I have long aspired to being one of those people who uses the word “summer” as a verb.
As in, “where do you summer?”
“We summer in at our villa in Tuscany.”
or, “Why, in Provence, of course…”
or, for me, the pinnacle of “to summer, “…
“We summer in Maine.”
No Maine for me this summer. Spent the money on redoing Mike’s room as a computer lounge for our daughter. Money well spent, but I find myself missing the sea, the salt air, the lobster and the star-stuffed sky.
Not to mention the bracing cold of the sea (except that the water has been warming these past years – causing one old salt I overheard to complain, “the fish’ll be cooked befowah you catch ’em!”)
Yes, we could go down to the lake, where the water is reliably cold, even this deep into summer, but there have been lots of shore warnings this year – waves and rip currents.
So, ninety degrees again today and tomorrow, no air conditioning, humid. Feeling like a wet rag.
I don’t summer well, here.
Frizz, sweat and listlessness. After three solid days of digging weeds in the heat two weeks ago, and a little rain, finally, my front garden looks OK. But my vegetable garden is a shambles. Spent too much time on those darn chickens, and neglected to water it during a month long dry spell. So no squash, probably no zucchini (you have to be really bad at vegetable gardening to get through an entire summer with NO zucchini!) and a meager crop of beans – “haricot vert,” but then, I’m not summering in France.
But I do get to go to rehearsal tonight.
I was admitted into an excellent choral group – serious, rigorous, disciplined but fun. Such a relief to be among singers who get it right the first time, sight-sing like demons, and could blow me out of the water, sitting down, with their voices.
And who actually read and sing the dynamics. Balance and musicality and glorious music, flowing right along. Wow.
I like feeling like I’m a little out of my league and that I’ll have to work hard to keep up.
Mike loved my singing and stoked my ego when I Puccinied or Mozarted along with WFMT, our classical music station here in Chicago. Bless you, dear, for that. It’s a rare man who will listen to “Oh Mio Babino Caro” or “Doretta’s Song” or “Musetta’s Waltz” or the “Allelulia” a couple hundred times without begging for mercy. But you never did. You listened.
And though I’m a diva who never misses a chance to show off a solo high note (Ridiculouswoman, remember?) I’m a real softie for choral singing – there’s something about a large group of voices united in song that gets me every time. I mean I get choked up when I hear the crowd singing “My Old Kentucky Home” at the beginning of the derby each year (they’ve edited out the bad old lyrics) and I get a real thrill from any good performance of Beethoven’s 9th or Brahms Requiem. A Welsh men’s choir can stop me in my tracks, and I’m a sucker for a good sea shanty, too (probably influenced by my obsession with the Aubrey Maturin books.)
So tonight I get the thrill of singing with a large, talented, serious group of singers. And bonus, the church where this chorus rehearses is air conditioned! Hallelujah!
Wishing you the opportunity to raise your voice in song, with others similarly inspired, I remain,
your still-working-on-being-humble, devoted, warbling servant,