Exponential Music

When I removed, temporarily, to the high desert last January; I was not quite clear of the duration of my stay here, but it was clear to me that I wanted to spend plenty of time writing, enjoying my grandkids, and doing as much music as possible. I took a job working as a server across the street in order to stave off starvation and feed my car, but, it was not a job as a singing waiter, so I endeavored to connect myself with extracurricular music. I joined the Symphony Guild and went to a couple of concerts; sang with the local Messiah Choral Society, and visited and joined Sweet Adelines; thus committing to long rehearsals and learning a ton of new music. Then miraculously, I was offered a full time job teaching Core Knowledge music. Umm. Do you think I have enough music in my life?

I go to sleep with my brain swimming in baritone harmony to a number of barbershop / swing tunes. I spend my days convincing eighth graders there is no business like show business; and fourth graders that my grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf. Third graders are sure now, that nobody is home, but that they will soon be able to keep on track and sing a tune while Ms. Teacher sings a round. All in due time. Seventh graders are amazed to learn that Ms. Teacher knows a tune – and the words- to the poem about a capital ship named Walloping Window Blind; which they learned last spring in sixth grade. Second grade has already begun the move west by workin’ on the railroad. First grade is primed for this year’s world series by step, clap, clapping, in ¾ time while they beg, “take me out to the ballgame.” Fifth grade exhibits fine reading skills by mastering ALL the vocabulary to FIVE verses of Battle Hymn of the Republic and sixth grade, well, sixth graders have learned to communicate precisely how they feel about the early start of a new school year by singing Hallelujah or humming me a funeral march. School has been in session four days. Do you think I am getting enough music in my life? Do you think we will be a singing school? You bet!

No Plan B; or the burden of poverty

Sorry to disappoint if you thought this post was a harangue about “the morning after” birth control plan. I am not going to mention that except to say: plan “B” birth control got its name from the original “Plan B”; the thing one does when plan “A” does not work out, or is less successful than anticipated.

In life, Plan “B” (and sometimes even plan “C” and “D” and on through to “Z”) are integral tools in the arsenal of the “can do” person. The “up and take another,” the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” or “let’s make some lemonade “philosophy.

Having a plan “B” and a plan “C” is part of thinking things through ahead of time; a part of comprehending that life’s situations are made up of relationships and people; and that because we can’t control people; there are a number of routes a situation can take. It is good to be prepared.

The existence of a plan “B” or plan “C” enables one to take healthy risks in business or other ventures. Plan “B” as a safety net enables confident learning. One is free to fly high and wild and soar to unexpected heights when one has a trustworthy safety net. One is free, as a child or neophyte, to learn a better plan B via mistakes and failures; without committing suicide or winding up in hell because the first experiment failed.

Acapulco, Mazatlàn, Puerto Vallarta; who cares. Somewhere back in time, I knew a couple who traveled to one of these picturesque destinations to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Upon arrival, they found the weather dismal with a constant drizzle. No problem, they immediately commenced plan “B” and hopped a few hundred miles to an alternate beach and cheerful sun. They were able to switch course “on a dime” because they had a few dimes to spare and with ease could alter travel and lodging arrangements.

Decades ago, I was a Tupperware Lady. One day as I was packing up my wares after a late morning coffee showing, I witnessed the essence of housewifely plan “B” in action. The man of the house was expected home for lunch. The woman was preparing grilled cheese sandwiches. With all the distractions, the sandwiches burned just before he walked in the door. Pulling out a can of tuna and a fresh loaf of bread, the woman never missed a beat; lunch was on the table with only 4 minutes delay.

The huge burden of poverty as I know it; the unrelenting stress; is that there is absolutely no room for error. Cheese and 8 slices of bread is all the pantry holds. Plan “A” must work or the world comes to an end; and the celebration is spoiled. A little bit of breathing room, a savings account, a modicum of emotional wealth; however, and one can self-alter the aim as the target moves. Who cares if it is plan A or Q or Z, as long as we are going with the flow; adjusting the destination as necessary.

I Sing, You Sing, We all Sing

I sing: with Sweet Adelines, in the shower, at funerals and parties, with the Messiah Choral Society each Easter, when I’m out walking, in weekend worship with a thousand other voices. P sings: with a rock band, at his computer studio, whenever the spirit moves him, and he used to sing with Colorado Children’s Chorale (when he was still a child) A sings: with a rock band, when she is writing songs with folk guitar. K sings: with many rock bands, when he is writing songs, when he is communicating with friends and family. My DIL sings: sometimes anonymously for ad jingles, sometimes backup on K’s recordings. And; all the grandchildren sing; even 11 month old Selah who cheerfully belted out “Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya (Offspring)“ in imitation of the vocalization she had just heard Philip produce. We all sing! Shortly, it will be time for me to return to the classroom, and yes, there we will all sing, every day as we learn through music. I sing, you sing, we all sing; isn’t that a wonderful thing?

Hidden Plotmasters

Hidden Plotmasters

Originally uploaded by ein feisty Berg

We bravely decided to come out of hiding; market our stuff; court rejection and accolades; share our hearts with the world. Counterclockwise: Carrie, Andrea, Heather, Me.  We are novelists, short story writers, screenplay writers, bloggers.  Visit our sites. Read what we write. Come hear us read what we have written. And please, please, buy our books once they are in print! You can say you knew us back when we were corny enough to pose for pictures!

The Perfect Birthday

A and C trek

Originally uploaded by ein feisty Berg

For me, a perfect birthday consists of
Favorite Things (Music, Mountains, Hiking, Travel, etc).
Early in June, 19 year old A asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I knew the Colorado Children’s Chorale Tour Choir (my most favorite children’s singing group – see link at the left) was at that moment in residency in Vail, so I said I would like very much to go hear their free culminating concert in the Ford Amphitheatre.

My Favorite Things

birthday trek

Originally uploaded by ein feisty Berg

We sat out relatively early Saturday morning with a packed picnic lunch. A drove, making it possible for me to sit back and enjoy the ride and the ever changing light and landscape. On the way we stopped and hiked to Hanging Lake, basking in the beauty of summer mountain foliage, waterfalls; the creativity of observation, and the exhilaration of exertion. Arriving in Vail we were mesmerized by the setting and the music and performance of the young voices and were able to greet a few old acquaintances