frenchpony (frenchpony) wrote,

  • Music:


This past weekend was my annual Whirling Weekend O' Wonder, as the Chicago New Year's Ball (Saturday night) and the Chicago Anniversary Singing (all day Sunday) coincided. Now that I'm back in Chicago, this event required some precision planning, because I had to make food for the singing, and figure out transportation myself. I settled on making two salads and a pie on Saturday afternoon. Of course, just because this is not enough excitement, I also changed banks on Friday morning.

The ball was beautiful and exciting as usual, and I won a booklet of dance tunes at the raffle. I got to wear the Shiny Purple Party Dress, which held up superbly to the rigors of dancing. Got a lot of comments, too, especially the part about it being purple. Unfortunately, I now have to face the fact that my ghillies have pretty much given up the ghost. I'm going to put some pads in them to extend their life a little, but they're almost danced through. I'll need a new pair in a year or so. The ball ended around 12:30, and I got home a little before 1:00, to fall into bed and sleep for a couple of hours, in preparation for the singing.

The group I was riding with was going to be the first wave of setup, so we had to get from Hyde Park to the West Side by 8:30, so we left my house at 8. It really is something to be the ones who get there when the venue isn't quite open yet. All the myriad little details that go into making the singing happen on the day of, you get to see them. It's not just a matter of throwing 150 chairs into a hollow square. There's the parking lot, and the signs, and the kitchen, and the tables, and clearing the hallway, and setting out all the drinks and registration materials, and stuff. It doesn't just happen, either. The singing itself is a glorious, uplifting thing, but it is made by very human hands doing lots of little backstage jobs.

I'm not sure why, but things like that, events that require lots of setup, they always seem very improbable to me. There are so many things to take care of, so much depends on lots of people being ready, willing, and able to mobilize and prepare (and bring food) and show up and pitch in. And yet, it keeps happening, and the people are found. That always seems like a minor miracle, to me.

It sleeted for a good portion of the day, but we still drew a good crowd. And the singing was rich and deep because of it. The Anniversary Singing always tends to get a top-notch class.
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