Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer 2009

June has flown by, hasn't it? End of school was delayed a bit by the Swine... no, N1H1... wait, H1N1... er, really bad virus that was going around. Awards ceremonies didn't take place until June 3rd.

For our family, though, summer doesn't begin until after dance recital. And we all get in on the act:

This year recital was immediately followed by The Big Trip. After nearly a year of planning and saving, we packed up the 5th wheel and convoyed with my sister and brother-in-law and their Goofy Kid to Wyoming. We camped in the Tetons and drove all over Yellowstone National Park. We had an absolute blast viewing wildlife, riding horses, boating, and hiking. Oh, can't forget the eating and shopping, too.

Words fail me as I try to describe the vistas. Perhaps a few humble photos will provide a glimpse into what we experienced:

The End

Monday, June 8, 2009


On my desk lies a lovely red rose. It's opened perfectly - no longer a bud yet not fully opened. It's exactly the way I think roses should look always. It was taken from the splendid arrangement that adorned the top of my friend Roger's casket. The arrangement was lovingly crafted by his sister-in-law Rita. Rita has a gift.

Roger was the entire tenor section in the choir when I answered the call to direct, about four years ago. He had a little reinforcement in the tenor section for awhile, and then he was THE section once again. During the time that I worked with him, his skills continually grew and his voice seemed to never stop improving. This is not to say that he wasn't great to begin with, because he was. He had a terrific voice. It is to say that he was the type that never stopped learning.

Roger got sick some time back. A terrible infection ravaged his heart and took the sight from one of his eyes. He spent a long time in the hospital and a long time in rehab and a long time recovering at home.

I grieve that I never got to know Roger better than I did. We were all too focused during choir rehearsal to just chat. We were all too busy beforehand to just chat. We were all in too big a hurry to "be somewhere" afterward to just chat. There was just never enough time. I regret that, and I've made an effort to change in recent months.

Roger was a quiet guy. Very private. I'm loathe to admit that I am not great at pulling people out of their shells. I have my walls, too. I guess I figured one day I would just win him over with my irresistable charm (ha, ha!). We ran out of time.

Our friendship was kind of like the rose on my desk. We weren't completely closed off from one another, but we weren't completely splayed open, either. We were just beginning to let each other in - just a little - and it was comfortable. These things take time.

I will miss Roger. Those that he allowed into his heart - his family and childhood friends - will miss him even more. We all feel pretty certain we will see him again in time. And that, too, is comfortable.