Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quintessential Fall

"Real" fall seemed a little slow in coming this year; but now that the calendar says November, I think it has arrived.  How do I know?  Well, let me count the ways...

1. Applesauce is being made and canned.
2. Fires in the woodstove burn every day.
3. My favorite sweater is being worn again.
4. Academic achievements are being celebrated (two days ago, David finished a math book; yesterday, Josiah finished a piano book).
5. Night falls earlier than in the long summer evenings, making a bedtime of 8:00 or 8:30 seem doable again.
6. A container of homemade hot chocolate mix resides in our kitchen, and every load in the dishwasher includes at least one or two mugs.
7. Daytime skies are often an unbelievable shade of blue:  clear and brilliant.
8. The seasonal sorting and switching of the boys' clothes is occurring (rather slowly this year, I'm afraid).
9. The garden is forlorn, needing some time and attention before it's tucked in for the winter.
and the big one...
10. Leaves are falling and being raked into a pile to be...what else?...jumped into!

I love Tobin's face in this next one.  :)

OK, we've jumped.  Now it's time to throw leaves at each other.  :)

I brought Shav out to join the fun, and I plopped him down in the middle of the leaf pile.  He hardly knew what to think.  Should I smile, or should I fuss?  Well, big brother David is pretty entertaining, so I'll laugh at him.

The Four.  Getting them all lined up, sitting still, looking at me, and being pleasant was nearly impossible.
I realized trying to restrain these wild young stallions was useless, so I let them go and the leaves immediately flew again.
It would have been nice to get some sweet sibling pictures.
But Shav was in a phase of "I don't think I like this leaf stuff!" and the pictures...well, it's obvious how they turned out.
Josiah wanted me to bury him, and then to uncover parts of him and take pictures.
 I obliged, capturing feet, legs...
...a hood, and a sliver of a grinning face.
Seeing Shav's reaction to the leaves today made me think of his reaction, months ago, to grass.  :)
I'm gonna cry.  No, I think I'll stop.
 I'll give a tentative smile, since you all seem to think these brown and gold crackling things are something special.
 OK, now I'm happy.
Uh oh, here comes Tobin.
What is he up to?
 Throwing leaves on my head, that's what!
I give up.  They won't stop pestering me.  I might as well enjoy it. 


Encounter #3
I was 14 years old, a sophomore, and had just switched schools from my private school of roughly 80 students total (K-12) to another private school which had 60+ students just in my grade:  an enormous adjustment.  Into that semester of new-student fog came a moment which significantly shaped the rest of my years at that school--and the rest of my life.

Jay Hartzler, the music teacher, knowing that I played the piano, approached me and asked if I would accompany the choir for one piece during the Christmas concert.  The piece was "This Endris Night," my answer was yes, and that was just the beginning for me.

I discovered the wonderful world of accompanying which became, so to speak, my true love in the world of music.  I found my place in that new school and earned the respect of the other students as they learned who I was and listened to me contribute to the group.  I gained admission to select choirs, not only at that school but also later when I was in college--admission granted to me not because of my singing talent (which was adequate, but not a stand-out), but because of my accompanying skills.  I had doors swing open to me in the world of music that I would not have dreamed of before that life-changing day when Mr. Hartzler said, "I'd like you to accompany 'This Endris Night.' Will you do it?"

Accompanying became so cherished to me that, were it not for other Encounters further down the road, I might have gone on to graduate school to pursue a master's degree in it and see how far I could go in accompanying, career-wise.  But, as is apparent at a glance, other Encounters changed my direction and led me away from that path.  I have no regrets.

But I do still have a keen fondness for accompanying, even if my only chance to do it these days is accompanying Josiah during his violin recitals. :)  Martin Chapel is a far cry from Carnegie Hall, but I am content...AND I'm grateful that Mr. H. took a chance on a new student and started me on the path of accompanying.

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