MIAGD: Send down the rain

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The 67-degree morning is slightly overcast, but all the weather apps agree there is to finally be rain this afternoon which seems to back the heralding breeze of swishing leaves, tinkling wind chimes, and my previous day’s headache.

Send down the rain.

The grass has been brown for over a month and the rain that’s passed through the Miami Valley has barely dampened the dry earth. You can practically smell the crunchy dryness.

Send down the rain.

I love the smell of arriving rain with the anticipation of cleansing the stagnate air and relieving exhausted ground.

Sometimes, when we take a refreshing shower we can appreciate the how the earth, grass, plants, trees, and air feel when they’re touched by the sacred droplets of rain.

We need water. We need to drink and feel water. Water connects us to nature and if we raise a sail, we can connect to other lands and other people.

Send down the rain.

If the rain happens to dampen any outdoor plans, don’t let that stop you from making it a great day.

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MIAGD: Empty, Half, Full, Overflowing

MIAGD: Make it a great day

This last Sunday of September 2020 dawned bright and beautiful with a very comfortable 64°, though a tiny bit chillier with a more periodic forceful breeze causing the wind chimes and trees to spontaneously howl.

The seeds of self discontent and discomfort appear to be rapidly growing and spreading amongst folks who are otherwise more optimistic.

This morning, my friend, Jeff Carter, ever the fellow optimist, posted this meme.

I’ve literally had folks become upset with me because I won’t participate in their negativity for this new world we’ve come to know, throwing at us steady and frequent changes. It is sometimes difficult to appreciate their aggravation, however, I’ve rigidly stuck to my resolve to keep my glass, not just full, but overflowing to allow others to add to their cups if they were drained.

For those of us who are sculpted-in-marble optimists, it’s imperative we not allow the fear and frustration surrounding us to chip away at or erode us. I’m comfortable and confident in my Nellie Forbush cockeyed optimism as we wade into another wave of uncertainty.

Raise your glass. Whether it’s empty, half full, completely full, or overflowing, it’s still your glass of choices. Whatever the weight of its contents, hold it up and make it a great day.

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MIAGD: Starting the 57th round

MIAGD: Make it a great day

It’s such a pleasant Saturday morning on the deck with all the pooches gathered nearby, taking in the slight breeze, comfortable temperature, a noisy cricket, a cicada chorus, a lot of morning traffic swooshing along Shroyer Road, and one damn crow trying its best to blend in with more pleasant sounds.

Today is the full-speed ahead into my 57th year as I now stand on the 56th.

This morning I’ve delighted myself reading kind thoughts and birthday wishes from so many family, friends, colleagues, students and former students. What a terrific start to my morning.

Whatever is on your schedule, today, start by insisting it will be a great day and then make it happen.

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MY DAY: Beautiful Thursday afternoon

My nap extended longer than I wished but I feel more refreshed and am enjoying the beauty of some deck time with four delightful companions.

The 74-degree temperature is just right; there’s just enough breeze for comfort but with little disturbance to the wind chimes; the cottonwood fluffs occasionally drift past my writing area to remind me to not forget the beauty surrounding me.

Erma brought out Baby and placed her in the sun, along with the rest of The Quartet. “Erma, is Baby going to get too hot in the sun?”

Erma looked at me, then Baby. Erma wagged her tail, picked up Baby, and moved it into the shade.

On with my writing and my day.

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MIAGD: Knowing the right moment

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Fifty six years ago, this morning, my 19 year old mother, experiencing her second day of contractions, refused to go to the hospital because she knew the time wasn’t right.

I always loved hearing Mother’s account of the days leading up to my birth, coupled with the commentaries from my grandparents. What always touched me most was the eagerness with which they reminisced those three days in September 1964.

What has impressed me, most, was how calm and in charge Mother remained during the overture of her first child’s debut. She ignored the encouragement of Dr. Ulrey, my two grandmothers, the neighbor lady, Kate Wolff, and others to go to the hospital.

“It’s not time. I’ll leave when I feel I must so I’m not wasting anyone’s time,” she countered.

In the meantime, she continued with her routine of cleaning the house, competing laundry and ironing, and preparing my nursery. My grandmother, Donna Barmes,who lived on the opposite corner of the block, was at her side as much as possible but she and Grandpa Leroy were only 40 and 42 and still had a twelve and ten year old son at home.

Mother didn’t leave for the hospital until after midnight the morning of September 25th, confident she still had plenty of time. And she did. I wasn’t born until 6:03 PM, Friday evening.

I hate to use the phrase Mother was “trusting her gut,” but Mother always maintained steady calmness and calculated decisions. She was not easily budged. Her biggest concern, always, was to not inconvenience others.

Too often, I feel we are apt to be too reactionary rather than calculated. It is important we know the facts, the calculations, and the right time to make a move.

It’s patience.

It’s planning.

It’s trusting your gut.

It’s knowing the right moment.

However, any time is the “right moment” when we decide to make it a great day.

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MIAGD: Farewell, Summer

MIAGD: Make it a great day

This time, each September, I go through a tremendous barrage of feelings as summer departs, taking with it my much beloved deck time and moments of joy watching the dogs, listening to the cardinals and mourning doves, feeling the breezes, and dining outside.

September 22nd always feels like a kick in the gut; I’m not a fan of fall; however, three days later, it’s my birthday and I am restored to better humor.

I used to love Starburst candy and absolutely loved the pink, strawberry chews. In fact, I’ve discovered Starburst yogurt that is marvelously addictive.

A packet, or better yet, a bag of Starburst offers a variety of distinctive flavors and an array of bright colored wrappers.

I’ve always believed that variety is a necessity in my life. I love “variety” in nearly everything, except my precious deck time.

I don’t really have “favorites” and try to not use the phrase, “That’s my favorite…” I don’t even have a favorite genre of music.

As a baby, Mother kept a radio in my crib because infant guru, Dr. Spock, believed the sound of music would assist babies in not being so disturbed by other noises. She changed the radio station weekly and I was introduced to a variety of genres, a variety in music.

Mother followed the same practice with my sister who arrived eight and one half years later and she, too, has a broad taste in music.

However, when my baby brother was born, sixteen months later, Mother’s fuller hands didn’t have the time to change radio station and my brother’s taste in music was extremely narrow.

Lack of variety?

September 22nd, the commencement of nature’s buffet of color, weather, traditions, food, and clothing and a bag of Starburst with varied flavors and colors.

I grudgingly accept Autumn despite my inner-Eastman Kodak love for the colors but will take a bag of Starburst to enjoy the rapid change of tart vs. smooth tastes.

Appreciate variety because that will open up your opportunities and ease to make it a great day.

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MIAGD: Always make lemonade

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The past several mornings I’ve taken breakfast in my study due to the cooler morning temperatures despite the bright blue skies and singing birds.

I like lemons. I love lemonade.

The phrase, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” has always made me chuckle because it seems the most obvious thing to do. But, why view lemons as something negative?

I actually researched the tart phrase:

Evan Morris over at The Word Detective, answering a similar query, has some helpful musings.

He argues “that despite all the good lemons have done, they’ve suffered from an image problem since the dawn of their cultivation—due primarily to their stinging acidity and tough skins.”

He continues,

The word “lemon” comes to us from the Old French “limon,” which was derived from Arabic roots and served as a generic term for citrus fruit in general (which explains how the same root could also give us “lime”). The use of “lemon” to mean “disappointing result” or “something unwanted” is very old, reflecting the fact that, while useful in cooking, a lemon standing alone is just a lump of sourness with a tough skin to boot. In Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labours Lost (1598), for instance, one character proclaims, “The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty, Gave Hector a gift …,” to which another puckishly suggests, “A lemon.”

In the mid-19th century, “lemon” was used as a colloquial term for a person of a “tart” disposition, as well as, more significantly for our purposes, slang for a “sucker” or “loser,” a dim person easily taken advantage of. It has been suggested that this latter use stems from the idea that it is easy to “suck or squeeze the juice out of” such a person (“I don’t know why it is, rich men’s sons are always the worst lemons in creation,” P.G. Wodehouse, 1931). By 1909, “lemon” was also firmly established in American slang as a term for “something worthless,” especially a broken or useless item fobbed off on an unsuspecting customer.

It’s likely that the current use of “lemon” to mean “something that doesn’t live up to its billing” or “a disappointing purchase” comes from a combination of “lemon” in the “sucker” sense (i.e., the buyer got “taken”) and the much older sense of “lemon” meaning “something undesirable.”

Times are frail with high tension. Some might say we’ve each been handed a bag of lemons.

If that’s the case, pull out the pitcher, fill it with water, squeeze those gifted lemons, add sugar, and start stirring like hell, and make the best lemonade, ever.

When the pitcher is empty, fill it back up with more lemonade.

Make lemonade and make it a great day!

Resource: Evan Morris at The Word Detective; https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/53509/why-lemon-for-a-faulty-or-defective-item

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MY DAY: Saturday and two day recap

It’s moving on 5:00 PM on this lovely afternoon that consists of slightly cooler temperatures and a beautiful bright blue sky with a slight breeze moving the tree branches and wind chimes.

Thursday and Friday, I accomplished a lot of cleaning, rearranging items, cleaning out and organizing the guest bedroom closet. I also purged some items from the basement and attic.

Deck time has been somewhat limited due to some chillier weather passing through. While I miss being on the deck, the less ideal temperatures have afforded me the motivation to accomplish things I’ve wanted to get to all summer.

I’ve decided to move my personal sleeping quarters to the guest bedroom while leaving my clothes and other items upstairs. It’s so much easier for me and Chief to not have to move up and down the stairs.

I’ve two twin beds in the guest bedroom and a king-size bed upstairs; should there arise a need for guests, I’m set either way.

The Quartet seems to love this arrangement, as well. The Sisters, Harrigan and Bailey, sleep with me or on the additional twin bed.

I have this very nice, thick chaise lounge cushion that Chief uses and Erma’s doggie bed slides under my bed.

When Erma is ready for bed or a nap, she pulls her bed out.

For lunch, I made spaghetti with some spicy sausage, onion, zucchini from Nicole Melin’s garden, and sauce. I have to admit, it was quite good and a bit feel-good with this less hot weather.

Today has been been a mix of household productivity and research productivity. While the afternoon and evening temperatures remains agreeable I plan to camp out on the deck.

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MIAGD: Wednesday with fall-like weather

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Life on the deck, for me, is not pleasant at the moment because it feels more like mid-October and I’m just not a complete fan of Autumn weather except for photographing the changing colors.

However, my personal conditions are especially selfish considering I’ve friends on the west coast losing properties to the fires and friends along the Gulf coast directly affected by the hurricane.

I’ve two distant online morning classes to teach and right into private lessons at 2:00 PM without a break. Teaching will end at 10:15 PM, this evening.

Congratulations to one of my former students, Treston Haines, a music education major at Capital University, not only made the top choral ensemble but was invited to be in another top ensemble of only seniors and juniors. The letter he shared with me was impressive and touching.

On with the day. It’s my longest but I’m determined to make it a great day.

From Mama Kay’s yard
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MIAGD: Connecting the dots

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Last night, I posted this meme:

One of my favorite Facebook friends, Christopher Stephen Jenks from Rhode Island, shares membership in several White House groups and responded to the meme with this:

Christopher: This reminds me of what I heard in a lecture on climate change about 20 years ago. An evolutionary biologist was talking about the problems that climate change will bring. She finished with a Q&A, and one member of the audience asked, “Will the earth survive this?” She answered, “Oh yes. The earth will survive just fine, but it may do so by getting rid of us.” That has always stuck with me.

Darin: This earth has powers man will never discover.

Christopher: This is so true! We have forgotten that we are the earth’s stewards, not her master.

Darin: I’ve often thought Eden was a metaphor for our earth when God commanded Adam and Eve to look after the garden and all living things within. We’re possibly living in the great garden and have never connected the dots.

This philosophical duet with Christopher added to my belief that mankind has become so irresponsible as guardian of the planet. The signs have long been before us but our perpetrated greed.

“Oh yes. The earth will survive just fine, but it may do so by getting rid of us.”

Christopher’s shared quote is now sticking with me.

There’s so much we can do in our own smaller worlds to serve others and our planet. You can begin by making it a great day!

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MY DAY: Saturday evening

After breakfast, I laid down to read and woke three hours later, at Noon, having accomplished nothing.

At a few minutes to 11:00 PM, I’m still trying to wrestle up some energy to accomplish something notable for this day.

As I write, I’m feeling periodic droplets of rain which seem to close in on their arrival. I’m sure my remaining deck time will be cut short but the smell of rain is already wafting across the deck.

I did meet a new cousin via Facebook.

Susan Whetsel’s grandmother, Katherine Greenlee Hueston, was first cousins with my great-grandmother, Mary Belle Jones Clary, whose mother was a Greenlee.

Susan and her brother, Rick Hueston, grew up in nearby Alexandria, are my third cousins, once removed. Susan and I spent a good deal of time sorting through all our many connections. This was a great surprise!

The rain, after noting its arrival ten minutes ago, has not increased. I’m holding on to as much of my evening deck time as I can.

It appears that we’re to have one more day, tomorrow, in the 80s before it slips down to the mid to upper 70s the remainder of the week.

It’s 11:20 PM and Erma has made numerous trips to the deck to nudge me out of the comfort of my Adirondack chair as the rain perks up.

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MY DAY: 11 September & 6 Rs

It’s a day of remembering, resting, reading, (w)riting, Robert (Todd Lincoln), and relaxing with the pooches.

Today’s weather seems to mimic the somber shroud for this day of remembrance, abandoning the clear deep blue, sun-filled skies of nineteen years ago. A constant breeze has made the air feel much cooler than the mid-70s and the drab dome keeps the anniversary in check.

Last evening, I joined a collection of Mary Lincoln scholars for a discussion of the essay-filled, THE ENIGMA OF MARY LINCOLN. Quite fascinating.

This scholarly ensemble greatly lifts my energy and propels me deeper into one of my historical passions, Abraham and Mary Lincoln. As the physical diminishes, my intellect is strengthened and encouraged by these discussions.

The actual discussion lasted approximately two hours, yet, several clung to the Zoominess for further shop-talk. In the end, with only four of us members remaining, we had accumulated seven hours total.

I easily woke, despite four hours of sleep and have cherished the energy afforded me and without the aide of coffee!

One portion of the later discussion, Mary Lincoln scholars, Donna McCreary and Valerie Gugala, gifted me an entirely new perspective and quite unexpected change of heart for the character of the Lincolns’ eldest and last surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln. I’m indebted to Donna and Valerie for enlightening me with previously unknown stories of Robert’s generous nature and stewardship for his family’s legacy.

So, this Friday afternoon, while spooning into a bowl of China Cottage hot and sour soup, delivered by Mama Kay from next door, I finally got around to opening my unread copy of Jason Emerson’s GIANT IN THE SHADOWS: The Life of Robert Todd Lincoln.

Having experienced, earlier this summer, Mr. Emerson’s inviting and enthusiastic passion during a group discussion on another of his own scholarly books, THE MADNESS OF MARY LINCOLN, I’m thoroughly enjoying and trusting his ten-year researched spotlight on Robert Todd Lincoln.

Though the day has garnered a good deal of accomplishments, yet it does not feel so since it’s not been as physically demanding.

The school buses are trailing down Shroyer Road so I suspect a football game is in order. Tonight feels like the football weather fans crave.

I still the puppy in Chief’s face.

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MIAGD: Deck. Dogs. Laptop.

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Last night I was asleep by 8:30 PM. I was not feeling well and laid down for what I thought would be a few minutes until I saw the clock showing 11:20 PM.

Fortunately, I fell right back to sleep, only getting up twice until 7:30 AM when it was time for my coffee-talk with Josh and Dave in London.

By 8:30 AM, the dogs were eating in the kitchen and I began my breakfast on the deck with quite enjoyable conditions.

I finished up all some emails and moved my writing space to the deck. My four research assistants are in position, awaiting my needs.

Make it a great day!

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MIAGD: My Wednesday, my Friday

MIAGD: Make it a great day

A pleasant 70-degrees greeted me on the deck this morning to the sound of my cardinal couple paired in a duet that alternate between Strauss and Stravinsky.

The mosquitoes also played a key role in The Welcome Wagon which shortened my deck-time.

I figured it was time for some poochie photos:

Chief: I surprised him but he was quick to turn his head.

Erma: always the same

Harrigan: we’ve not gotten along too well the past few days; this was her best

Bailey: I got one non-blurred photo

The morning life at The Haasienda.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Down on the farm

Tonight, I made my first ever meal of sausage, gravy, and biscuits.

My friend, Amanda Berlon, posted a recipe on Facebook for SGB and it looked less time consuming than I anticipated it to be.

I checked the SGB recipe from Bob Evans, which is my favorite, and the recipe was identical except this one used Bob Evans sausage.

I sent a text to my sister whose cooking skills are extraordinary and she walked me through the same process.

It worked. It was delicious.

I am still wanting something more, but I don’t know what that ‘something more’ is. Mine didn’t taste like what I love at Bob Evans but it was still quite good.

I guess I’m never satisfied with “ordinary” when I’m working on something. I am usually very good when experimenting with cooking but this was my first attempt at making SGB.

Cooking is one of my least favorite things to do. I’d rather read or write and cooking is, for me, a huge waste of time. I generally have my podcast TOTALUS RANKIUM: American Presidents playing while enduring the cooking process.

I will give SGB another go, perhaps this weekend.

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Monday evening, a voice student from Colorado was eating homemade taffy and I immediately thought of all my trips to Gatlinburg, TN, from 1967-2016, where I loved standing outside the taffy wagon, watching the mechanical hands stretch and fold the taffy.

This was always one of the highlights of those family fall vacations.


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MIAGD: Labor Day Monday 2020 style: altering tradition

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The wind chimes are dancing in this brilliant breeze that would have made sitting in Far Hills Avenue, alongside the Bane family, a most perfect time to watch the traditional Holiday At Home parade that attacks thousands for our festival.

Tony and Angela Bane, along with their three children, Jacob, Ellie, and Noah, have been my parade companions since 2008 when the older two Bane babies were piano students.

Now, Jacob and Ellie are college students, leaving Noah the lone sibling participant in the Bane home.

I am so-so with traditions; some I can allow to slide but others are a piece of my individual fabric.

Through the years, I’ve altered my Thanksgivings and Christmases. With family generations passing on, some traditions have naturally changed.

July 4th, I always watch The Americana Parade from the second floor window of McCutcheon Music Studios at 18 Franklin Street in Centerville. It’s the best view for taking photos and I get to spend time with Jim and Debbie McCutcheon and their family and friends.

The Labor Day parade in Kettering, as mentioned above, is the other.

This summer, two of my favorite traditions were cancelled. It’s not so much the parades I miss as it is the folks I spend time with during the parades. Plus, before or after the parades I get to see tons of other friends.

Today is a gorgeous day and though I miss this particular tradition with the Bane family, I continue to celebrate and cherish our special friendship through the years.

Safely and intelligently enjoy your holiday, even if you’ve had to alter your own traditions.

Make it a great day!

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MIAGD: Keep… 116 days remaining in 2020

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Despite the temperature being 62-degrees, the slight chill, punctuated with a tiny occasional breeze, is scarcely noticeable with the chirping of birds, the buzz of cicadas, Sunday morning traffic swishing up and down Shroyer, walkers and joggers chatting with one another, all under the umbrella of a clear blue sky.

Albeit, there are two damned crows cawing it up in the tree-lined easement, interjecting their piercing “kraa” like Stravinsky poked them for his own symphonic amusement.

Still, the caws are a part of this morning’s symphony.

I am back in the teaching studio this afternoon, starting a new week.

2020 has 116 remaining days.

For so many, 2020 has been a dreadful time.

Folks are looking hopefully to 2021 as though a magic broom will sweep away the debris of this year.

Whatever the impending year brings, it’s vital to KEEP an aggressive-positivity with a determination to KEEP moving ahead.

We can do this.

KEEP making it a great day.

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MIAGD: Writing on the deck

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The morning began with a slightly chilly 70-degrees at 9:00 AM and at 12:40 PM, it’s a tad warm with the sun but an occasional breeze is refreshing.

For the last three hours a game or event has been taking place at Rousch Football stadium, a satellite branch of Kettering Fairmont High School’s enormous campus. The muffled announcer’s voice is clearly audible but mostly unintelligible.

The dogs are lounging about the deck and have all moved to shadier areas instead of sunning themselves.

I’m shrouded by both deck umbrellas while writing from the table.

I’m hoping the umbrellas and tree shade will accommodate my writing outside the remainder of the afternoon and early evening. At least the humidity has plummeted from the high 80s to the low 30s, giving off a somewhat dry heat.

On with my afternoon.

Make it a great day.

Chief dodging the camera

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MIAGD: Still a holiday at home

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The Friday before Labor Day is always invigorating because the neighborhood has a distinct buzzing of energy as Kettering prepares for the annual Holiday At Home Festival with its impressive parade and many other events.

The buzz is missing this year. There is no festival, no parade, and no events.

The only thing familiar is the delivery of my US Flag as part of the Optimists’ Avenue of Flags program.

On September 28, 1918, a Liberty Loan parade in Philadelphia prompts a huge outbreak of Spanish flu in the city. By the time the pandemic ended, an estimated 20 million to 50 million people were dead worldwide.

The festival leadership and City of Kettering, I believe, made the correct decision of halting the festivities. We need to be more aggressive and attentive in defending further spread of this pandemic.

My house is right in the heart of Holiday At Home. Although I am missing the anticipation this day usually ignites, I’m eager for the community, and its thousands of guests to celebrate holidays at “home” over future Labor Day weekends.

Make it a great day and be safe!

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MY DAY: Thursday’s mix

The day began with dampness since the early morning rain was more of a drizzle without soaking much.

Still, it was wet enough that I took breakfast at my desk and caught up on some reading for a few hours.

Before I knew it, it was 11:00 AM and the newfound sunshine beckoned me to the deck. It was a pleasant, mild day and the breeze on the deck this evening has been delightful.

For about two hours I busiest myself with items in the house, in the study, and on the deck while four pooches closely followed me, probably wishing me to idle in one spot after getting comfortable with each move.

I’ve been on the deck since 5:30 PM. It’s now 9:45 PM.

Erma left the deck for her bed around 8:30 PM. She was later followed by Chief and Harrigan. Bailey has slept by my Adirondack chair the entire time.

Harrigan, Erma, and Chief (out of camera range) already hunkered down for the night

It’s about time to head inside. I’m beginning to fall into that state of drifting but this comfortable evening has glued me to the chair. I may return to the deck later.

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MIAGD: September Song

MIAGD: Make it a great day

It’s September 1st.

1985. I was seated at the piano in a luxurious apartment of Manhattan’s River House looking to the East River with the southern half of Roosevelt Island below.

I was accompanying a gentlemen, well into his seventies, who was taking every liberty with the lyrics and melody to style the song just as he desired.

Normally, this exuberant voice bellowed songs as if he were Harold Hill leading the parade and playing every one of the 76 trombones, himself; however, this ballad was incredibly different.

There was a sadness in his voice.

A resignation, perhaps.

The song was Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill’s haunting “September Song” and the vocalist was my beloved directing mentor, Joshua L. Logan.

Joshua Logan

Mr. Logan had directed KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY starring Walter Houston who sang this haunting ballad that became a popular hit, recorded by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and other notable crooners since 1938.

Since 1986, I’ve sat at my piano every first day of September to play “September Song.”

At first, it was always a tender tribute of gratefulness for Mr. Logan. But as I became a dad and moved into my forties, with the passing of my grandparents and other loved ones, the lyrics have become more personal.

SEPTEMBER SONG by Maxwell Anderson

“Oh, it’s a long, long while
From May to December,
But the days grow short.
When you reach September.
When the autumn weather
Turns the leaves to flame,
One hasn’ t got time
For the waiting game.
Oh, the days dwindle down
To a precious few,
September, November!
And these few precious days
I’ll spend with you.
These precious days
I’ll spend with you.
Oh, the days dwindle down
To a precious few,
September, November!
And these few precious days
I’ll spend with you.
These precious days
I’ll spend with you.
I’ll spend with you.
I’ll spend with you.”

“September Song” Willie Nelson

Cheers, Mr. Logan, Mrs. Logan, Johanna & Josh. Know you are loved…
Make it a great day!

Joshua Logan & Nedda Harrigan Logan

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MY DAY: Onward to Tuesday & September

The long days are not so sluggish as long as Zoom cooperates and doesn’t slam the process.

From 3:00-5:00 PM the system was down with “technical difficulties.”

To be expected, I suppose.

I have a love-hate relationship with September. I love that it’s my birth-month but I loathe that it hastens summer’s end.

Tomorrow morning, my post will include “September Song,” a somber, haunting tune with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and music by Kurt Weill. Mr. Joshua Logan directed the Broadway production, KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY, from which this song was launched.

The Kettering teachers have returned to their classrooms but students won’t return until September 8th and online.

Around 6:30 AM, I hear car doors, from the parking lot outside my window, opening and closing as the still dedicated souls report for the day. I admire and worry about the teachers even without the students in the building.

I miss hearing the endless fleet of school buses rousing the campus into a livelier pace as students emerge to begin their day.

The world is different.

And, that’s okay.

My inconveniences are few and I feel lucky.

I love being forced to think outside the box, personally and professionally, and nudged to explore and try new things.

It’s still a good life.

The photo is of Erma, already fast asleep, and her paw stretched out to Baby.

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MIAGD: The last day of August

MIAGD: Make it a great day

It feels like a premature October morning with a slight chill to the air, red leaves falling from the tree that shrouds the deck, and the overcast sky.

Yesterday, when I began teaching, it was as though a light switch had been flipped and my energy was soaring through the ceiling in my study.

It’s a different type of teaching I’m doing. While guiding students through technique, style, diction, and storytelling, I’m also coaching them through the uncertainty in their new world. My heart aches for them, but I’m nudging and coaxing them to keep focused and positive of mind.

They’re learning.

They’re doing.

They’ll be just fine. 

On with my day. I spent additional time reading on the deck and now must push through the regular Monday morning items.

Make it a great day!

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MIAGD: August is coming to an end

MIAGD: Make it a great day

This morning’s slight coolness mimicked a mid autumn morning and with September moving in within 48 hours, I’m reminded that my much loved deck time is coming to an end.

I was in bed long before midnight, last evening, slept through most of the night, yet I fought with my phone’s alarm until 9:00 AM. The weight of fatigue wrestled me so heavily that I excused myself from one of the great highlights of my week, chatting for 45-60 minutes with my son, his partner, Dave, and Dave’s parents; I do love my Sunday morning coffee chat between London, Boston, and Kettering.

The teaching week resumes this afternoon. Several students have been cast as leads and understudies in three different shows from Colorado to Kettering. Several are dealing with the performing arts cuts at Stivers High School, an arts magnet school; yet, their school flags shall fly over football and other fall sports.

The dogs make me laugh, bring me joy, tug on my heart, and give me more love than I can humanly absorb.

Make it a great day.

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