Getting old

Mark and I treasure our weekends: I do a bit of teaching on Saturdays, but for the most part Saturdays and then definitely Sundays belong to just us, to do – perhaps not nothing, but very intentionally nothing too structured.

Last Saturday, however, the KMTA State Honors Auditions took place in Lawrence, and while none of my students had participated in the Fall Auditions this year I still wanted to go and listen to as many students in as many different age groups as possible. I learn so much from listening and watching. This year, again, as usual, I saw a few, very few, outstanding performances, and other than that a whole lot of wonderful intentions that due to a lack of technique never were realized.

In order to be there for the little ones who play first thing in the morning (the drive takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes), Mark and I had planned to get up at 6:30 a.m. One of our cats decided, however, to be awake, very awake, and very vocal, at 6 a.m. already, so that’s when we woke up and shortly thereafter got up. Not that that got us to Lawrence any sooner though – my intestines had other plans and kept me in the bathroom longer and more frequently than planned.

Anyway. Once in Lawrence, we listened here and there, Mark took a break from the piano performances and listened to some strings before joining me for piano performances again, and later went to a nearby Panera to get lunch while I listened to yet another group of students. In the early afternoon, we felt we needed a bit of a break (also to get online and check email etc), so we went to Panera for something sweet and something to drink but soon returned to Murphy Hall to listen some more.

We had plans to go straight from Lawrence to Emporia, for dinner with Jonathan whose birthday had been the previous Saturday. Until shortly after 4 p.m., we stayed in Lawrence and then, after a short stop at a Starbucks for a coffee for me, made our way to Emporia. It was getting dark, I was tired, and thanks to Mark’s willingness to do all the driving I was able to doze off for a bit.

In Emporia, we met with Jonathan who showed us his new apartment, and then went out to eat. The Chinese was excellent. We had arranged with Jonathan to rent his cello from him, so after dinner he double-checked quickly to make sure everything was in the case, and then we left, Mark and I and the cello and left-over Chinese.

It was another hour and a half, in the dark, to get back to Manhattan.

The next day, Sunday, we felt old. We didn’t have much energy to do anything. We did manage to go to the Holiday Open House at Wildflower (Yarns and Knitwear) where we bought some yarn for a new scarf for Mark, and later in the afternoon I taught a make-up lesson for two students who had been unable to come to their regular lesson during the week.

In the evening, we were very aware that the weekend was over and that there was not another Sunday the next day, to really recuperate.

Like I said, we are getting old.

Or maybe we are just not used to doing stuff anymore.

The three legs of the trip – Manhattan to Lawrence, Lawrence to Emporia, Emporia to Manhattan – was a total of 260 miles. For the 18 months we lived in Olathe, we used to drive 250 miles every Saturday, from Olathe to Manhattan and then in the evening back again, so I could teach.

How on earth did we do that??