DAY FORTY-EIGHT: The highlight of today was a workshop that Ellen and I led for the Boise Hospice Singers, a group like our group back home, Hallowell. BHS is led by our friend, Susan Gelletly, and Ellen and I had a little part in helping to get it going. This was actually our Third Annual Workshop! The BHS has grown and become firmly established since it was formed three years ago. It has over forty members, many of whom come from a strong musical background (e.g., several are retired music teachers). We met for a potluck lunch at noon in a lovely space called the ENSO Art Space, a gallery cooperative leased by eight artists, one of whom is a member of BHS, Chris Binion. Chris’ art and that of another artist adorned the space, and the room was attractive, as well as live acoustically. The event was well attended (over twenty people), and the lunch was spectacular. The workshop itself was a mix of singing and sharing experiences. We opened with a song Navajo Chant, which goes “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” After introductions, we introduced Hallowell to them and then opened the floor to questions. After a while we segued into a discussion of the lyrics of the songs we sing and how they resonate when sung in the context of someone dying. We sang, inter alia, Over the Rainbow, All Through the Night, Angel Band and How Could Anyone Ever Tell You. Several folks had meaningful experiences to share and it didn’t seem very long before we had come to closing time. People seemed to appreciate our being there and we enjoyed it too.
Earlier I found time to UPS my Canon A85 back to the factory for a free fix, and we visited the fabulous Boise Coop, which is always fun to walk through even if you buy very little. Now we are driving to Arco, ID, where we’ll spend the night. Tomorrow we’ll join the gang in Alpine, WY where all Ellen’s grandchildren and their families are gathered, and have one day with them before the Feinlands return to Massachusetts. We ourselves will be moving on, on Monday, to Yellowstone National Park. We have reservations for two nights in a cabin at Roosevelt Lodge, our favorite part of the Park. Then on Wednesday, we’ll start the long trek home.