I had a perfect shower, not too cold and not too hot — a Goldilocks shower. The controls obeyed me. Boring, huh? The rest of the day was anything but humdrum. In fact, it was probably one of the most challenging and satisfying musical days of my life. We had a chance to visit with John’s second cousin, too.
We were prepared to sing the anthem and one other piece from Thursday’s rehearsal at Janet and Tom’s church. The run-though before the service made us conversant with half the service music the choir was singing. Almost everything else was sight reading. We trooped upstairs into the narthex. I saw Janet disappear, but the others melted away, too. Where was I supposed to be? Someone nabbed me and pointed to my spot in the lineup at the back of the sanctuary for the procession. Having never seen the inside of the church, I quit singing while negotiating the stairs. It would be most embarrassing to fall in front of the whole congregation. I thought I was home free when we sat down.
The Lutheran churches we attend almost all have communion every Sunday, but this was a Methodist church. Surely they wouldn’t. There on the altar/communion table was evidence we would have it. It’s a bit nerve wracking not to know how a church does it. I followed Janet through the distribution and wondered how to get back in the choir. John came and stood behind me, so I moved to the left. All of a sudden I realized there was a huge screen blocking the way, and I was face to face with it. What now? John hissed to duck under it. There was another couple going behind the altar area, turning, going up and down steps, and getting us back to the choir behind the scenes. At the close of the service, I wondered if we would recess as we had come in. No, I followed another woman beside the hidden organ, down some steps, and eventually back to the choir room. The other three didn’t and didn’t appear. I wondered if I’d missed some instructions. I never did find out what I missed.
After a quick lunch, we went to the first rehearsal of new music for Tom’s group — St. Martin’s Chamber Choir. This small group was sight reading very difficult music. We three sat in the pews following along with the scores. The singers were fantastic. Once in a while they stopped to iron out a difficult measure or so. Otherwise, they just sat there and sang at almost concert level. One fellow hooked a little tuning fork in his shirt. When they needed a fresh note, he hit it, held it to his ear, and sang one note. From that, everyone got their starting pitches. Any good choir can do that, but I was amused that he hit his head or glasses to get the note.
John’s second cousin, Anna, was waiting for us after the rehearsal for a short visit. She is the stunning daughter of Carolyn and Eric from Minnesota. Anna lives north of Denver and teaches kindergarten. We had a wonderful time with her. She helped us buy tickets for the light rail that took us into the center of Denver. There was a Bronco game about to start, so we knew parking would be impossible.
Janet and Tom heard there were some good restaurants in the old Union Station. We didn’t have reservations, but we were admitted to one of the upscale restaurants because we were willing to sit at a communal table. We found out that meant the very long table tucked away to the side. Evidently this place never moves tables to accommodate a group. It was perfect. No one came to eat at the other half of the table, and the area was quiet. I told the others that for one who was used to going to McDonald’s, the wait staff was a bit intimidating. We agreed to order a family meal that seemed to satisfy everyone.
We had never seen the way this restaurant delivered the bill. There was a wooden cube with the bill rolled up and stuck in a round hole in the top. We surmised the other smaller hole was the holder for a pen. The fellows put credit cards in the slots on the side. Has anyone else seen anything like that?
Anna was delightful. She talked with us as if there were no generation gap, laughed easily, and was a wonderful addition to the evening. They say pretty is as pretty does, and she was beautiful on all counts. We asked about vacations, and she said she began planning the next one as soon as the last one was over. She is already practicing rock climbing in preparation for a trip to Mt. Rainier next summer. Ice climbing and hiking are other things she likes to do. We were so happy John had arranged for her to join us.
An aside for Lutherans – If you’ve heard of the late F. Melius Christiansen, former conductor of St. Olaf College choir for 30 years, you’ll be interested to know that a very good friend of Anna is his great, great granddaughter. Not sure of the number of “greats” at this point. We laughed when Anna said the young woman is tone deaf.