but since I moved here I have thought that things are particularly cramped in
Minnesota. It gets colder and darker here earlier than other places I've lived,
so perhaps that explains the amazing need people here seem to feel to celebrate
and sing and eat and socialize all December long.
There are many, many people I know who have an annual party in December. Pretty
much every performing group, amateur and professional, puts on a "Holiday"
concert. Math time:
- Let X be the number of Saturday events and commitments between Thanksgiving
and Christmas that you have accumulated.
- Let Y be the number of Saturday evenings between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Subtract the one Saturday immediately preceding Christmas from Y, since that is
generally considered too close to "the holidays" for an event.
- Divide X by Y.
- Compare the results to the number of bodies that you possess.
Did you come up with a rational number?
I am, at the moment, determining whether I can attend a 1920s theme party at 6pm
on December 6 and still get to Bob Walser's annual music party at a reasonable time.
Just this morning, at the MayDay Coffee Shop near Powderhorn Park, I ran into a
friend who said she'd been hoping to run into me because she wanted to invite
me to a "Song Circle" on that first Saturday in December (yes, she could have
called, but I have been running into her regularly in the mornings and she figured
she'd run into me again but then she didn't for several weeks). It would have been
nice to be able to go.
If you happen to be a member of a performing group, and a backup fill-in for,
say, several others, you have to add in extra rehearsals to your regular
December practice schedule. I'm not complaining here -- if you are in a group,
you have a commitment to that group, that's part of the fulfillment of
participation -- but I'm explaining why, for example, I have to schedule
explicitly when I will be doing laundry between now and the end of the year.
The Minnesota Freedom Band will be marching in the downtown Minneapolis
Holidazzle Parade for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights of Thanksgiving
weekend. The band's concert is December 13, with technical rehearsal on
the 11th. The Minneapolis Police Band is hoping to march in that same
parade at a later date in December, but I'm not yet sure when.
And now it has begun, as I hold my breath and jump in and look at some clear
skies coming up in January. On Thanksgiving morning some local shape-note
singers gather at Jim's house for a potluck breakfast and a couple of hours
of singing. I will be joining Jim's family and some other friends later in
the day for the Thanksgiving meal itself. I am quite looking forward to the
day, and to preparing and purchasing my own food and wine contributions. I am
also looking forward to band practice on Monday, Morris practice on Tuesday,
and a special two-stepping dance on Wednesday. I have scheduled a shopping,
baking, freezing, and cooking schedule that starts on Friday night and uses
free hours here and there over the course of six days and requires a pre-dawn
wakeup on Thanksgiving itself.
Welcome to Minnesota, I still think to myself after 15 years.