In spite of not having any rain last night, I was certainly glad the wind changed directions, and with it coming from the north, made it all the less hot and humid. After getting a good look at some of our lawns, there were some grass spots definitely going into hibernation, and will remain as such until we get some rain, as it’s the only way in which our lawns survive these many hot and dry days.
I didn’t make it to office as early as normal, but still had enough time to get some office work done before heading over to First Baptist Church to play for the funeral I’d agreed to offer my services. After getting my print-outs readied, I went back to my pile of saved religious music and pulled enough appropriate funeral hymns for today’s long session. Before heading over, I placed a call to a dear friend to tell him about my musical morning, as well as asking him to say a little prayer all would go well.
Thinking forward, I decided to walk over instead of driving due to the number of people I was told would be there, and since their church is only four blocks away, the walk helped to clear my mind before entering their sacred space. I was amazed at how near-blinding bright it was outdoors, along with the sky being the most striking blue. That north wind must’ve blown all the gunk out of our lower atmosphere last night.
When I got there, the funeral home people were readying themselves, as well as some of the family members already seated. It was an hour before the actual Service started, which offered me another good half hour of practice before the seats started to fill up. One of the pieces I practiced, was that now popular, “Down to the River” which has been viewed on Youtube for likely over a million times. It certainly is an uplifting piece I would so love to some day accompany a choir or even a soloist singing it.
I ran thru that whole pile of music twice before it was time for them to begin, and about ten minutes prior to starting, the husband of the decedent walked up with the pastor under his arm while I was playing, so I stopped because I could tell he wanted to talk to me. Well, I got a good teary-eyed hug from him and a sincere thanks for agreeing to play for his wife’s funeral. I was also getting a bit choked-up, and the only soulful reply I could offer was, “I’m honored to do this as a tribute to your wife.”
As much as I was anxious over playing in front of their congregation, it really didn’t bother me at all, which I’m still trying to figure out why. Back about eight years ago when I played a grand piano that was stationed up at the front, I’d be nerved-up about it every time I had to play in front of all those people. I’m now wondering if I’ve finally learned to tune them out and focus my attention all the more on the music being played. I did make several little mistakes, but likely not even noticed by the crowd.
I played the solo piece they’d requested, along with a rich exiting hymn having been written by one of our our old music masters. I did open the organ up to it’s full capacity while playing it, just to see what the “old girl” could do. I was more than impressed with their organ’s richness and ease of playing. As much as I’ve grown accustomed to St. Paul Lutheran’s pipe organ, today’s instrument was much more comfortable, with the exception of my having to really watch myself when sliding of its bench because I managed to whack my knee a good one when climbing off which just about had me stooped in pain. That was a very “hard” lesson I’ll not forget.
What gave me a really big inward-smile, was when the head of the funeral home walked up to me afterwards and said, “You did a nice job today, but I had no idea you’ve been playing First Baptist’s organ.” You can imagine the shock he was in when I told him I’d not ever stepped one foot in their church until this past Thursday morning, but with a few hours of practice, I brought myself up to speed..
He knew I played at another church for years, but when I mentioned how First Baptist’s organ is just about as easy to play as theirs, along with offering richer tones, I couldn’t help being a little sharp when saying how rude that church was after I requested to begin playing for them again, and not one response to two messages I’d left. My real dig, was saying, “That church is one of the most tribal in our City, because if you’re in, you’re in for life, but if you’re on the outside wanting in, that’s an entirely different story.” That was another great dis-appointment I sent back out into the universe, while reminding myself that from bad things come good as long as we reach for them, and today’s experience at First Baptist Church was yet another one which un-expectedly arrived.
By the time I got back to office, it was nearing the hour I had to meet some buyers at a home that’d just come on the market. I was even less impressed with it than I was yesterday, and mostly because I’d noticed more flaws the second time thru which I made sure to point out to the buyers. They were actually talking about making an offer on it, until I nearly insisted they follow me over to 114 – 11th St. NE, just so we could make a comparison, which they finally agreed.
We spent a good amount of time talking about the pluses and minuses between the two, until finally the husband said, “I like this one better than the last.” Thank goodness there are still buyers out there who understand quality while over-looking those many “lipsticked” cosmetics which should mean nearly nothing to buyers in the long-term.
I offered to show it to them again this afternoon which they agreed, so after two viewings, I have a warm and fuzzy feeling they’ll be that grand home’s new owners. You can bet I’ll be working diligently to get it firmly sold and finally closed.
Tonight’s One-liner is: Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.