Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things

This morning I was awakened from a blissful encounter with my dead sister Karen, to a clap and roar of thunder. I bolted upright, stared out the window. My eyes rested on my favorite thing: a thick blanket of snow. Even Seymour, our one-eyed, black cat who sometimes behaves more like a terrier, pounced on our bed, as if to announce the wintry delight.

Play day!

Bundled in layers, and dragging an old, rusty sled, my daughter Sarah and I whizzed down a steep hill at Rodgers Park, and then trudged to the top of Queen Anne. I was reminded of years ago, sledding down the counterbalance and slipping into a pit-iful Nutcracker.

By the time Sarah and I returned home, shaking snow off our boots and warming ourselves, we felt grateful for our creature comforts. My eldest daughter Anna might poke fun at my cooking, but sure enough, a batch of bean soup simmered, a pot of coffee brewed, and just for me, a bottle of cheap red graced the table.

I curled up in bed and watched one of my favorite movies: English director Tony Palmer's "Testimony, the story of Shostakovich" a deeply, unsettling film based on Solomon Volkov's often disputed book. The film opens with the 1975 state funeral and Shostakovich's voice (Ben Kingsley): I am dead, how else should I be smiling?

Just when I thought life couldn't get any better or the day more perfect, David Waltman showed up, fearless in the face of hazardous driving conditions but having to hoof the last steep climb, with score, parts, and bowing ideas for an upcoming concert of Dvorak's Seventh. Well, at least it kept the two men busy. I remember when Ruth Galos, wife of the late concert violinist Andrew Galos, quipped: You know, if our husbands aren't busy, they're driving us crazy!

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