Friday, February 29, 2008

Triple Play

I love to get bargains at the grocery store, although don't have much time to pursue that hobby. But on Monday, I found Sunsilk shampoo, usually $3.50 a bottle. (I wouldn't pay that.) On sale for $3.00. There was a bundled package on the shelf of two together, buy one get one free. And I had a coupon for $2.00 off the purchase of one bottle.

Two bottles of shampoo for a dollar. That was a triple play. Fun.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Restaurant Blast from the Past

We had a favorite restaurant here in town, Capri's, that got new owners a couple of years ago who tampered with the menu (which had been the same for years and years and which paralleled sister restaurants in nearby towns), ran off their regular clientele, and closed last summer. We really missed it, as Mike and I used to go from time to time, get two chopped steak dinners with Capri's great salads & onion rings, and get out of there for under $20.

This evening we had to drive to Easley for a purchase for Mike's work. There's a Capri's there, so we tried it. It was like going back in time. The same great meal, the same great salad, the same great onion rings. We might have to make a drive to Easley more often!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Playing in Spanish

Our Spanish ministry had a need for a piano player, so another lady and I are sharing the duties, every couple of weeks. Now, after 30+ years of playing piano in a multitude of ministry situations, you'd think that this would be a piece of cake--no special music, just show up and accompany congregational singing. It's true that there is no preliminary stress. However, it is very unnerving to read music from a hymnbook when everything is written in Spanish. I never realized how much a pianist depends on the words just to keep context. In English, if the song is "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," as soon as I see the title I know exactly where to go on the keys and can play it without even having a book in front of me, in G or A flat, probably in E flat, F, or just about any key--take your pick. However, when the title and all the words are foreign, I have to hunt and peck for a measure or two just to know what the song is! And even then, there is no reinforcement of where we are in the song by just glancing at the words. So it is stretching my capabilities.

I tell people that they won't let me play in English any more, just Spanish. :-) That's because there's no early service any more, so technically I've been "laid off" from playing in regular church. But it's interesting for an English teacher to be brought to her knees by a lack of understanding of the language being used. Yesterday the pastor handed me a little Valentine gift for helping. I had to ask his wife to tell me what the note said. That is humbling!

Yesterday, while playing the song on the right side of the page, I glanced at the left and saw Mas Alla de Sol. That's the song that Andrew and I, in Mexico with our church/school group nine years ago, absolutely loved hearing the Mexicans sing--and we've never been able to find it since then. He will be as pleased as I was.

The people in Spanish church are very friendly. I've not been able to talk with them, not only because of the language barrier, but because I only stay for the music. But there are a couple of ladies, in their late 20's or early 30's, who always smile at me with their hearts, if you know what I mean. Yesterday one of them who I'd not seen in a couple of weeks made eye contact with me during the announcements and waved at me across the fellowship hall. She's my friend.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Storm brings back memories

This week's serious tornado outbreak in the mid-South brought back memories for me from when I was sixteen years old. I remember well the massive tornadoes of April 3, 1974 (there is a website commemorating that night at that greatly affected the area where we lived. I remember as we drove toward Moulton seeing a huge, oddly-colored green cloud, and my dad saying that something was very serious about that cloud. We couldn't see the actual funnel, but the cloud itself was ominous. I remember getting to church and the power being off; then reports started coming in, of the couple from our church who died as they were running to the storm cellar, of their son who was seriously injured, of the mother who died on the ground as she laid on top of her child but she was hit with a two-by-four missile, of the families who died as their homes exploded around them. I remember watching TV with Mark late that night when Mom and Dad were gone to the hospital to visit the injured boy, them not realizing that another round of storms was on its way to our area, and I remember thinking that Mark would laugh at me if I said we needed to wake up our sisters. I remember the weatherman saying "Take cover--a tornado is headed for southwest Decatur!" And there we sat, the girls asleep in their rooms. We just didn't recognize the danger. The tornado hit about five miles away.

In the succeeding days, I remember school being out because of power outages, trees down everywhere, and devastation of homes and property, especially in the outlying areas. I remember playing the piano for a family of four that died in the storm when their home exploded while they were getting ready for church. We did not know them but they were related to someone we did know, and they needed a pianist for the funeral. Four caskets were lined up in front of the church. I remember playing the piano at the service for the couple that we knew that was killed. The caskets were open and there was a viewing for an hour before the funeral. The piano was located in such a way that I could see the deceased woman's swollen face, and the reaction of everyone who saw her, for the full hour of visitation as I quietly played hymns.

On Sunday night after the Wednesday tornado outbreak, as we were driving home, we took a detour through the town of Trinity to see the damage there. One of us, I don't remember if it was me or one of my sisters, burst into tears: "I don't want to see any more tornado damage!" My dad turned the car back onto the main road and we went home.