My husband had to be up at 4:00 this morning, so I also had to get up then. It was nice to lie in bed for a while listening to the rain and reading about life on the prairie.
I made coffee and tea, but did not cook breakfast, because yesterday I made a blueberry and lemon cake. The recipe was in a woman’s magazine and looked luscious. I halved the butter and then replaced half of that with canola oil, halved the sugar, replaced the dairy products with nonfat yogurt, and skipped the icing. I would usually also use whole-grain flour, but madly threw caution to the winds and used the bit of white flour I had hanging around. Some people feel that if you do all that adjusting, you might as well just skip the cake, but really it made a nice, light, fruity cake, suitable for breakfast. Especially at 4:00 a.m., when a skillet does not look its best.
Yesterday I had a call about the Chamber Singers. Joining the Chamber Singers was the first thing I did for myself when my kids got old enough that I felt I could take some time for myself. While I enjoy singing in the church choir, there is a satisfaction in singing challenging music with a disciplined ensemble, and particularly in singing with a group that sounds good.
Singers are not supposed to luxuriate too much in the sound, and of course we mustn’t really listen to ourselves much. Even so, the pleasure of creating a good sound with good musicians is immense. I really don’t like being the best singer in a group.
So being in the Chamber Singers offered a good deal of satisfaction. We dressed up to sing madrigals, a type of fun that adults don’t get to indulge in very often, we had the pleasure of singing classical music and challenging new pieces, I got to know some new people, and it was just basically fun.
Then the group ended under dramatic circumstances, as sometimes happens with musical groups. I sang one season with the Master Chorale, but the time and place were deeply inconvenient for me, so I have just been doing without the challenging music.
Now they are trying to revive the Chamber Singers. Overall, the idea appeals. However, since I also have choir practice and my Tuesday class, that means I would have three nights a week committed.
You may be horrified at the thought that I would leave my family on three nights out of the week. But the kids I still have at home are teenage boys. They do not spend all their evenings hanging out with their parents. And my husband works long hours at a hard job, and often spends his evenings watching sports and perhaps snoozing on the couch. I’m not saying that they don’t notice whether I am there or not, but I don’t think they actively miss me while I’m gone. Even as I write that, I am aware that my husband would always prefer that I be home when he is. This does not keep him from going out with the guys on Friday nights, though.
Instead of being horrified that I would leave my family, you might be laughing at the idea that having to go somewhere three nights a week would be a big deal.
I get off work at six. Those three nights require me to leave the house between 6:30 and 6:45. So dinner has to be organized before I leave in the morning, and rushed through. Housekeeping also has to be done in the mornings — and the gym cannot just be skipped on all those days. Also, since I am getting old, I find myself tired by Friday morning if I have been out all those evenings.
So I am trying to think seriously about this. The group is meeting to audition some possible directors in a couple of weeks, and I have agreed to join in that. I guess if it is not fun and the director candidates are not good, I could decide against it right there. If it is fun and there are good candidates, I will have to be very organized about food and housekeeping for it to be a possibility.