Texas Journal: Day One

Day One - Tuesday

I woke early (4 AM) with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. There were still things to do, and I didn't want to be rushed with the danger of forgetting something.

As we drove to Bangor, the sky was a soft gray of morning before the sun has risen. Traffic was slow. Here and there, people were stirring and getting ready for work or school. Single flakes of snow filtered to the ground, but there was no prediction of a storm.

We used a kiosk to check-in our pre-purchased online tickets, and went through security smoothly. We had to show our ID's three times, but neither of us set off the metal detector. Randy almost forgot his cell phone, but the security guard found it and gave it to him.

The Delta airplane was very narrow -only 2 seats on each side. I sat near the window. We had to wait for them to de-ice it, with a power spray of some kind of anti-freeze solution.

I love the thrill of take-off, rising above the world. We banked to the west and climbed above the clouds. There was nothing above us but blue sky. We could see nothing below us but a canopy of clouds. Words from the Psalms came to mind:

"Sing unto God, sing praises to his name; extol Him that rideth upon the heavens..." (Psalm 68:4)

In Detroit, we had to walk from one end of the airport to the other. We walked through a tunnel from one terminal to another. Swirls of lights and colors lined the sides. I felt like the Israelites walking through the Red Sea on dry land, with walls of water on either side.

The connecting plane was much bigger. We also had free WiFi once we stopped climbing at 30,000 feet. How amazing and cool to chat with daughter in Maine while flying over the Mississippi River.

I don't like landing, but I laugh at the sensation of "bouncing" on the clouds. Who knew you could really do that like in the cartoons? Once I leaned forward to view the sight of the approaching city and the plane banked right at that moment. I gasped and sat back quickly - a reaction to the silly thought that I had caused the plane to tip!

My daughter met us in Austin and drove us across the city to their apartment- 30 miles away! After a delicious meal of home-made beef stew and biscuits, the men watched a documentary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and we (Grace and I) played Banagrams.

Later, we dressed up (black dress, suit coat and tie) to go to a live production of Handel's "Messiah" of the Austin Symphony and Riverbend Choir. The church auditorium was huge! We figured it had to hold over a thousand people. With lots of stone archways, it had the feel of age, although it was a very modern building.

There were 80 choir members and 25 in the orchestra. (no flutes) A harpsichord sat in the center of the instruments. There were a dozen violins and violas. I like the oboes and French horns. Two men and two women took turns singing the recitation solos. It was conducted by David Stevens. The whole concert was amazing. I wanted just to close my eyes and enjoy the words.

"Glory to God"

I didn't realize how much of the production spoke of the Millennial Kingdom. Quite a few times, I found tears forming of the thought of how soon it could be - how the politics and wars and hunger and sin will be gone forever!

Of course, we all stood for the "Hallelujah Chorus" as is tradition, at the end of the second part. I wanted to sing along.


The third part built up to a crescendo of praise to God.

I felt that all of nature was singing to the Lord. It reminded me of my story "Song of the Sunbeams" where scientists discover that a code of praise is embedded in every element of the universe.

It was close to midnight (home time) before we finally got settled on our comfy air mattress (with the door closed, so the cats won't join us in the middle of the night). What a wonderful day - a beautiful day of praise!


Anonymous said...

I would've loved to see a live performance of Handel's "Messiah". I like harpsichords. And I just read about the tradition of standing during part of it.
Thanks, Vonnie!

Joanne Sher said...

Sounds like a wonderful day - and I would ALSO love to hear "Messiah." Awesome!

Elizabeth said...

I LOVE getting dressed up for plays and music, but somehow I always miss the cool stuff around here! I'd love to see a performance of "Messiah", as well as "The Nutcracker".

Dee Yoder said...

Vonnie, your descriptions made me feel I had packed my suitcase was right there alongside you all! Glad it was such a wonderful first day. (:


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