“No, no, NO!”
When I woke up this morning, the first day of my “retirement,” I opened my eyes and looked at the clock. It read “3:51” (a.m.) I always thought retired people could throw away their alarm clocks — and I actually haven’t turned on my alarm clock since I came back from vacation this past summer (July 4th). Any thoughts of “sleeping in,” though, vanished when I went to check my email at 3:52 am today! I guess my body clock is just programmed to get up early.
Prior to going to bed about 10:30 pm (my usual bedtime), I carried on a lively email exchange with former student, Joey Fala, who is now studying organ at Yale and wrote: I played Howells first Rhapsody in my lesson for Martin Jean today and he was very surprised to see me playing with the back of my thumb to keep notes legato. “Who taught you that?!” he asked me. I told him it was you. I guess that’s not a common thing these days?
The technique I think he referred to is called “thumb glissando” and is actually done with the base of the thumb. Organists use both the tip and the base of the thumb to effect a smooth, legato touch and is clearly outlined in the organists’ “Bible” — Harold Gleason’s Method of Organ Playing, which I’ve used with nearly every student I’ve taught over the past 42 years.
Not surprising was that Joey and I had several email exchanges about 10:00 pm Hawaii time — which means it was 4:00 am on the East Coast and Joey probably had not gone to bed yet!
After answering emails, paying bills, and writing out a teacher recommendation for a student, I went out for my daily 2.2 mile morning walk around downtown Honolulu, then registered the new tenant of my second parking stall at my condo. This was where Carl Crosier used to park, and ever since I sold his car, I have rented out his parking stall.
I then spent a couple of hours, volunteering back at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, where I helped Karyn Castro with the bulk mail procedures (her first time, my zillionth!) then we took the church’s monthly newsletter to the airport post office.
The afternoon was spent at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu where I dropped off the orchestra parts for the Duruflé Requiem and taught two organ lessons. I’m going to be stepping up the promotion for Carl’s memorial concert which will be held on Sunday, November 1st at 7:00 pm. I’ll be listening to the first joint rehearsal with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir and the Hawai’i Vocal Arts Ensemble — to be held this Saturday afternoon at LCH. On Tuesday, Vreni Griffith and I will be sticking on about 2000 address labels on postcards advertising the concert. Look for yours in next week’s mail!
So this is what retirement is like? Not much different from my “regular” life!