piece suitable for Hallowe’en.

At one point, the director read out to us his correspondence with a composer. We are doing this man’s “Introit,” and there had been questions about the score. Had he really intended a B natural there? That sort of thing. The director emailed him. The composer responded with, “My dearest Dr. L., Thank you so much for your good and kind e-letter…” and continued with a masterpiece of Friendly Letter-writing. He was not inhibited by the fact that is was an email.

There was a moment when it seemed possible that sheer good manners could triumph over everything.

I am slightly sore from yesterday’s Pilates (a good thing, that) and must go straight from the store to class tonight with no dinner break. There are also errands to be done beforehand, and breakfast to cook, so I had better get to work.