Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dear Mrs. Shirley,

I checked Sitemeter for the first time in months and see that my readership has dwindled substantially. I'm not surprised; I rarely update anymore. It's not that things aren't happening in my life, or anything like that. It's just that, when it comes to writing, I've been more interested in journaling, my novel, and (of necessity) my job.

But I'm going to update now, and it's partly because I know I have at least one faithful reader in Plaquemine, Louisiana: Mrs. Shirley.

Hi, Mrs. Shirley!

My mom (Mrs. Gwen) came to visit this weekend and we had the most awesome time. We mostly just talked a lot, which was great. She came to church with me this morning, then we went to see On Agate Hill, a one-woman play starring Barbara Bates Smith, based on Lee Smith's novel of the same name. It was wonderful. I gave Mrs. Gwen a signed copy of the novel for Christmas last year, but she hadn't read it yet. But that didn't matter; Barbara picked and chose the scenes, and worked everything out in such a way that even those who hadn't read the novel could understand what was going on. Mrs. Gwen was crying in the end. It was a wonderful play. Absolutely wonderful.

Then, after Mrs. Gwen left, I went home and took a nap. I've never been a napper, ever, but now that I've officially entered my late 30s (I turned 37 and a half yesterday), I've suddenly started needing afternoon naps. I only get them on the weekend, but I get them every weekend. So I now take naps. What's with that?

Then I went running around Lake Junaluska. Yesterday's early-morning long run never happened, so I did my long run this evening: nine miles. It was an amazing run. (I just accidentally typed "fun" instead of "run." Hmm.)

As I made my second swing around the lake (about mile 6), I heard the most amazing music. I stopped and turned and went toward the direction of the music. Turns out the Junaluska Singers were performing for an Elderhostel event. I listened for a while to "When the Saints Go Marching In," "I'll Fly Away," and "Power in the Blood," then I tore myself away to finish up the run. I ran a little faster than I probably should have, then sprinted the final half-mile back to where the Junaluska Singers were performing.

The windows of the theater were open, and several people were sitting outside, listening to the singing. It was amazing. I looked rather uncouth, I must admit; my mouth was wide open. If my jaw could have dropped to the ground, it would have. I was seriously impressed. Mrs. Shirley, next time you plan to come up here, you need to (1) let me know you're going to be here!, and (2) plan to come up when you can see the Junaluska Singers. That was some of the best gospel music I've heard in a long time.

So then I came home to find that my piano teacher, Deborah, had left a message on my machine. I called her back reluctantly; I was anticipating telling her that I'd have to quit piano. Not because I wanted to, of course; it's just that my schedule, and the long drive to Asheville (it's a 2-hour drive from my new job to her house), piano lessons weren't going to be feasible.

Well, I think we worked something out. I won't have a lesson every week, but I'll have one a couple of times a month. So we're both happy. And maybe Johann Sebastian Bach is smiling down on me, knowing that I'll continue learning his glorious music, despite the challenges of keeping up lessons.

So, that's the news from my corner of the mountains, Mrs. Shirley. Thanks for reading!


Jammie J. said...

It does my heart good to know that things are well in your world... :)

Gordon Smith said...


Could you send me your email addy? I'm putting together a list to send invitations for BlogAsheville events.


scrutiny hooligans AT yahoooooooo Dot to the C Om

Laura said...

I'm still checking in now and then! Glad you didn't abandon the lessons. I start mine tomorrow!

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