Good afternoon, friend.
It is the hot month of July.
A watermelon table cloth drapes our table.
We grilled hot dogs and enjoyed them out on the patio with our family on the 4th.
Colorful lilies are the central focus of nearly every garden I see.
In the Midwest, July = family reunions, cabin gatherings, garden parties, sports outings, and any and all necessary steps to cool off, relax, and enjoy the beautiful spaces with beautiful people.
While these gatherings look a bit different now in 2020, thanks to pandemic precautions, we will not abandon all gathering. Be it through social distancing and masks, or Zoom calls, or lawn chair parties in yards and even parking lots – we WILL see the people we love.
We will be careful. And, if needed, we will party.
“Dinner Party” is the theme for July’s SongNotes from the Birds.
Last year, when we first rolled out the July songs, we framed them all in the quirky context of a virtual dinner party, stretched over the course of the month.
At that point, no one questioned whether it was a REAL virtual party or an imaginary one….what a crazy idea to have a virtual party for real!
And then 2020 happened.
Now everyone is so accustomed to virtual gatherings that we managed to be confusing with our announcement about upcoming parties in a recent email! ( Sorry! )
Our goal this month is to present our three songs in a way that reflects three distinct phases of a dinner party:
- Group entertainment
- Deeper personal connection
First, let’s get to know each other a bit, fill our proverbial or literal cups, and put on some background music. (“Some Enchanted Evening” – click to play now, but keep reading to see who else is here at the party with you.)
Over here we have…
“We are Elaine and Gary. We are retired and live in Osseo, MN. We have three married children and eleven grandchildren. Gary has a business degree and worked for AT&T. I had a two-year degree and worked as director of congregational care. Our dream month would be March in Florida. We love the ocean!”
“Hi! I’m Craig. I live in Plymouth, MN with my wife Jo Ann (42 years). We have a daughter, Christy Jones; Son-in-law, Evan Jones; and Dog, Gracie (Dachshund – 17 years). My education background is in insurance/MBA and I work as an actuary. If I could do whatever I wanted to for one entire month, I would teach Christian Worldview/Apologetics.”
“Hi! I’m Lila. I live in Robbinsdale, MN, with memories of Cleo the cat under Baby’s Breath in the garden. She gave all the kitty she had to our family for 18 years. Still missed years later. I have a Master of Vocal Performance degree, and am a semi-retired voice teacher and singer. If I could do whatever I wanted to for one entire month, I would get out of town!!! Far, far away! Maybe Montana, New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado. Bible and a big stack of books by black conservatives in tow.”
“Hi! I’m Joanne. I live in a magical kingdom and have 2 dogs, 3 cats and a winged horse. I studied archery, and my job is caring for the animals in the kingdom. If I could do whatever I wanted to for one entire month, I would play healing music for all who would come and listen.”
“Hi! We are Cake, Toast, Alistair, Lucy and Kimba. We live in the magical kingdom with Joanne. We like to call Aria, the winged horse, our pet! Our job is to hang out with whoever may wanna have us around for a bit. If we could do whatever we wanted to for one entire month, we would be with Joanne, helping in any we could, being with anyone who would come and listen to the healing music.”
We hope you all feel welcomed, loved, and in very good company.
“Some Enchanted Evening” is from Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical South Pacific.
This song combines musical elements of the sweeping melodies that we love and remember, as well as interludes of unassuming pitter patter. It makes me think of the nervous chit chat that happens throughout the beginning (and sometimes middle and end) of a dinner party.
Sometimes we have to put up with the nervous awkward chit chat. Sometimes we get swept up in the fun and entertainment of it all.
Something tells me that those two contrasting styles of interacting enhance each other – just as the variety and contrast of musical texture in any song is what makes it more intriguing.
Only gushy romantic harmonies would be excessive. Only shallow chit-chat would be meaningless. A little of each makes for a great musical meal.
Click below to listen to Nathan and Naomi perform “Some Enchanted Evening.”
We hope your appetite has been whet.
The virtual party continues next week with special guests and a beautiful photo gallery.
Have a lovely day and an enchanted evening!