I also didn't discover till Sunday afternoon, that the last two shows were that day at 3:00, and again at 7:00. I wasn't about to miss it... especially since we're moving away, so I opted for the 3:00 PM presentation. The thing is... mom had made plans to go to the Christmas presentation at McGregor Baptist with her friends (after we had lunch)... and I didn't even consider trying to twist Joe's arm; it's just not his thing, but if I begged and pleaded, he would have obliged. However, I knew better than to ask him to join me on the day that the Giants played at 1:00, and the Steelers played at 4:00! His two all-time favorite teams (Steelers are his #1; Giants his #2).
Anyway, it was too late in the day to start calling my friends to see who would like to join me, so I went by myself... which I don't mind at all...
Do you mind doing things alone? Would you go out to eat by yourself? I have; "table for one, please." Not a problem. Or, gone to the movies by yourself? I've done it. Or, something like a Christmas Program... would you go ahead and go if you had no one to go with? I don't mind a bit. Don't even think twice.
It turns out the "matinee" presentation was the hour of the gray-hairs! I was in a sea of elderly. Again, it doesn't matter. I like old people. Every retirement community in Lee County and beyond had their buses there.
I found a single, aisle seat next to a man in his late seventies, I would guess. His name is Maurice and he was there with the people from his "community" in Arcadia. They took up three rows. Maurice is a "snow-bird" from Indiana. I enjoyed sharing the concert with him as we, from time-to-time, would lean into each other and whisper our comments. He was nice and played interested when I pointed out the ones I knew who were performing.
The concert was absolutely amazing. I heard my friend, Dawn C., sing a solo, which is always such a pleasure. We know each other through business, and we have worked on committees together through the Women's Council of Realtors. She and her mom are precious; I love them.
I also heard my chiropractor's 14-year-old son play a piano solo (Chopin Polonaise). That was a surprise; I didn't realize his children were old enough to be so accomplished. It turns out that while my own daughter was growing up... graduating high school, attending college, getting married; his children were growing, too! He played it amazingly well!! I was so impressed... shocked might be a more accurate description.
Another regular festival pianist, one who is well-known in our area, Mary S., played Claire de Lune. Hearing her play that piece had me with tears dripping off my chin. It was beyond words; so very beautiful.
Here's a shot (not mine; my friend's cousin took this and the following shots) of the choir, orchestra, and the four grand pianos (courtesy of Steinway-Bonita Springs).
Two of the pianists performing.
A close-up of part of the choir. My friend Dawn is holding the microphone. She sang in the choir and in the ensemble. Her solo part was in the ensemble number.
Pastor Dan Betzer sang a Christmas Medley. He always does such a nice job. Throughout it, there were a couple of sax solos. I love the alto sax!
When it was all over, I ran into a dear friend and business acquaintance, Phil D., in the parking lot. He is such a tender-hearted, gentle man. He's the kind of guy who brings a sense of calm, and always a smile. I really enjoyed chatting with him and his wife for a little while.
The whole affair had me feeling a little melancholy, though; longing for the comfort and familiarity of living in a city for 30 years, knowing I'm about to leave it. Realizing that whatever Christmas program I attend next year in my new city, I won't be enjoying the talent of, or running into, old friends. Don't get me wrong... I'm very excited about what adventures may lie ahead; but saying goodbye is such a hard thing to do. I'm realizing it's more than just the attachment to family (who have always been nearby - that's a given!!)... it's everything that has been my life for the last three decades. It's bigger and bolder than I thought it would be.
But, alas, change happens. I'm choosing to take it with grace... hopefully it shows! And, I'm expecting that by then, I will have made new friends with whom to share such happy moments.
You've heard me say this before... "Chin up, shoulders square, eyes sparkling... and always smiling."