Sunday, July 1, 2007


What Would Jesus . . .Yell?
This is an interesting question, but not really where I am going. WWJY sums up my last day in Massachusetts. Witches, Water, Java, and Yarn.

After getting up at 5:45 every day and playing for 14 services, yesterday afternoon was a time for a little free wheeling - literally. Joy, who has played the flute and John Michael, who has played violin, with me all week took off for a scenic tour of the area. Joy loaded us all in her jeep, with the top down, and we headed out in the sunshine and fresh ocean air - for a little. Water, Witches, Java, and Yarn!

We ended up in Salem, hence the witches. It was a beautiful New England town. I had seen many tourist brochures advertising the witch museum, but we simply drove through the town. I am not sure that any of us had enough wits about us to take in the history at more than a superficial level.

We made a big circle and headed back to downtown Beverly. As we were approaching the edge of the commercial area, Joy swerved into a parking lot. We had no plans to stop so I wondered what she was doing. When I looked at where we were, it was a yarn shop. I crawled over the side of the jeep and made my way inside. I was the only knitter on this little field trip, but John Michael and Joy were willing to humor me. John Michael talked to the resident dog and Joy, though not a knitter, soaked up the beautiful colors and textures of the fibers. Before we were barely in the door, the woman behind the counter greeted us with a most cheerful voice. Being that we were obviously tourists, she asked where were from and what brought us to the area. I told her that I was from Texas and she responded, "me too!" She had been raised in south Texas. In fact she had just returned from a trip to Austin last week; we shared stories of our travels to Austin and Hill Country Weavers. All of the employees at this shop were cheerful and pleasant. I could have stayed all afternoon, but that would have been a little unfair to the others. We did ask them if there was a coffee shop that they would recommend. They suggested one diagonally across the street.

We all made our way to the coffee shop for a little caffeine to help us over the mid-afternoon slump. I had the best iced mocha that I think I have ever tasted. We all managed to make room for a sweet treat as well. Most drinkers are happy to close down a bar in the wee hours of the morning. This crowd closed down the coffee shop at 3 pm. It was a subtle reminder that we were in a small town and things don't have to do business 24/7.

With a few minutes to spare before we had to be back for evening prayer, we stopped for one last walk on the beach. The rocks and stones that had been washed up by the tides caught out attention. Scouring the shoreline, we found bright blue, green, terracotta, yellow - rocks of almost every color. We were like little children who had never been to the seashore before! An attempt was made by each of us to see how far we were willing to go into the water. None made it past about ankle deep. Needless to say, the water temperature is still on the cold side!

All in all it was a relaxing afternoon. The number of services we were asked to play with little or no practice and preparation was a bit on the stressful side. Add to that mix the fact that we had never played together, blood pressures were high. Having this time together to play and get to know one another beyond, "Are you playing the alto or soprano line" or "What are you playing for an intro?, allowed us to play better as an ensemble. Unfortunately, just as we were beginning to make real music together, the week was over. It will probably be five more years before we have another chance to make music together. Oh well . . .we worked hard; the reward is the gift of lifelong fellowship. Wat a blessing!

Here we all are with our head of liturgy after last night's Service of Profession.

After the final Eucharist this morning, I headed back to the airport. Though there was the possibility of long lines at security because of the recent problems in Europe, check-in at the airport was relatively painless. We did leave an hour late because of problems moving earlier plane off of our gate, but that was only a minor inconvenience. Once in the air, we were rerouted twice because of storms east of Texas. This scenic tour added another hour to our travel time. Once on the ground in Dallas, two hours late, we had to sit on the runway for 45 minutes until a gate was available. Our scheduled arrival time was 7:15. I finally walked off the plane at 10:08. It probably took another 30 minutes for the bags to come up. Except for the fact that I had not eaten all day because I missed breakfast to practice and lunch because of the airport shuttle schedule, and that I was exhausted, the trip was pleasant despite all of the unexpected delays.

I am glad to be home. All went well without me. That is nice to know. Perhaps I should find somewhere else to go!