This past weekend was quite a mix of kid stuff (eternal) and a few little adventures.
On Friday, I drove downtown to meet Reena Esmail, a composer who works with both orchestras and choirs. We follow each other on social media (she’s read some of my books, and my old choir in NYC has performed some of her works…) and a few months ago she had told me that the Philadelphia Orchestra was going to be performing one of her pieces (RE|Member). She asked if I would like to use some of her tickets. Yes! Then she mentioned that she was going to be in town rehearsing with them so I asked if she wanted to meet for coffee. It was so much fun to spend an hour or so talking about classical music and choral composing and the like. It’s also fun for me to hear about how composing works as a profession (doing various commissions and residencies and the like) and then how she works on a daily basis (mornings tend to be for creative work, afternoons for interacting with the world).
I took a handful of the kids to the concert on Saturday night and heard her piece, with its haunting and lyrical oboe intro and then ending duet. The orchestra also performed a Haydn cello concerto and Beethoven’s Sixth. The kids did very well. Humorously, Wicked is currently doing a run in Philadelphia, and we had two separate theater employees helpfully inform us that Wicked was next door — I guess maybe we looked more like a Wicked audience than an orchestra audience (and in their defense, probably a lot of people wandered into the wrong place — and my kids had gone to Wicked with my husband the other night!).
Another weekend adventure: Costco. I think every person on the planet was shopping for Thanksgiving there on Saturday. My family had been building up a list of things we normally buy at Costco (Parmesan cheese, smoked salmon, gigantic vats of cream cheese, chicken breasts, chicken nuggets, peanut butter, paper towels and toilet paper, these applesauce pouches that have veggies sneakily in them…). My husband and I have been trying to spend time together on Saturday afternoons when the 3-year-old is with his weekend sitter. So, this week our hot date was to Costco. Between the two of us we managed to spend more there than we ever had before, though it is all stuff we use, which is all much cheaper on a per unit basis than it is elsewhere so…go figure. Two dozen organic eggs were $7.49, and one dozen is approximately $6 at our local store. Although I did later realize my sticker shock was partly because we bought our holiday stamps there for the Christmas cards. Between the crowds and the volume of stuff I was just massively overstimulated by the whole place.
Speaking of over-stimulated…On Sunday after church I took the 3-year-old to a birthday party at a friend’s house. This is a school friend, but he lives about 30 minutes north from us, as they moved and then the family didn’t want to pull him out of the school. So we made this long journey, and we pulled around toward his road and then…we saw it…this absolutely gigantic bouncy house in the front yard. Needless to say, my kid was in heaven for the next 2.5 hours, bouncing in there and watching a magic show and eating cake. He crashed in the car on the way home, clutching his little balloon animal (I think a dinosaur with a light saber – at least that’s how he described it).
In addition, of course, it was all the usual complement of stuff — a voice lesson and a karate Pokemon parents night out on Friday, a climbing class and a boy scout service project on Saturday, church and parkour and scouts again on Sunday…
Now on to Thanksgiving week. I’ll be making cranberry sauce to bring to my brother’s. It’s a simple concoction — boiling cranberries in apple cider, plus adding sugar to taste. What do you usually contribute if you’re not hosting?
(And…do you shop at Costco? What do you buy there?)
Photo: Still looking a little like autumn!