Going back home…

Our flight is scheduled to leave LaGuardia at 1:59pm…  We’re flying Delta and I’m hoping they’ve overbooked this flight so I can pick up a couple of bucks waiting for the 5pm flight.

But I’m a little homesick.  It’s been a hectic 2 weeks….

I don’t quite know how to express how I’m feeling about the situation here in NYC.  I’m not sure I really understand it myself.  Please consider if you can contribute to Eric’s Medical Fund.  It is very much needed and appreciated.

do know that I’m going to be having a blast with my grand-daughters—all 4 of them–this summer.  Six weeks seems like a long time, but it will fly by, so we’re going to fill up each day with memories to cherish forever.

The theme of Camp Sonnystone this year is “Music”…

mu·sic    ˈmyo͞ozik/
noun
vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

 

We’ll throw in painting, picnics,  crafts, swimming, and field trips.   Seeing my trashy hometown through the eyes of the girls will help me put a new shine on it, and the farmers markets, the festivals–even the heat and humidity– will be an adventure…

 

 

 

dispatch from Manhattan

It’s all about performance here at the Jose’ household.  Melissa is in rehearsals a Lot, readying for an upcoming performance with NY Philharmonic, “Jeanne d’Arc au Bucher” (Honegger), on June 10-13.

Emma’s Ceili (pronounced kaylee) was on Saturday, a fundraiser for her Irish dance school.  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that she was superbly outstanding.  During one dance, she came leaping out so gracefully, so strong that the whole room took a collective breath and burst into applause.   However, the venue was too dark for a decent picture, especially since we were seated at the back of the room  (near the food and booze).  It was something like this, only real:

irish leap

I did manage to get a couple of pre-performance pictures…

The weather on the evening of the Ceili was the best I’ve seen in NYC in over a year, and I was glad to walk my happy ass the 30 blocks home after the show.  I Love walking in New York, and I’d had just enough Irish Drink to make me forget about that damn heel.  It’s getting better every day, anyway, and I think the walk did me a whole lot of good.

Last night was Eliza’s Pre-K 4 show, themed “We heart the 80’s”.  She had been practicing her moves for “Holiday”, the old-school-Madonna tune, but I was surprised that her group also sang, “The Greatest Love”…

Today is Eliza’s last day of school, so their Summer Vacation will officially begin.  We’ll walk the Park, stroll the museums, eat some hot dogs and ice cream, and enjoy a free week before we head back to Sonnystone.

 

 

 

Newsless…

Working on the novel, keeping up with doctors and dentists, reading, bingewatching My LIst on Netflix… stuff so exciting that it requires an extra nap…

We’ve nearly made it through January…perfect time for a January Hymn…

January funk…

I’ve been trudging through this week, staying up too late at night, oversleeping in the mornings, and napping too long in the afternoons.  My inner critic (that shrew) has been active, though, judging me for my inactivity.  I’ve spent an inordinate amount of thought-time missing my mom and dad, wishing my kids were still kids.  The water pipes in the kitchen froze.  I just couldn’t bring myself to blog…

Killing time on the internet, I’ve been reading some entertaining blogs.  The photos are wonderful, the content is pithy and/or funny as hell.  Instead of being inspired, out came the critic to compare and discourage.  So I drowned that bitch in a bottle of wine…

There’s only one thing to do about these January Blues:  Dance, brothers and sisters.

I betcha can’t Not Dance…

 

Stride…

My grandmother, Dad’s mom, would have been 106 today.  I wish I had thought to prepare a blog tribute, but instead I’ve only thought about her all day and listened to music that evoked her style, and reminds me of her.

She was The Greatest…and I’m not exaggerating, kids, she was really good…The Most Great Stride piano player.  One of the songs that I associate most with her style was called “Runnin’ Wild” and it used to be rather difficult to find.  Thanks to the you tubes, I can share this with you.

Watch these folks’ left hand, back and forth, and fast:  That’s Stride…  She was a lefty and that gave her the extra strength she needed to pound it out.  Barely brushing 5-feet tall, she bounced from one end of the piano bench to the other as she used up the entire keyboard.  What takes two artists in this video, she did all by her little self.

It’s a great song and so was she.  Wishing she were here to play it for me… (okay, she would be reallly old, but you know what I mean)

 

Christmas with the Jrs.

We packed Michael, Jess, and Olivia into the Caravan around 7:30am Saturday morning.  By 10:30, we were standing in line at the Delta Riverboat landing in Opryland Hotel.   The hotel is a giant conglomeration of atriums, with gardens, fountains, and riverways that ooh! and aah! the most jaded visitor.  Restaurants and shops dot the walkways that meander through the building and every stop is a drag on your wallet, so beware!  Opting out of the $16 hamburgers, we ate at Stax and filled our little guts full.  After a side-trip to meet Santa and the Mrs., we wandered awhile before walking the couple of blocks to The Opry House for the Rockettes…

I’ve never been to The Opry House before and I was mightily impressed.  The effort to keep the ambiance of the original Ryman is appreciated with the pews and the wonderful lights above the top mezzanine.  The outside porticos look like a great place to party.

Comparisons between the venue and Radio City Music Hall are inevitable, but seriously unfair.  The Music Hall is a huge, unique place with a monster stage that moves into three sections, an orchestra pit the size of my house, and art deco interiors that make you feel like you’ve stepped into the jazz age.

The NYC rockettes number 36, and the Nashville company has 18 on-stage, which illustrates how much smaller the stage area is.  There is no orchestra pit, and the decor is decidedly, plainly, country.  Since there’s no orchestra, the music is what I call karaoke’d into the sound system, and the lip-syncing is a bit obvious.  The voice of Santa is Exactly the same as the Voice in New York, I swear.  I don’t think he was lip-syncing, though, so how did that happen?    The program is actually longer, with a 15-minute intermission, and a much longer Christmas section to please the Bible Belters.  The first half is the same as NYC, in different order, including the same 3D trip into NYC.  The trip to the North Pole is the same, but they added a veryvery boring dance sequence about snow…zZzzZ…before going into the Nativity scene.  They preached some, and when they played the Hallelujah Chorus, nobody stood (except me and a half-dozen others).   Our seats were Great, first row of balcony, and Olivia was mesmerized by the up-front view of the dancing.

The Opry House strictly forbade photography…go figure…

I’ll deliver presents to my sister tomorrow at our annual Christmas luncheon, always good chance for some photo-ops, so I’ll check back in to keep you apprised of the ongoing celebrations.

I hope you’re having a ton of fun, too!

Thanksgiving Edition…

We woke up to snow…

DSC_0006

 

Usually Casey would get a call to go out and catch flurries during such weather, but this year they called Jr. at 1 a.m.  The torch is being passed…  Still, Michael was here with Olivia by 10 or so and we were feasting on crockpot roast beast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and crescent rolls by 11.   Jess is afflicted with a bug of some sort and couldn’t be with us, but we soldiered on…

After they had left to attend another Thanksgiving meal, I muted the Dog Show and fell into YouTube, remembering…

Looking for a simple version of “We Gather Together”, I came across this little gem.  I Loved Tennessee Ernie Ford–bless your pea-pickin’ little heart– and grew up listening to an album of him singing hymns.  It was such an innocent time…Was the world really so much simpler, or was it because I was so much younger?   I don’t know…  At any rate, I never knew this existed, from 1963…

 

Thinking now of present-day…Emma’s in Philadelphia competing in a major Irish Dance competition and somehow the sight of those Red-Irish Dubliners made me smile, gratefully, for all of our gifts…

Same prayer as last year, still hoping…

With Your feast You feed us.  With Your Light now lead us.  Unite us as one in this life that we share.

I’ll drink to that…