Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

March 25, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 4:24 pm on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

carPartJunction.jpgThis week is when the body is prepared for the “procedure” which is to occur next Monday afternoon. In a long discourse with a nurse this AM we went through my medical history again – after such a discussion including medicines taken, medicines now being used, past surgeries and present ailments, one wonders how such a repaired and chemically altered mechanism can actually go forward. If I were an automobile or a plant, I think I would be an odd looking pastiche of the beginning product by now, but when I look in the mirror, there I am, still recognizable as someone I knew quite some time ago.

zipped_lips.jpgOur Easter worship event presented the splendid hymns and moments of grandeur that musicians and preachers hope for as they practice and prepare for this day of days in the church year. The anthem preceding the sermon, “Praise Ye the Lord” by John Rutter, was wonderful, and when the pastor came into the pulpit, he remarked upon it, then said to us, the congregation, something like, “Let’s just say it again together, “Praise the Lord!” We did so, and I was stunned to hear my brain continue on with “and pass the ammunition!” There were exclamation points all over inside my head as the World War II song phrase appeared, unbidden. It was immediately followed by the appalling thought that perhaps my future might bring the time when the guard before my mouth might not be able to contain such mental commentaries. Fortunately, the service and celebration continued in fine and predictable ways with an Easter feast with the family and a walk in the woods at sundown to conclude a very good day.

(As these last postings are made, there may continue to be a time lapse between text and illustrations because John-paul, the illustrator, is presently taking photos and having fine adventures while traveling in Europe.)

March 18, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 7:24 pm on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

worlds_oldest_marathoner.jpgRecently, I read about several persons who, in their 70’s and 80’s and with terminal cancer, were running marathons and leading food drives and doing other remarkable and intrepid deeds to the awe and admiration of the writers of the articles. It freezes the brain to think about such folk when simple living seems quite enough, however, I did have these in mind when I determined to go to Chicago last week to help celebrate daughter Janna’s birthday and to go to a school choir concert in which the twins were participating. Heidi agreed to do the driving, and we went the 600 plus miles accompanied by Zoie and Kira. We left on Wednesday, celebrated on Thursday and Friday, and returned on Saturday. The adventure provided moments which will join memory’s archives filed under “grand” though nothing is as easy as one might wish it to be. Since returning home, no marathons or glory things. . . indeed, there is much to be said about sitting in the sun and watching spring’s slow arrival.

crossTheLine.jpgThe intestinal difficulties are ever present and a number of you gave me great encouragement in going forward with the colonoscopy – I am actually looking forward to having a diagnosis and hopefully a therapy to deal with the current physical state. Today’s blood readings indicate a slow slide downward though I am still above the line that will trigger a return to where we stand at the oncologist’s door and say, “Do something!”

HolyWeekInPaintings.jpgChildren bearing palms ushered in Holy Week on Sunday, beginning a time of remembering the central teachings and beliefs of the Christian church concerning Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for humanity. Maundy Thursday’s commemoration of Christ’s last supper, Good Friday’s somber remembrance of Christ’s crucifixion, and Easter’s grand celebration of his triumph over death as dawn light reveals an empty tomb are celebrated around the world. This has gone on for centuries as the faithful remember anew the miracle that connects earthly existence with eternal life. We will be a part of it, too; Charles will play the music and I will stand with the congregation. On Easter morning we will say with delight, “Christ is risen!” and “He is risen indeed!” To LIFE, and a Happy Easter to all.

March 11, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 11:09 am on Tuesday, March 11, 2008

snrise.jpgWhen spring finally comes, the birds get to announce it. With the time change, Alphie and I begin our walk before sunrise, and the cardinals own the predawn time. Then, when the sun makes its appearance, the robins, finches, redwing blackbirds, and meadow larks begin to join in. By the time we arrive back at the house, the sound is all around as the flying community vies to be heard. It is always a splendid way to welcome a new day.

alphiestick22.jpgAfter our walk around, I get out the supply of birdseed needed to replenish the feeders, and I leave the garage with both hands full of buckets. Alphie appears to feel that he too should be carrying something, so he picks up a log from our woodpile near the door and carries it out into the yard where he drops it. I told Charles that Alphie’s apparent desire to carry something could mean that I should train him to carry a bucket of birdseed out for me. Charles’ reply that then perhaps Alphie could stand up and tip the seed into the pans while I recorded the whole process for YouTube was less than encouraging, however, one never knows. . .

My “time out” is holding – perhaps when next I meet the oncologist, it can be called a “remission”. In the interim, I am dealing with the gastroenterologist to determine why my innards are so touchy. The great capstone of this activity will be a colonoscopy on March 31st. Apparently, it is felt that every single adult of a certain age should have this procedure, so when I sit in church and look about me at all the senior citizens, I wonder how many have gone through this event which to all appearances does not seem particularly delightful. When the oncologist announced that it simply must be done while the blood is a bit better, I said, “And have you had one?” he smiled quite smugly and said indeed yes, practically the moment he turned fifty. So. One is left very few secrets as time goes by. Meanwhile, Lent draws to a close, the flora and fauna of our Sanctuary begin to stir, and the days contain too much promise for any contemplations other than of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

March 3, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 11:17 am on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

illuminatedSpring.jpgMarch 1st arrived like the opening of a new book with the page covered with a richly illuminated text after closing February’s heavy grey tome with its cold dark words. The temperature was sixty five, a warmth not experienced since last October, and the sky suddenly held chains of geese going northward. Some were low and loud and other groupings were high and hurrying along. The first red-winged blackbirds were sitting on the tops of the willows on the east side of Sanctuary, near the road. It is where they always come when they return from their winter home. Each has a tree of its own, and from there, it sends its unique trill out over the valley as it places its claim on a potential nesting site. Meadowlarks were singing in the fields to the east and south, and the snow and ice melted rapidly, exposing new green grasses already eager to commence. John-paul flew in from Seattle for a brief stay with us, and so it was a day like no other with the joy of it all around.

notesInside.jpgThis new month is filled with promise – political voices calling for “change”, spring concerts, a daughter’s birthday, Palm Sunday and Easter. Yesterday, I could sing! One of the sorry things of the last two years has been the loss of my singing voice – the only place where it all sounded fine was inside of my head; the actual vocal production was abysmal. Then yesterday, in the singing of the hymns, my voice was present and true and it was an incredible delight. The woman sitting in front of me complimented me and it took a measure of self-control to simply thank her instead of clasping her to my bosom and telling her the entire story of my life.

music.jpgThe last hymn was “What Wondrous Love is This” and its final verses were especially well-suited to my day.

“To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing:
To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I Am,
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing.
While millions join the theme, I will sing.”

“And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing his love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity I’ll sing on.”

(Lycoming College Choir)