Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Art of Hearing

Every time that I feel like I had a rough pipe organ Sunday, without fail, a very sweet elderly lady comes up after the church service and tells me how much she appreciated my playing. Different lady each time, but it happens without fail. Every time. This odd bit of trivia got me to thinking today – We all hear music differently.

My brother-in-law loves to quote lyrics as Facebook responses. Pretty universally, stuff I don’t know. Whatever he’s quoting is not part of my Internal Song Book. Let’s just say that our musical tastes differ wildly. I still kind of like that he leaves the quotes though. I figure music’s music, and I’m all for the thrill it brings people, no matter what the lyrics are. (Besides, I love a good rhyme.)

Whoops – almost passed it. There’s my point.

My Internal Song Book is made up of the poetry of Lorenz Hart, Ira Gershwin, Dorothy Fields, Frank Loesser, Cole Porter. Our great American tune poets of the 20th Century. Same deal, I figure. Much as I don’t live in the musical world that Brother-in-Law does, he’d need a map to navigate my musical landscape. I don’t reply in kind with my own lyrics, but it’s fun to think about the confusion I could create if I left a response in Porter-ese –

Brother-in-Law – Went to church today. I never sing the hymns.
Me – “I hate paradin’ my seranadin’ as I’ll probably miss a bar …”


Brother-in-Law – Poker game tonight with the boys.
Me – “I don’t like crap games with barons and earls …”

True, he’d probably ask what the hell I’m talking about. But he’d get it. That is, he wouldn’t know exactly why I love that music, but he’d know exactly how I love it.

Perhaps then, music is, if not the universal language, a universal understanding. It’s one of the few things we all get. It’s one of the few things that for all our differences in taste and experience, we understand the love of it.



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Rest in Pieces

The gravestones have been prepared.


The graveyard fence is being built.

The ghouls are in queue, waiting to emerge.

The lights and electronics have been tested. And (a few miles?) of extension cords, power strips, and black tie line have been assembled.

Must almost be time for the annual Gabriels Graveyard! Can we call it a local institution if it’s only the second year?


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Down South, Adirondack Style

It was time for the annual Drive-to-Lake-George-and-Queensbury Pre-Winter shopping trip. Two hours South. I totally should have asked Carole if she was in the area! Didn’t think of that until we got back.

Am I allowed to call it an “annual” drive if it’s the first time we’ve ever done it? We wanted to last year, but we didn’t trust the Jeepalopy to take us there and back. South of Lake George, in Queensbury, it’s sort of an outlet store situation. I know folks always say that outlet prices aren’t what they ought to be, but at least in Queensbury, I find they are. Great quality stuff at great prices (as they say).

In addition to the shopping, the drive is spectacular, especially when the leaves are at peak color. Check this out – Keene Valley, near the AuSable Club …

We’re pretty good on coats and quilt-lining jackets and such. (I have a serious jacket habit.) And we don’t really wear hats. Hate ’em. I use the hood on my parka instead. But, being as we couldn’t get down there last year, when last Winter came, we were still standing in our three-year-old leaky, beat-up New York City pseudo boots. It was seriously time to remedy that. J got some duck boots, and I decided on calf-height, fuzzy-lined, waterproof Bass boots. Of course, I had to try them on in the parking lot to take a photo …

Got to work on our Halloween shopping too. I added a few full-sized skeletons, and I picked up the stuff to make some more gravestones. Now that we have the space, I do a big Halloween thing each year. Satisfies the now-latent theatrical designer in me. I used to love to design shows. Expanding on last year’s graveyard, I’ll be getting to work soon. Big project. Suffice it to say, there’s construction involved, and I’ll be going up a ladder into a tree to hang the theatrical lighting. Right here in little ol’ Gabriels! Here’s a shot from last year …

However, as far as I am concerned, the event of the day was lunch. We went to The Log Jam, a favorite restaurant. We love it. The food is good, and I like the fact that they have an excellent salad bar and fresh bread. But I think the real reason we love it is that it reminds us of eating in Walt Disney World.

How’s your Winter shopping and Halloween plans coming, Friends?


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Beast Blessings

The Episcopal Church welcomes you, and Fido too!

This is pretty awesome. I’m playing for this service tomorrow, at gool ol’ St. Luke’s.

The corner of Church and Main Streets in Saranac Lake will be alive with woofs, meows, and perhaps even clucks when church and community members bring their wagging, squirming, wriggling, fluttering beloved creatures (two-legged, four-legged, no-legged, winged and finned) to St. Luke’s for a special service. (I have it on good authority – a snake and his human are attending, my dog Rufus will be there, a few cats I have the pleasure of knowing, and I’m told, a bunny.)

In honor of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, The Church of St. Luke in Saranac Lake will be holding a Blessing of the Animals service on Saturday, October 2nd at 5pm. Cats, dogs, snakes, elephants, parakeets, alligators, emus, lizards, chickens, plush toys, and animals of all stripe and color are welcome at a special service of music, a blessing, and prayers especially for them.

The service will be held outdoors on the church’s front lawn and large porch, weather permitting. Guests are welcome to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs. If the weather becomes a problem, the service will be held inside the church. A reception (with treats for animals and their humans) will follow the service. The Rector respectfully requests animals be on a leash, contained, or in a carrier.

(pictured – Rufus, the official photo)

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