Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in Elgin, IL

DAY SIXTY-EIGHT:I'm back in Elgin with my brother. Ellen is in Vermont. I came out by train, arriving yesterday in Union Station, Chicago, at about 11am. I got a bite to eat at the food court and then took the Metra to Elgin where Peter met me. The move went well - Daniel had rented a van and with that and others using their cars, they brought everything in one trip. Stewart was exhausted but seemed in pretty good spirits: what a trooper! He said he went up and down the stairs at the old house (called Whitewood) more times yesterday than he would have done in a week normally. When I arrived, he was concerned that he couldn't find his checkbook. It wasn't in the drawer where he remembered putting it. I drove him back to Whitewood and we looked for it there - no luck. Then he thought maybe he had put it in another drawer in the new apartment, so we went back - no luck. But Daniel came to the rescue. He thought to pull out the drawer and found the checkbook stuck behind the drawer. It made sense - in the process of moving the cabinet, it got tipped and since the checkbook was on top, it just fell behind the drawer out of sight. Whew! Daniel said, "You always lose one thing when you move. I guess that wasn't it!"

Daniel brought over a wonderful airbed, queen sized, for me to sleep on here at the apartment. It's very comfortable!

GOING BACK: We had a lovely time with Katie, Savanna and Brendan on Oxbow Lake near Speculator, NY where they rent a cottage. I haven't had a chance to download the photos I took there, and now that will have to wait until i get back to Vermont next week.

When we arrived home last Monday evening, Ellen and I found the house sort of musty, having been closed up in extreme heat and humidity, but once it got aired out and we got the dehumidifier going, it wasn't too bad. No mice! No ants! Yay!

We went up to Marlboro Music Festival Wednesday evening and heard a wonderful and unusual concert of pieces by Schubert, Webern, Schnittke and Bernstein that neither of us had ever heard before. The Schubert and Bernstein were pieces of musical theater that were charming (Schubert's Der Hochzeitsbraten was a comedy about a couple poaching a rabbit for their wedding feast, and the Bernstein Arias and Barcarolles was about the more sophisticated angst of a married couple that could have been out of a Stephen Sondheim musical). The Webern Quartet for violin, clarinet, tenor saxophone and piano was repeated, a brilliant decision by the programmer, and the Schnittke (Russian, 1934-1998) Piano Quintet was a very powerful and difficult piece involving a lot of quarter-tones. It made us want to know more about Schnittke. What a treasure the Marlboro Music Festival is! This is their 60th anniversary.

Most of the days back home I was busy preparing for the August 14th service at the Guilford Church that I will be leading - celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the town of Guilford. It will feature the hymns of Isaac Watts. We also hosted John and Cynthia for supper and had a lovely evening with them. I was pretty busy the whole time.

Back in Elgin, I'll be here until next Tuesday. Last evening I went out and bought Stewart a blender, and got all the makings for my smoothies (whey powder, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt and fruit) which I regularly make for breakfast. I'm hoping he might take to them, and make them for himself after I leave.

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