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

November 25, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 3:26 pm on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Janna is singing the 25th psalm of the Lisbon Psalms and Charles is playing the piano accompaniment which he wrote sitting in a tent in the city camp at Lisbon, Portugal; “Turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. . . ” and “Show me thy ways O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day”. The sun is shining through the south bay window with its winter landscape of bare trees out beyond – the African Grey parrot sits on the back of a chair in front of the window seeming to listen intently to the music. This time of sight and sound makes everything within this trip to Lake Bluff worthwhile whatever the outcomes.

We began on Sunday afternoon, and we arrived here on Monday morning after having a good and uneventful car trip across Iowa. We are going forward with plans put in place several months ago. This evening we will go to a Chicago Symphony presentation of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony (the Resurrection) complete with the symphony chorus and soloist, etc. It should be very grand and wonderful. We will take Janna and Todd as our guests, and I will wear my bright blue aqua medical mask wrapped under a fine silk scarf.
All are agreed that this is likely not the wisest, however, leading up to this, I heard my mother’s voice again in an oft told story in the family.

Charles and I took the children and my parents along on a summer weekend to Spirit Lake in northern Iowa. Charles determined to rent a motor boat so we could all do a tour of the lake, and enjoy the sights from the water. We were delighted to embark on the adventure with the exception of my Dad. He adamantly refused to go saying that Mom would not go either, as they were not swimmers, and therefore would NOT be taking a boat out on the water. My mother, always adventurous and delighted with the concept of going boating, looked at my father and said with great intensity, spacing her words out, “What are we saving ourselves for??” With that she picked up her hat and sweater and headed for the boat. Dad said no more and came also, having no reply to the query. Since then, the question she asked has been used more than once as an aid in decision making. So in this last week, I heard “What are you saving yourself for?” and it was easy to pack my bags.


Comment by Mindy Werling

November 25, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

Dear Connie,

Have a wonderful time! And a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I certainly count you among the blessings God has given me. Your mother, by the way, was right on target, and you were right to listen to her!


P.S. Darby’s annual Christmas picture is ready for mailing! Can’t reveal to you what it is, but I think it is pretty cute. My sister’s yellow Lab will be staying at my house on Saturday night, so all 5 of us (two dogs, two cats, one human) will be sleeping in my bedroom together. Could be a long night.

Comment by Caroline

November 26, 2008 @ 7:36 am

Your mother was a good example in many ways, and your children will say the same of you. We Mom’s love of music in you, along with other qualities of adventure, love of life, family, song… Go and enjoy! and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Caroline

Comment by Lynda

November 26, 2008 @ 11:54 am

Aunt Connie,

As tradition in our house we have Thanksgiving with my husband’s large family. I only wish I could take along one of those marvellous pies that you and Heidi made.

Thank you for the words of wisdom from Grandma. It reminds me of a few tings she said too. When I was a little girl I would play dress up with her scarves. I would come out and show her my “outfits” countless times and she would alwasys say “You look spiffy.” I’m not sure if that is word. Then there was the ONLY time I ever, ever, ever heard her swear. We were putting up corn one summer and she was taking a bag of wet cobs out. In the hall on the carpet the bottom of the bag fell out and she said, “S**t!” Our jaws dropped and we all gasped. When she came back into the room she said, “Well that would have made a preacher swear.” Although not as inspiring as what she said to you, it did bring back good memories.

Enjoy time with your family and have a great Thanksgiving!


Comment by Lowell

November 26, 2008 @ 9:01 pm

Hooray for your mother! Boating has always been one of our cherished activities especially with our living just a few miles from Lake Texoma here in north Texas. We know the Lake Bluff area well as our home before moving to Texas in 1975 was in Libertyville, IL and I worked at Abbott Labs in N. Chicago. A favorite restaurant of ours was the Silo just east of Lake Bluff and of course seeing the sights in Chicago was always a good thing to do.

Comment by Lowell

November 26, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

Just to clear something up, the Silo restaurant isn’t east of Lake Bluff, it’s west. It’s not floating on Lake Michigan. Happy Thanksgiving, Connie, to you, Charles and your family!

Comment by irene Beethe

November 26, 2008 @ 10:02 pm

Dear Connie,

What a wonderful symphony to hear this week! I’m sure it was grand! Have a blessed Thanksgiving with Janna and family!

Love, Irene

Comment by Lynn Wake

November 27, 2008 @ 9:15 am

Dear Connie,

Thank you for writing this, and for writing all of these accounts. It’s a particular gift you give here with the full story of your mother’s “What are we saving ourselves for?” So thanks, especially, for that story. And I know all reading this can picture you, as elegant as ever, right at home in a fine silk scarf. Here is my heartfelt hello to Janna, and to all of your family, treasures all.

Comment by Judith

November 27, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

Excellent, Connie! Smart mother, yours. Enjoy yourself to the fullest, and keep those lovely eyes of yours smiling!

We’re sharing this wonderful day of Thanksgiving with our 3 big Labs (Joey, Harley and Romeo), each of whom has already laid claim to a piece of the holiday ham. Life is good!


Comment by Pat Ohlmann

December 1, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

Ah, Connie. How I wish I had your gift for writing, and for drawing together so many threads of life. I wish that I could share some of my good health with you as you share your life with your readers. I hope that I will recall your mother’s words whenever, which is too often, I am reluctant to take a risk. I look forward to your weekly post and my anticipation is always rewarded.

Comment by Jerry Pfabe

December 2, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

Hi Connie

I’m glad that you had the encourage and determination to make the trip to Chicago. Mahler’s Symphony #2 is one of the most powerful and moving compositions I know of, and it’s wonderful that you had the opportunity to hear it. The Lincoln Symphony performed it last spring, and it was marvelous.

Thanks again for you amazing words and spirit.


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