By this time next week, I will have collected my last paycheck and will officially join the ranks of the retired! Can you believe it — I never thought this day would come! but yes, there are only four more business days until October 1st when I will start collecting Social Security! (In case you’re wondering, I’m not yet 66, I’m collecting my widow’s pension.) The job from which I am retiring is as Parish Administrator at St. Elizabeth’s, where I have been employed for the last eleven years — otherwise known as “chief cook and bottle washer!” Just a month ago, I collected my last check from Iolani School, although it looks like I will be back to play the Diocesan Convention service there on October 23rd.
Over these past years, there were some absolutely insane times, like Christmas and Easter, when I was involved in preparing all the special service bulletins for St. Elizabeth’s while concurrently practicing all the service music and typing the bulletins for the Lutheran Church of Honolulu (!) but miraculously I got everything finished on time.
This coming Sunday is the retirement brunch with the St. Elizabeth’s folks at the Hale Koa Hotel, and I will be attending their Sunday service this week with Karyn Castro, my replacement. This past week she has been “in training,” and I’ve had a great time showing her everything I’ve done there in the office. I told everyone that they can consider her my clone since she and I have the same initials! As I have mentioned before, I’ve known Karyn (and her sister Naomi) all their lives since I played the organ for their parents’ wedding (!) and the whole family has sung in LCH choirs all these years. And we continue to make music together — as both Karyn and Naomi sung in the Early Music Hawaii concert last weekend.
So many people have asked me: Are you still going to be teaching? Are you going to keep playing the organ? And the answers are “Yes” and “Yes” — so I’m not going to retire as a organist or musician. In fact, I will still be continuing to substitute at churches around town — I have a couple of Sundays booked at St. Andrew’s Cathedral already, and one Sunday so far at St. Elizabeth’s. I will continue to play Evensongs on demand at the Cathedral on Wednesdays while the cathedral musician, John Renke, is training for the Honolulu Marathon. I will also travel to Kona to accompany their annual Handel Messiah performance on the first Sunday of Advent — my third year in a row for this gig.
My focus for the month of October will be to put out all the publicity for the Carl Crosier Memorial Concert on All Saints Day, November 1st at 7:00 pm. That will include sending out news releases to media outlets and mailing out 2000 postcards. I have already typed the 16-page souvenir program booklet for the concert and am only awaiting the names of the choir and orchestra. You’ll want to put that date in your calendar for a memorable evening of music — and it’s all completely free to the public.
I also plan to do a bit of volunteering, but those plans have yet to be finalized. I also want to learn some new music and who knows, maybe even work up a concert.
A few days after the concert is over, I’ll be off to Italy where I will spend a week in Rome and the Vatican. I signed up for a Papal Audience tour, which means I’ll see the Pope! Woo-hoo!