Friday, October 30, 2015


It's Halloween weekend, but for me it's mostly about All Saints Day on Sunday. That's because I'm spending Saturday morning in a rehearsal with orchestra for the John Rutter Requiem we're doing Sunday night, and then I'm also singing in a chamber chorale for both services Sunday morning. That means the rest of the weekend is going to be pretty quiet. The Requiem is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting to sing, and nerves will be on high because I've got a solo. I've sung by myself in church services, either as soloist with the choir or an ensemble or as part of a duet with solo parts, and even once as just a soloist, but this is a concert with orchestra. I'm mostly over the worst of my singing stage fright, but I'm nervous about this, and I think I'm mostly nervous about being nervous. If the nerves make me mess up, then it'll be back to square one. But I know I can do it. I've done well enough in rehearsal that even the pros have complimented me. I may be more nervous about the rehearsal with orchestra tomorrow because the while the audience is likely to be very supportive and less critical than I am of myself, professional musicians have different standards.

So, anyway, there will be lots of resting and taking care of myself to build up the energy levels. Today is cool and rainy, so it will be a writing day, and then the season premiere of Grimm is tonight. I'm skipping Saturday night's Halloween party in part because I can't really do a late night before the Sunday I'll have and in part because there are indoor pets at the host home, and I don't want to take the risk of an allergy flare-up. Under other circumstances, I'd just take medication, play with the pets, and then not worry about a little sniffling or wheezing. I'm planning on watching Doctor Who and some Halloween stuff and going to bed early.

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I mostly like Halloween because it's part of fall, which I love. I've always found it to be a magical time of year. I love looking at the colorful leaves. I even used to enjoy raking leaves. When I was a kid, I got excited about the idea of raking leaves into a pile and jumping in them (it was never as fun as it looked on TV, though). I've always loved fall clothes like plaid skirts, sweaters, boots, and hats. I love fall foods, like soups, stews, and stuff with cinnamon and apples. I remember checking a children's cookbook out of the library when I was a kid. It had a cookie recipe for each month, and for October it was snickerdoodles. The illustration was a snickerdoodle as the harvest moon, and that image has stuck in my head, so I associate snickerdoodles with October. This is a time of year when I want to take long walks in the woods and come home to have hot tea and cookies. I want to curl up with a good book on a rainy day. I want to watch romantic movies and drink hot cocoa.

Unfortunately, the season is fleeting. It comes so late here, and even though the fall weather often lingers until Christmas, once December arrives, "fall" gets replaced with "Christmas." In places where fall comes earlier (in Germany, it started to feel like fall in mid-August), winter comes earlier, though I suppose in many of those places, you actually get the season rather than a scattering of days over the course of months. There's only so much "fall" you can cram into the stretch from the last week or so of October through Thanksgiving. I have a list every year and seldom get to most of it. This year, just as the temperatures started dropping, El Nino hit, so it's too rainy to do much outside. And of course my vacation next week is going to end up getting rained on, though the forecast seems to change daily. I guess I'll get to walk in the cold rain and come back to my room for hot tea.

Now I'm going to devote the rest of the day to falling (I made it a verb). I think I'll bake some snickerdoodles and drink tea and write while watching it rain, in between bouts of practicing music (the second soprano part on Requiem is really tricky).

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