Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Oh, fuck me."

Those were the first words out of my mouth this morning. But let me backtrack...

We had another long, busy weekend with symphony. Our last concert of the season was a staging (minimal sets/props/costumes) of Donizetti's opera "The Elixir of Love". A nice, light, romantic comedy sort of opera. As symphony productions go for this season, it wasn't too terribly demanding, other than the logistics of going to Missoula and fetching a "fortepiano". Similar to a harpsichord, and a precursor to the current piano. The only one in the state. But that really wasn't much of a problem. The only real complaint during the week's rehearsals was how warm it was. The building we play in is old, and doesn't have any air conditioning (it's Montana, after all...). There's ventilation, but if it's not blowing heat, it's blowing the outside air, which was very warm.

Until yesterday. Our morning rehearsal started out chilly. By our first break, the snow was sticking to the ground. It went downhill from there. While not a steady snow, it never got above 25° all day. But the wind blew all afternoon, so it looked like it was snowing. By the end of the opera, the snow had started, the temperature had dropped, and the wind was blowing. And I had equipment to load into a truck. By 12:15 AM, when I finally got in the 10' U-Haul with the fortepiano to go home, the temperature was 14°, the wind was steadily blowing, but the snow had subdued. The plan was to drive back to Missoula on Sunday to return the fortepiano.

Fast forward to this morning.

"Oh, fuck me."

Not said in the early morning light to a partner. Not because of my headache, or my neck and muscles hurting from working in the cold last night. But in a "you've got to be kidding me" voice to no one in particular. It was STILL snowing. And still in the teens, temperature-wise. I'm from Montana though, so driving in the snow is no big deal. Drive slow, drive safe, drive smart. Unless your in the cab of a 10' U-Haul lacking snow tires and having NO traction whatsoever. I started on the highway, but couldn't even start up the pass west of town without sliding out of control. The decision was simple. Find a place to store the instrument (out of the cold!), and try again later in the week.

So that's where I'm at. An unanticipated afternoon to myself. I've already chatted with someone I haven't chatted with for a few days. I've got a pot of chili started. And I've got my blankie nearby to get me a little sleep. That's the way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

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