Our last full day in Slovenia

After collapsing into bed after our bus ride back from our Koper concert, we were gifted with a (mostly) free morning. B and I took the opportunity to finish shopping for gifts and remembrances to bring back. We shopped for honey, as Slovenia is home to a long-standing tradition of bee-keeping. We bought two Christmas ornaments, one of handmade lace and one of wood, both crafts that are important culturally. We bought sea salt from Piran. A cute, artist-designed Ljubljana dress with a dragon on it for ABC. Chocolate because they had interesting flavors, including a lot of white chocolate products, which I appreciated as I need to avoid dark chocolate.

Then, we started a string of official Smith College Alumnae Chorus events. We had a meeting to hear from our officers and take care of some organizational tasks. We went to a local restaurant for our farewell luncheon.  We proceeded to St. Jakob Church for our last rehearsal.
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LIke many other churches we visited, it had been renovated and changed styles as the centuries went on. Also, like other churches, some of the renovations had been necessitated by earthquakes.
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We were surprised to see a vehicle from the Slovenian version of public broadcasting. They were setting up to record the concert for broadcast. Our rehearsal in the church was quite short; we couldn’t run long because we needed to clear out for vigil mass. While we rehearsed, B took some more photos.
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For some reason, there was a donkey grazing beside the church…
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Street performers were amusing the children with giant bubbles.
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After rehearsal, B and I grabbed a quick salad from an al fresco restaurant before returning to the church to get ready for the concert. We were honored by a visit from a representative of the US embassy, who wanted to meet us before the concert.

The concert went very well. We again had a full house and the audience was very appreciative.
concert in Ljubljana

We had a reception back at our hotel, a last chance to talk and laugh together – and to compare which sections of the Haydn and Duruflé kept playing over and over in our heads.

And to eat cake, because, I, for one, always have room for a good piece of cake.

 

 

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SoCS: a trip to the grocery store

When we bring ABC to Wegman’s (our biggest grocery store), there are two things she wants to see.

One is the cow in the dairy section. It’s not real, of course, but does move. ABC says, “Mooooo. Cow! Mooooo.”

The other is a toy train on an elevated track over the bulk food section. ABC says, “Choo, choo. Train. Choo, choo.” Fortunately, she says this very quietly, not at train volume.

Would it be too silly to say we go to the store to get something to chew?

(There is a third thing at Wegman’s that ABC looks for when we go to the Asian foods section. There is a red and gold paper dragon over the aisle. ABC does not know how to make a dragon sound.)
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “chew/choo.” Join us!  Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-6-19/

December writing

This year, I offloaded a lot of my traditional December duties to concentrate on writing tasks. The first order of business was to finish a chapbook draft for a contest at QuillsEdge Press. I have now submitted it and am pondering submitting it to a second contest, which closes on January 15. I’d just need to write an acknowledgement page to get it ready.

The next task was to send out a Christmas letter on behalf of my parents. For years, my mom faithfully sent out cards to friends and relatives, but this will be the second Christmas that she hasn’t been up to doing it and I wanted to make sure that the people on her list know their situation.  We enclosed a photo of Nana and Paco with granddaughters E and T and six-month-old great-granddaughter ABC.  E helped out by addressing the envelopes.

With all of my parents’ letters safely mailed, I turned to my own card list. I composed an enclosure letter and battled with my printer to get enough copies ready. We decided to put in two photos, the one that we used for my parents’ list and a second favorite photo of ABC taken when she was four months old and visiting her father and family in London. With my stacks of photos, letters, cards, Christmas seals and stamps on hand, I spent hours signing and addressing over the weekend and today and just brought the last batch to the mailbox for 5 PM pickup.

I am happy to have our greetings sent on their way, knowing that we will be connecting with relatives that we aren’t able to see often and friends from various phases of our lives, many with whom we only correspond at the holidays. 2017 has been such a roller coaster that I especially wanted to make sure to share the story.

And now, I am finally writing this blog post! I’m hoping to get a few more in before the end of the year, although the next week will be very busy. Son-in-law L arrives on Wednesday and the tree still isn’t decorated, other than lights and treetop angel. There will be more shopping and baking to do, although the bulk of it may be done by the other adults in the house.

The most important thing this year is spending time with family and friends. The holiday correspondence was part of that effort. The in-person part already began with a lasagna dinner at Nana and Paco’s apartment with my sisters and their families and early-Christmas gift exchange. More to come about ABC’s first Christmas, which she won’t remember but the rest of us will…

good deed of the day

I’m sure most of us try to do good deeds every day, just as a matter of course, but I had an unusual opportunity present itself today.

I was taking my dad to the store and, as we parked in the (slightly sloped) parking lot, a loaded shopping cart was slowly making its way downhill with no person accompanying it.

I quickly pulled into a parking space, hopped out of the car, and grabbed the cart before it made its way to the edge of the lot.

A new mom had transferred her child from the shopping cart to her minvan, and the cart had rolled away without her noticing it. I was glad that I was able to catch it before it hit anything and return her purchases to her unharmed.

This particular good deed may be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence! But who knows?
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Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/13/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-13th17/

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