Been a busy several days. Saturday, we had our Knox Music Series performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Christmas Cantata: Vom himmel hoch da komm ich her, and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Hodie; it went well, I think. The next morning, we had a regular church service, with very simple music. We didn’t really have the time to learn anything too complicated. Besides, there was the Christmas Eve candlelight service just a few days later. That’s a lot of singing for a choir that normally performs once a week for maybe 15 minutes.
After the Sunday morning church service, I ran to the restroom and changed – I was heading to the Bengals game. What a game it was! Good Andy Dalton showed up and made the Vikings look like a college team, while the defense held up their end. There was a bit of screaming and cheering and speaking loudly to be heard. I anticipated being a little hoarse Monday morning. Bit worse than that. It actually hurt to speak Monday morning, and a good bit of the afternoon. I could still barely talk on Tuesday; singing was out of the question. I stayed at my father’s house for Christmas Eve, since I couldn’t sing. Got to see the little kids open their presents, so that was cool.
I was concerned, though. Losing my voice permanently is a trauma for me up there with my PKD diagnosis. It’s part of me, something that makes me happy, that I can use to express what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking. I make up little songs for myself sometimes; other times I sing ones others have written. Being able to sing is almost as important as breathing for me. I didn’t really realize that until, well, in 1997 when Julie Andrews had those nodes removed and the surgery was botched. I cried. I cried for her, yes, but I also cried because I could easily imagine how I might react to such a thing. This past week, I was hit with that fear again. Fortunately, it would seem that is not going to happen this time; I’ve gotten to keep what’s left of my voice (used to have 4 1/2 octaves – just under 4 that you’d actually want to hear…just because you can hit the notes, doesn’t mean you should). Whew!
Christmas Eve itself was a bit on the chaotic side. Well, it would be if you have a house full of people (a bit over 30 at last count). It’s a good chaos, though; fun. Just siblings and their descendants and various hangers-on – okay, significant others, some of whom helped make another layer of descendants. The next morning, breakfast at my oldest sister’s house. Something happened there that I didn’t really expect – I felt comfortable.
Okay, let me explain that one. See, there’s being comfortable enough to not feel like an intruder, which I’ve felt for quite some time, and then there’s feeling comfortable enough to be who you are without worry of repercussion. It was the latter. Perhaps even ‘safe’ isn’t out of the question. In spite of the fact I was exhausted, because my neighbor is an ass, I was good. Gave my niece one of my favorite childhood books, then hung out for an hour or so. Couple hours, actually. Didn’t really notice how long I’d been there. So yeah, it’s a good thing.
Anyway, on Christmas Eve, I handed out a few photos I’d had printed for my sisters and father. Just some shots I took in Daytona. Naturally I had my own camera with me that evening; growing children need to be recorded as often as possible. Good practice, anyway. Since I couldn’t sing, couldn’t do the Christmas Eve candlelight service at my church, I stayed the entire evening for once. Got to watch the little ones open their gifts, so that was nice.
I had a lot of things on my mind at one point; the voice thing sort of knocked it all out. I’d even written notes to myself, so I’d know what I wanted to write about; I deleted them. Life goes on. I’ve been off work since Christmas day, and don’t go back until January 2nd. I really needed the break. I’ve not been out with my camera, aside from my father’s house on Christmas Eve, but I think I’m going to make the time Monday or Tuesday. I haven’t taken anything really since, well, November, and that was a gig.
Because of the holidays, people are coming home for the season. Thursday, after a morning appointment, I had lunch with a few friends that I’d only met online. I was very nervous about it, as I usually am when I meet someone new; I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they be the same as they were online, or would they be different than what they presented? Would I be uncomfortable or bored, or would they? As it happened, I need’nt fear; it was a great lunch. Last night, I spent several hours at the local casino with a bunch of other people I’d only met online, for the most part. Both of these groups have something in common, though – our high school. I’m constantly amazed by how tightly-knit our alumni can be. People who graduated years apart, who weren’t even in the building at the same time, meet up at events, hang out, put in friend requests on Facebook. It’s pretty cool. Our greatest rival is the same, it would seem. At least, so I was told last night by someone who graduated from there.
Well. Maybe I’ll remember what I wanted to write about at some point, and I’ll make a note that I won’t erase. For now, I just wanted to keep my promise to myself, and write. I’d told myself it didn’t have to be good; I think I managed that one today. Happy holidays, for whatever holiday you may be observing.