Dinner Symphony

I have so much to say, I’m just going to speed write:

Dinner is my favorite time of day. I love to cook for my family. Monday night we had roasted chicken with rice, steamed squash and brocolli and homemade cherry cobbler for dessert!

Last night, we had baked salmon a la orange (i use orange juice!), corn pancakes, young green peas and fresh pears with sliced strawberries. No dessert, but later we had chocolate pop tarts.

As a family, we help set the table, and we load the dishwasher. We say a prayer as we hold hands. We always include our cousin, Milo, at the end of the prayer. We talk about our day. We talk about manners. We talk about friends and family and how they are doing. We talk about school. We talk about politics. We talk about what ever is on our mind! It is funny and insightful and so full of love. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything…it is right where I want to be.

I can see the faces of my grandparents, my cousins, my memories, my history through the expressions of my children. Sometimes one of them will move their head just so, and for a flash, I see the arch of my grandfather’s eyebrow as he says grace at a Thanksgiving gathering; I see the concern of compassion when one of my girls brings an injured bird, and I am swept back to a time when I was eight and took a shoebox to school…inside was a sparrow with an injured wing…and it died during the pledge of allegiance, now that I think about it….

Ok, I was going to write fast…got to stay on subject!

My friend and co-writer, David Batteau (“Oh, Daddy”, “Birdhouse”, “There is no name for Love”…) has come to stay for a week. We are on a mission to create a piece for the Austin Symphony for the 4th of July in Zilker Park. We started by poring over the Declaration of Independence…which was completely inspiring.
Then we talked about the fact that my great-great-great and beyond grandfather was John Quincy Adams, so, of course, we went online and downloaded everything we could about both he and his father, John Adams. David is a researcher/historian type songwriter, so we drifted off into a conversation about Free Masons and Catholics, languages and symbols. Finally, I just started writing notes and I realized that I wanted to write a triangular piece…ie, first segment, “Declaration/Independence”, second segment, “Seperation/War”, and the last segment, which I hope to be pastoral, entitled “Restoration/Peace.” Mind you, these are working titles…

So, David was absorbing himself in reading about history, and I was off and running. I finished the first segment, which stands to be about 8 minutes long…one part within the segment will contain Spanish and Korean…so, I contacted my dear friend , Hector, online, and within minutes I had my Spanish translation!
I have even written a singing part for a small girl, and I asked Lily if she would like to sing it, and she said, “Yes!” I was getting so emotional while I was writing it all out, it was just blasting out of me, and I could see the symphony, I could hear the violins raising the sky, and I could hear these voices singing out about liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.

Gosh, I am so excited to be creating!

I ‘d like to thank my friends who are all helping out with the girls this week…The opportunity to sit and create uninterrupted has been a rich blessing. Thank you for giving my girls a safe and happy environment to play in while I try to capture the muse.

Oh, also…Lance and I have gotten a DVD from Todd of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”….I am IN LOVE with this show. It has been inspiring to watch an episode each night before going to bed. What a rich imagination and he is a superb actor, as well.

The other night, after David arrived from L.A. and we had all shared dinner together, David and I went to the Driskill to meet with the committee from the International Consulate Ball (I’m emceeing it this Saturday night with Hector.) What a blast! Sitting with a group of uber intelligent and witty men, laughing about all sorts of things…when up walked Steve Brooks with his guitar, and so, before you knew it, we were passing the songs around the table…nights round the table! Ha ha. It ended up we all headed over to the piano player and I sang “Evergreen”…which I love love love…and Steve sang more of his beautiful originals and David shared his music and amazing voice and Stephen Maynard sang and I ended up laying across the glass top of the piano singing “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and touching the piano player, Kirk, lightly on the nose with my fingertip.

A remarkable way to start a week of writing.

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