Winds: Of weather, an orchestra, and changes ahead. Oh, and the typhoon that hit the playroom.

We have a Nor’easter blowing hard today– hard rain, very cool temps, strong winds.  They’re always kind of an adventure, actually, with the horizontal rain, big gales, and (for here) crashing surf.  But with this summer’s awful weather so far, we could have done without another adventure of this particular type.  The kids are restless, the dog is restless.  I’m not restless, exactly, but… I’m not sure what to do with myself (given that I don’t really WANT to go clean the basement, which was recently hit by a kid-strength typhoon.)

Last night was Chloe’s big concert at Jordan Hall– a gorgeous old concert hall at the New England Conservatory.  For the last four years, she has been part of the Festival Youth Orchestra at the Conservatory.  In three weeks, the conductor and teaching faculty get this orchestra performing a new repertoire each summer– and these kids blow you away with their professionalism and musicality.  Every year since that first amazing concert (when I sat in the audience and cried when my little girl– the tiniest kid in the orchestra back then, at 11– played Copland’s “Appalacian Spring”), I tell myself not to expect too much.  It can’t possibly be as magical as the previous year.  And every year it is.  Last night they played Beethoven’s 5th (you know, buh-buh-buh-buhm!), among other things.  Goosebumps.

Chloe is a very good cellist, but somewhere near the middle of the pack in terms of the talent in this orchestra– some of these kids (and they come from all over) are amazing.  But she loves the experience every year– the more intense the rehearsals, and the more ambitious the program, the better she likes it!  And I am thrilled that she loves the process, and that she will carry these performances with her for the rest of her life.  She now knows this music inside and out, and she has experienced the power of performing it in a full orchestra.  Not many of us get to do that (or CAN do it, for that matter!).

Will came in from Texas last night– I picked him up at the airport on the way to the concert.  A very short 6-day trip, but boy did I miss him.  With Chloe gone so much of the summer, he has been my companion!  Reminds me of when he was at boarding school but would have long breaks when everyone else was in school.  Despite the distance and heartache when he was gone, we really bonded during that year.  The littles and Gus missed him, too.  Gus was beside himself when Will got home last night, and when the littles saw him this morning they were jumping up and down.  Quinn even told Will he “missed the poke-a-brains” (which is Will’s big brother way of annoying Quinn with a little poke in the forehead).  While he was in Marble Falls with Rusty and Lyn (his grandparents), Will visited Trinity College and Univ. Tex.– his first college visits.  Can we really be getting to that point?

None of this is to underestimate the importance of my constant little companions, Claire and Quinn.  Just a different relationship, you know?  Quinn is currently running around in his cowboy horse costume, pretending to be– not a cowboy– but Scooby Doo.  This is a nice change from the ballerina and princess costumes he usually wants to wear.  Although, he and Claire did just deliver me a perfume-drenched letter from their other sister, the Snow Princess, inviting me to come visit her.  Luckily, Claire “speaks Princess” so she was able to decipher the note for me.  I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time with the snow princess in just a few short months.

My coffee has gone cold– Mexican shade-grown from SBX.  The ruins of a pancake breakfast are spread across the table around me (because yes, since I started writing, I’ve had to break multiple times for various things like feeding my children!).  The children have gone to the basement to begin that cleanup– though my hopes are not high.  Guess I will go nuke my coffee and join the general cleanup.  Hope you are having a sunny, bright day, my friends!

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