On the eve of Easter, Kathy and I have had a lot of be joyful about over the last 24 hours – some things relatively trivial in the whole scheme of things, and others not so trivial:
My brother Nathan had surgery earlier in the week to replace a battery in the device which has been implanted in his brain – implanted a couple of years ago to bring his seizures under better control and to monitor them more methodically. Unfortunately, they discovered a rather serious infection in the brain when they went in and Nathan had to remain in the hospital for several days – and will be undergoing an aggressive anti-biotic regimen (involving twice a day injections) for the next few weeks. . . but he is out of the hospital and feeling fine.
Last night, for the first time in a long long long long time, we had friends over for dinner. Life has been way too hectic to allow that, which makes Kathy and me very sad and frustrated sometimes. (Every time my brother Steve mentions the houseful of company which they just had over, I get a ferocious pang of envy.) Tonight, the Barrows and Conners came over for dinner and it just felt wonderful.
Speaking of feeling wonderful, I was enormously relieved to feel good enough to eat dinner after feeling lousy most of the day and fearing that I might be on the verge of a major case of the flu. It turned out to probably be nothing more than me making the mistake of eating a honey mustard grilled chicken sandwich from a convenience store – a mistake I won’t make again. Anyway, it was no fun to be sick for a few hours the day before Easter, but I am so happy and thankful to be feeling better.
My friend and former student Jamie Wilson came up from his home in southern Illinois today to attend Holy Communion Easter services- and to personally deliver the recording he made of my recent Mendelssohn concert with Musici Amici. Happiness is to listen to such a recording and realize that it went as well as it felt at the time. (Sometimes I am overcome by the euphoria of the moment and have a hugely biased, overly positive impression of how it’s going. But not this time- it felt wonderful because it WAS wonderful – the recording fully confirm that, and I am smiling ear to ear about that.
I got an email yesterday (which I only read this morning) which confirms that next Tuesday I will be able to interview the director of a remarkable documentary about the Metropolitan Opera Auditions which will show in movie theaters nationwide on April 19th. I am thrilled that this is going to take place, and I can’t ever remember being this excited about a single interview. I literally have fifty questions already in mind and wonder how I will manage to ask them all.
Finally, a word about the Jar: When we are about to embark on a major trip, one of our traditional rituals is to take the big glass jar in our bedroom in to which we deposit our spare change- and convert it at the bank into a little extra Mad Money. This time around the jar was especially full, and Kathy actually suggested that we weigh the jar on our bathroom scale. It turned out to be 27 pounds. . . and when we cashed in the coins at our neighborhood Johnson Bank, I was stunned to be handed $264 in cash! Of course, in a place like Disney World, that amount of money doesn’t go all that far, but it’s still a lovely little bonus. And to think that all that is just from spare change!