Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dreams and Visions

Work has been rough the past few weeks, but I think the worst is finally behind us, and we're able to come up for air. Whew. So Jim & I escaped town yesterday, and headed to Dave & Joyce's home in Chicago. It was a brief visit, because we have not only Bonnie the Beagle to worry about, but also a guest pup, but a short visit is better than no visit!

Most of Dave & Joyce's children were in town, so we enjoyed the opportunity to catch up just a little bit. Emily & Jeff, Sarah & Adam, David P & Cassie, Jon & Laura, and their kids were all there. (We missed Doug & Mandy...).

Some things we did:
  • Watched the grand-nieces and grand-nephews playing together
  • Reminisced about past pregnancies (really? yep)
  • Watched videos of Jeff's fireworks shows
  • Ate caramels that Jim & I picked up at the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market. (I finally tried one of the Habanero caramels.) (In the future, will stick to the salted caramels.)
  • Folded programs for the Chicago Pilgrims' Chorus concert
  • Admired the qualities of the crepe pan that Sarah bought in France
  • Made Adam's ears burn
  • And so forth. Nothing spectacular, but it was pleasant to just hang out a bit.

In the afternoon, we all attended the Chicago Pilgrims' Chorus concert, Dreams and Visions: In the Mind's Eye.

Dave & Jon are the tall guys in the back row.
Joyce & Laura are 4th & 3rd from the right, in the front row

Joyce founded and conducts this chorus, to provide "an outlet for choral singers to practice their art during the summer months when other choral organizations may be less active." Their program yesterday explored the power of visions and dreams. There were a number of selections from Mendelssohn's Elijah oratorio, along with more contemporary pieces that addressed "the vision by which we interpret the world."

He Never Failed Me Yet, by Robert Ray, was my favorite piece in the concert. I'd never heard this before, but found it surprisingly moving. Here's a performance of the piece, from YouTube:

Another piece that I enjoyed was Song for the Mira, by Allister MacGillivray. This is a folk song, inspired by the Mira River in Nova Scotia. It is sweetly nostalgic. This version is by John McDermott.

After the concert, we enjoyed a bit more visiting, and then headed home - just as a wicked thunderstorm arrived. We discovered, to our dismay, that the gas gauge was on empty (how did we let that happen???). So, notwithstanding the pouring rain and blowing wind and lightening and thunder, we had to stop for gas - only to discover that the storm had knocked the pumps out.

We finally were able to fill the tank, just inside Indiana. We traveled home with that storm, slowed down by the pouring rain that reduced visibility. When we finally reached home, we seemed to have arrived ahead of the storm - but it never made it to Kalamazoo. We got a bit of rain, but nothing as dramatic as what we drove through.

Jim did most of the driving this trip - which meant that I was able to finish the scarf I've been knitting for Foster Care to Success - hurrah!!!

Here are some more pictures (such as they are):

A good shot of Sarah; not such a good shot of M!

Girl cousins! S, N, M

Chilling before the concert

Grandkids bring flowers for the conductor

More flowers - little J is not so sure about this

The youngest little guy, with S

Laura & Jon and one of their boys

Back home, pups share the couch

The finished scarf

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