Now It Can Be Told

Pilgrim Monument, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, one of our undisclosed locations this past week.

All right, now I can reveal the undisclosed location I was at last week. Actually, it involved several locations. See, I lied about having a staycation in last Monday’s Biscuit City. I did this to protect my valuable goods. If I had any, that is. Probably my most valuable “possession” is Nacho the Cat whom I will be glad to see and she will be over the moon to see me. Hang on, Nacho, Daddy’s coming!

Last Thursday we got up about 5 AM to be taken to Dulles Airport by Nephew Josh who did yeoman service driving the mighty Impala and depositing us at the airport at 6:30. We thought there wouldn’t be that many people afoot at that early hour but there were teeming hordes of them. We had checked in online so we put our bags in and went through security, arriving at the terminal gate about 8 AM for an 8:30 flight. We grabbed a breakfast sandwich and boarded the flight which was a turboprop.Please remind me to check the flight equipment before I book a flight.

So, we were on our way to Raleigh-Durham Airport or more specifically to Durham to visit our friends Ed and Marji Bratcher. Ed was pastor of our church for fifteen years, and we have kept in touch with them. If you know them, they are both doing well. The assisted living facility they live in is amazing, and the food is wonderful. If I lived there I would weigh about 400 pounds.

Item two on the agenda was a choral music reading conference sponsored by Hinshaw Music. If you’ve never been to a choral music reading conference, don’t go. (Little joke, there, Becky!) No, in this activity each participant is given a packet or several packets of music (all published by the company putting on the reading, strangely enough) and then everyone reads through the anthems. There were about 300 people there, including a lot of choral directors, so the group sounded good even though we were sight-singing.

A rather distant shot of John Rutter, directing. The man is a genius.

The reason there were 300 people at this event (which typically draws about 100) is that John Rutter, the premier choral composer in the world today, led one of the segments. He is witty, charming, tells great stories and can write the stripes off a zebra. I got him to autograph two anthems, one that was sung at William and Kate’s wedding for Alyssa and one for Amy, “Look at the World,” which is about the wonders of the natural world, including animals which her students are fond of.

After the day’s events, we went back and had dinner with the Bratchers and headed out for an evening concert of the choral music we had gone over, done by some fine singers who had actually rehearsed it. John  Rutter conducted several of his pieces for the second half, and they were glorious.

We left the assisted living facility the next morning about 4 AM to make a 6:05 flight to Providence, RI to be picked up by our long-time friend Jerry Cerasale. The flight, which used a jet, stopped at Dulles so we could say hello to Northern Virginia. We walked up to the connecting flight’s gate and walked right on the aircraft. Jerry picked us up at 9:30 and we were on our way to the house on Cape Cod  (Eastham) the Cerasales own and will eventually retire to. They are models of hospitality. Jan puts together gourmet meals and we had many good and deep conversations. Cape Cod has historic and natural wonders, and we sampled both. And oh, yes, the shopping, as Becky will tell you, is marvelous.

So, Jan drove us back to the Providence Airport Thursday afternoon and we got into Dulles about 4:15. It was a busy time away; it was good to get away, but it’s always good to come home. Amy and Alyssa came Friday, keeping up the more or less steady presence of Verners at the Cerasales.

I hope you have as restful a vacation as we did.

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