Just back from the music festival (deep sigh of relief here). On the drive back, Mom saw a bluebird. We saw a crow too, and a goose standing on the ice covering a small slough, with neck stretched high as if to say "I own this pond." Mom thought he was saying, "Funny - it was here last year..." She saw a duck the other day, too.
The kids did well with their solos, although James was so displeased at getting a lower mark than his sister, he wants to pick out next year's solo TODAY. I told him that sounds good - it might give me enough time to learn to play the accompaniment.
I was musing a while ago about my deadline-treadmill life, and wondering how to change it. It occurred to me that I could approach things like music differently. Instead of the pattern I learned in school, where you enter a music festival class and then prepare the piece to play, I could play music I like, practise it until I like the sound of it, and then find a place to play it. If that place happens to be a music festival, or the church, so much the better. Instead of the commitment spurring the practise, the practise would lead to the commitment.
Now if I could just work my way out from under some of my existing commitments, I could begin to practise something new.