My county will turn 200 this week, and the place is throwing a big shindig on Sunday with a few concerts and food (probably fried on a stick) and fireworks. In order to accommodate the expected crowds, this party will be held at the fair grounds...outside...in the evening...even though it will be 40 degrees. Where else could it be held, I suppose.
One of the concerts will be performed by a big community band made up of music teachers and students representing every high school in the county, and the holes will be filled by what someone called "civilians." I get to be one of those civilians because the horn section is a little sparse compared to the other sections in the band.
I went to the second of two rehearsals last night. I missed the first one the week before, so I walked in ready to sight read. The room was packed with kids and a few familiar faces from the summer band, and within seconds, I found myself in band mode. It's what happens to you when you enter a room full of people all making noise at once—playing scales but not in unison, chattering, scooting their chairs, and banging around on an assortment of drums. The combination of noises is something you can't hear anywhere else. Some people might be grateful for that, but I am happy to be in the midst of it.
During the rehearsal, three county commissioners showed up and thanked us for doing this for everyone. One of them said he knew we all had places we'd rather be and things we'd rather be doing than sitting in a band room and rehearsing, but I thought to myself, "No, this is it. This is the place I want to be at this moment and the thing I want to be doing."
I have a decorative tree that is probably meant to be displayed during the Christmas season, but I keep it out all year long. For ornaments, I use the wrappers of Dove dark chocolate Promises. Each piece of candy is wrapped in foil with sayings printed on the inside. Instead of throwing out what most people consider trash, I flatten out the foils and stick them in the tree.
One of my favorites is "Go to your special place." I thought of that saying and that piece of foil wrapper last night when the commissioner was speaking. Being in a room full of musicians at all levels of abilities and various levels of interest—surely there were plenty who would rather have been anyplace but there last night—is my special place.