January 2010

After a beautiful Christmas full of warm fellowship and lovely blessings, our family embarked on the New Year. The time threw us into much meditation upon the last year, and new resolutions for the next. We focused, in particular, on two verses which touched us. Romans 12:12 - 'Be joyful in hope; persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly.' And Psalms 1:2-3 - '…who delights in the law of Yahweh and murmurs his law day and night. Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds.' Such life-giving commandments and wonder-full promises! A few days later found us watching the weather with great consternation. Scheduled in New York City for rehearsals Friday and showcases on Saturday, the Blizzard of 2010 seemed to be sweeping right towards us, and then directly up our route. So, in order to escape certain snow-floods, we packed rather haphazardly, tied up as many loose business-ends as we could, and loaded in our vehicles for the long drive into the north-eastern tip of the country.

Despite very cold weather, we did outrun the snow, though a storm three or four days before our departure provided a lovely lily landscape through the Pennsylvania farmlands. We came into NYC late Thursday night, slept blissfully into the next day, and then got up and began running errands. With a very skilled violin specialist just a few blocks away, we carried our stringed instruments down to the shop, where they were adjusted in a lovely, antique recital hall, with gilded mirrors, old paintings, and 1700s-esque furniture. It was a very intriguing atmosphere, especially with violin music streaming from the old-fashioned stage.

Once the instruments were all fixed up, we put on our scarves and mittens and drove through many concrete monstrosities and digital billboards, passed hundreds of mentally isolated and needy people, went by neon advertisements and historical relics, and arrived at Carmine's restaurant on Times Square. The food was utterly delicious, as always, the fellowship as enjoyable as ever, and, very full and very warm, we all emerged onto the freezing sidewalk and made our way back to the hotel. We spent the afternoon setting up and rehearsing, and then, finding ourselves with an evening open for entertainment, the young folks journeyed out into the cold, clear twilight. The evening was a blast of fun, including taxis, crisp walks through Times Square, yummy New-York-style pizza at a hole-in-the-wall ristorante, and a movie with absolutely stunning cinematography.

Next morning was a very busy one, full of sound-checking and getting ready for the onslaught of showcases that afternoon. Starting a little after 2 PM, we began back-to-back 40-minute concerts, going once every hour until we ended the last performance at 11 PM. It was quite a marathon, but the work was well rewarded. That night, our fingers still tingling from playing, we loaded out until 2 AM in sharp, bitter winds––or, rather, the men did, while the girls wrapped up in blankets and slept on makeshift pallets in the green room until they were done (we are the weaker vessel, after all!)––and drove out of the City in the wee hours of the morning.

The sun rose and set upon the peregrination through the plains. The highway surroundings provided beautiful scenery: the bare, regal trees…the sparkling, silvery snow…the cold, blue skies…the elegant, majestic aura of bleak midwinter. Home and a snowy back lawn welcomed us, and we sank into a deep, refreshing sleep.

~Camille Click here to read Camille's blog