Yes, It Really Is Christmas in July

For all choir director-type folks, Christmas comes early. We are planners by nature . . . or force of habit . . . so that means research and the ordering Christmas music takes place in the summer months. Mostly in July, really. By then, we are beginning to focus on the Fall matters at hand — schedules, anthems, personnel, volunteers, robe cleaning, music library organization, etc — typically driving our senior pastor friends nuts. After all, we expect sermon plans to be provided from now through the end times. [We may not know the day Jesus is returning, but we’d like to have an anthem in the folder just in case he does.]

So, Christmas begins now, really. My desk is a wreck but it’s all good. Before long, carols will be sung & rung. Now, off to bug Lynne about sermon plans!

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After One Week Back at the Office . . . .

The planning and preparation it takes for one to leave office almost makes it worth not going. But, now that I’ve been back for a week, the amount of things that are now in the planning stages or that I have to execute are enormous, too. Now, I’m not whining . . . I love my ministry work. However, a simple view of my desk shows the current status of all my projects — in progress. Sigh.

Church musicians, can I get a witness?

The panorama shot distorts the actual shape of my desk. However, it does show the ministry clutter I seem to have accumulated.
The panorama shot distorts the actual shape of my desk. However, it does show the ministry clutter I seem to have accumulated.

Vacation Blog: Little Rock and Arkadelphia

Beautiful travel day as we drove from Nashville to Little Rock. We had never been to the Clinton Presidential Library. Rhonda made friends with the volunteer greeter at the library, a very sweet WWII vet who was a Navy man. He was very excited to hear the tales of our graduation experience in Great Lakes, IL. We took the tour of the library and walked the old railroad bridge that crosses the river. We’ve been to many historic sites, with actors portraying those historical figures who lived there. This is the first time we’ve been able to hear a historical figure talking about himself. Finished the day with a great meal with John and Christine, Rhonda’s sister and brother-in-law. We spent the night in their home . . . sans all our wonderful kids. Can’t remember when that last occurred.

Heading back to Missouri City on Wednesday.

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Vacation Blog: Nashville, The Ryman and Pralines

After a brisk 2.5 mile walk at our favorite park, we headed to downtown Nashville. We toured the famous Ryman Auditorium, home to the Grand Ole Opry until 1974. We visited the dressing rooms for the stars who perform there. The rooms are given names for many of the legendary performers — Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash, Women of Country Music, and Minnie Pearl to name a few. We then walked around the famous pews and looked at the memorabilia. We spent a good part of the day window shopping and looking around Broadway. I think there are more bars here on one street than in Austin. The area was full of live bands playing — their music filling the air. After a quick bite, we had dessert at Pralines by Leon, featured on Food Network and caterer to George Bush’s inauguration. Before we left, we peeked into Tootsies, a bar where stars will enter when they are playing at the Ryman. Alas, no stars . . . and it was in the middle if the day . . . and no one was playing the Ryman at the moment.

Tomorrow: Little Rock & the Clinton Presidential Library.

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Vacation Blog: Traveling to Tennessee

Today was a day of travel. We slept in a bit, ate breakfast at the hotel and departed Chicago. We decided last night that we would take an eastern route, going through some cities and towns we had never been through. First stop, Indianapolis, IN, where we had lunch at The Tamale Place — home of the half pound tamale. We chose this based on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, which had featured the place on the show. Never thought we would ever say that Indy could have the best tamale . . . but we have to now. Best. Tamale. Ever. Once we were sufficiently stuffed, we drove past the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Our destination was Nashville, which took us through beautiful Kentucky. It was picturesque. Our evening ended with a brisk 2 mike walk at a wonderful local park that was located very close to our hotel. The park was built around a fort and plantation home from the 18th century.

Tomorrow: it’s a wild-card day in Nashville.

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