Mixed Emotions

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of days. Yesterday (Sunday) was my second time to play in church. I thought I did okay on the first hymn, but struggled with the second, which was a lot trickier. I really, really hate making mistakes.

After church, our friends Steve and Angie came for the potluck in their honor. Steve’s parents (our good friends) Jim and Joan came also. There was a lot of good food and enjoyable conversation. Steve and Angie had driven all night (from Florida) in order to make it. They fly out to Kenya on Wednesday.

When everyone had just about finished eating, Steve gave a brief update and then I played again so we could sing “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” I hope they are able to get everything packed up in time!

One thing I have learned is that playing to accompany singing in church is very hard, at least for me, and takes an extreme level of focus. At this point I can’t play, follow the congregation singing, and sing also. I kept having to slow my playing down to the others’ pace. Maybe it will get easier to listen to the singing and still be able to concentrate on the chords I’m supposed to be playing.

Or maybe I won’t have to. One comment I got after yesterday’s effort was that my playing is hard to sing along with. In other words, my efforts to help by providing accompaniment are not in fact helping. This was a pretty hard pill to swallow, but of course if my help is not “helpful” I will stop helping! And anyway, I have not been given any new hymns to practice for next week. Tomorrow I have my first autoharp lesson. Maybe my teacher will have some insights for me. It is disheartening when you are trying so hard to do something useful, and it doesn’t work out.

When we finally made it home from church, Mercy got word that the girl she was supposed to pick up from the airport would not be flying into our local airport after all, but was in Dallas boarding a plane for an airport located about an hour’s drive away. Newly-licensed Mercy had to drop everything and take off to go pick up this girl. Cecelia is a Korean girl, raised on Figi, who is an incoming freshman at the university.

Cecelia’s plane was supposed to arrive at about 4:00 and Mercy was there in time, but the flight was delayed repeatedly. Poor Mercy was stuck in the airport (which has no amenities) until the plane finally arrived at about 8:30. By the time Cecelia got off the plane, she was in tears and Mercy just gave her a big hug before driving her home to spend the night with us. Her luggage did not arrive with her but fortunately it was delivered here today.

Today both of them were very involved with international student orientation and tonight Mercy is spending the night in Cecelia’s room since her roommate hasn’t arrived yet.

Meanwhile, I spent the morning frantically preparing for two classes. This is the first time I’ve tried teaching two classes in one day. It makes things easier for the two families who have students in both classes. The first class is my regular middle school English class for kids who struggle with language arts. The second class focuses exclusively on writing different kinds of paragraphs.

I took a quick break from my preparations to go to Walmart and buy burritos, chips and salsa for the 4-H dinner tonight, because I knew I would have no time to cook.

The classes went okay, I think. I had a surprise student in my first class, so had to rush to make extra copies of all the handouts. Jasper was very happy that there is another boy in the class.

My second class seemed to go quite well also. I had a lot of information to go through and I hope it sunk in!

By the time my second class ended, the burritos were in the oven and as soon as they were done Jasper and I headed out for the 4-H dinner. (Lucy has dropped out of 4-H.) I was very tired, so I made up for it by eating too much, even though all I could have were corn chips and various types of dip. Jasper is “3rd vice president” of our 4-H club this year, which means he is supposed to recruit new members. That should be interesting.

Finally, we have an ongoing mystery here. Our cat Neko hasn’t been seen since Saturday. We have looked in every room and closet. We have called. We have listened for meows. Nothing. We are beginning to think that he might have somehow sneaked outside without being seen. It would be really nice to know where he is.

Tomorrow we need to get our schoolwork done in the morning so I can head up to my autoharp lesson in the afternoon. It’s an hour and a half drive. I can’t wait.

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