November 9, 2009

Stop the World! I Want to Get Off!

Has it really been more than a month since I last posted? I'm not really sure what that says about my life. It either means that I don't have one or that the one I have is way too busy and complicated to stop and take time to write about it. In reality, it's probably a bit of both.

I feel like I've been on a merry-go-round for the last six weeks and I can't get it to slow down long enough for me to step off of it. It started with preparations for our chorus annual show on October 3, which went very well -- one of our best. As co-chairman, there are always things to do towards the end to get ready. However, I'm also the Section Leader for Basses, so I was inundated with last minute quality control tapes to listen to and approve for the other singers in the section, and that took a tremendous amount of time.

I kept telling myself that once the show was over, I could relax, but of course, that didn't happen. At that point, I was busy putting the finishing touches on the plans for our "Tennessee Road Trip with a Little Alabama on the Side". For those of you who don't know about this...the Sweet Adelines International Convention/Competition was held in Nashville Octoberr 20-25. A group from our chorus decided to attend and enjoy the competitions (we were not competing). Since I had never been to TN or anywhere around there, I put out a plea for travel companions to spend a few extra days exploring the area. We ended up with a group of five fun-loving women who flew into Memphis the Saturday before International, rented a minivan and spent four days on a road trip through Tennessee, Mississippi (just passing through), Alabama and back to TN. It was fabulous!

We spent a day in Memphis visiting Graceland and getting a private city tour from a local guide. We ate the best barbecue I've ever had in my life at the world-famous "Rendezvous" in downtown Memphis -- a place I highly recommend if you're ever in town. The next day, we drove through MS to Huntsville, AL, where we visited the NASA Rocket and Space Center. Awesome! On Monday we hit the Unclaimed Baggage Store in Scottsboro, AL, then headed to Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, TN. Finally, on Tuesday we headed for Nashville....with a slight detour to Lynchburg, TN for a tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery!

We met up with the rest of our chorus buddies in Nashville on Tuesday. We spent some time watching the preliminary quartet and chorus competitions, but also took some time to see Nashville. We went on the General Jackson Showboat for lunch on Wednesday and took a tour that included Opryland USA and the Grand Ole Opry on Thursday. Unfortunately, my friend and roommate came down sick on Thursday night and I ended up spending all day Friday with her at the hospital and Saturday in our room taking care of her (mostly, watching her sleep 'cause she was knocked out by the medications). I didn't mind; she would have done the same for me. Aside from that, it was a great trip and one I'll remember for a long, long time!

After I got home, I figured that now life would settle down a bit. Not! The next weekend was the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and I had yet to do a single thing to raise money. Unfortunately, a dear friend and my niece, Rachel's partner, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy on the Tuesday after I got home from Nashville. The news is good -- doctors believe they got it all out -- so that's a big relief. I used Fay as my inspiration to raise money for ACS and wrote an e-mail asking for donations to send to my friends and family. In two days, I raised $500! There's still more coming in, too. I did the walk with my friend, Sue, and we had a ball. Since it was held on Halloween morning, we even dressed up with pink boa-covered bras!

Now? NOW? Did I finally get a bit of a break? Nope! I actually had a tour coming up the following week and had to prepare for it. A LARGE group of 8th-graders from Connecticut -- 7 buses/over 300 people -- arrived last Wednesday and I was one of seven guides to show them around through Friday. It was a wonderful group and I had a lot of fun with the students and adults on my bus! But it had been over five months since my last tour, so I was a little rusty, both physically and mentally. All went well, though, and we were blessed with three days of beautiful weather! We had a little rain on Thursday afternoon, followed by the shining sun, which created a gorgeous double rainbow that arched over the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial! It was so clear that we could actually see it all the way down to where it "touched" the ground on each end. I looked hard for the pot of gold, but couldn't find it. Rats!

So, maybe NOW things will slow down and the merry-go-round will stop spinning, right? Wrong! This week, I'm scrambling to update my resume for a big job fair for tour guides tomorrow...working on music for chorus because we have a coach coming to our rehearsal tonight...putting together the monthly newsletter for the chorus...completing a take-home exam so I can finish my requirements to move from Associate Member to Full Member in the Guild of Professional Tour Guides...getting ready to go to a scrapbooking retreat this weekend...working on quartet holiday music (including a new song) because we have a whole bunch of gigs coming up starting with Black Friday...looking forward to the naming ceremony and celebration for my great-niece, Hannah...still attending class at the Library of Congress....etc. You know, for someone who is "retired", I sure am busy!!

Maybe -- just maybe -- once we get past the naming, I can get a least, until Thanksgiving rolls around. My dear friend, Karpe, has offered to have the whole family to their place for dinner and I agreed to help her cook. We're both so busy lately (see above!) that we haven't seen much of each other, so I'm looking forward to it. It that's what it takes to get to spend time together, so be it!

The moral of the story is this: I wish I could post more often, but I'm doing the best I can. Thanks for reading when I do put things up and please check back frequently. I'll try to do better!


  1. I had no idea you had a blog! You're a great writer...and a joy to read. You have had a busy month. I feel your pain. I can't wait to see you this weekend. Thank you for walking for Fay. She was very touched. Fay and her "Frankenbreast" will be there this weekend as well!


  2. Thanks! I hope you have time to go back and read some of my older posts. I started it shortly after the Inauguration in January. I'm looking forward to seeing both of you on Sunday! Love, Aunt M.

  3. you are one productively, busy lady!
    So proud to call you friend!
    Love ya!