Saturday, July 08, 2017

Final Ukulele Choir Performance

This morning we had our final ukulele performance for family and friends at the local library. I'm not sure whether to wipe my brow and feel relieved that it's over (No more practices! We can pack up our ukuleles!) or if I should be mourning the end of an era (we've been with this little ukulele choir for 4 or 5 years now; I can't remember). Perhaps, as we explained to the girls a few weeks ago, it's perfectly legitimate to feel both feelings at the same time.

Rachel was sure she was feeling "confused" about the move but we decided to call it "conflicted." And it isn't so much that we're not sure how to feel, rather that multiple emotions—all valid—are vying for control (as in the movie Inside Out).

So our final performance was relieving and sad...and just a wee bit chaotic.

We weren't able to get a room at our usual library branch, so instead we had to head all the way out to the East Regional Library. We got there in plenty of time to set up and tune our instruments, which was good because as I was tuning up Rachel's ukulele her g-string popped off. It didn't break; it just popped off. I've never restrung an instrument before so I wasn't quite sure what to do. Fortunately, Benjamin hasn't taken to the ukulele quite yet (I've tried) but we brought his along just in case (which, honestly, Zoë plays (with) way more often than he does) so we had a backup.

Rachel wasn't thrilled about using this ukulele, however, because it doesn't stay in tune very well, on account of the hours Zoë has spent fiddling with the tuners (handing her a ukulele is one of the only ways to keep her happy during ukulele practice, but she's not a very dedicated student and more often than not simply lets her curiosity get the better of her. What can I say? She's two.).

Just then, Brother Brown, our ukulele-benefactor and amateur-luthier walked in the door.

"If only we knew someone who knows how to string an instrument," I said, winking at Brother Brown. "Oh, wait! We do!"

I handed him her instrument and he had it restrung in no time. And then, when Zoë brought him the "spare" ukulele in the middle of our little concert, he whipped out a pair of pliers and tightened the screws on the back of the tuners, so maybe that instrument will be able to hold its tune a little better now as well.

I should probably eventually learn how to take care of our instruments myself, considering we're moving so far away from Brother Brown. But, anyway...

Our first song was This Little Light of Mine and Zoë joined us up in front to play along with us (as she did for most songs) in the middle of the song. Unfortunately, she knocked over our music stand in the process, so there was a bit of a kerfuffle, but we managed to get it back upright without too much of a to-do.

Next we sang Donkeys and Carrots and Why Shouldn't My Goose, a round with two parts. Then Edelweiss and My Grandfather's Clock.

Here's a clip of us performing Kookaburra, followed by Un Kilomètre à Pied (pardon our French; it's not great):

We don't have clips of everything because Andrew had to come and go multiple times—to take Zoë potty and to deal with other emergencies, but the show continued with This Land is Your Land, White Coral Bells, Tonight You Belong to Me, Oh! Susanna!, Yellow Submarine, and Waltzing Matilda, which you can listen to below:

We fished up with Keep on the Sunny Side, which we only have about half a video of because Zoë and Benjamin started full-on wrestling during that song and Zoë somehow managed to give Benjamin a bloody nose. I'm not even sure how because he says she fell on top of him and he bashed his face into the floor but somehow the back of her shirt was covered in blood. However it happened, Andrew had to run Benjamin out to the bathroom.

After we finished playing I went to check on them and then started scrubbing Benjamin's blood out of the carpet. The room had gotten quite warm, so I was happy to join everyone mingling in the hallway where the air was fresher.

Andrew left me to finish a conversation with Brother Brown while he took the little ones out to the van. Before our conversation ended, however, I got rather lightheaded and started to blackout so I quickly sat on the floor before I could fall over. Brother Brown coached me to take some deep breaths and offered to get me a soda from the vending machine, which I tried to decline.

"You need something!" he said. "Let me just get you a Coke."

"No, no," I said. "I'm diabetic right now. But I literally just tested my blood sugar a few minutes ago and I'm fine. I really shouldn't drink anything sugary right now."

"You're diabetic?" he asked. "I didn't know that."

"Well, just while I'm pregnant," I said.

"Oh, gestational diabetes," he said. "I tell you! The things women go through to bear children. There is nothing a man could ever do that could compete with that!"

"I'm sure I'll be fine," I assured him. "I think it was just standing so long in that hot room. I'll get some water in a few minutes."

I had brought a chair up to the front just in case I started feeling faint (this pregnancy has been A+, let me tell you) but I didn't feel faint during the performance at all...just I didn't use the chair. But apparently I should have because I was not in good shape at all.

Eventually I managed to stand up again and I got a nice, cold drink from the drinking fountain, and then the girls and I headed out to the van. Andrew asked if I needed to go straight home or if I felt up for grocery shopping (which was our original plan). I said that I thought I could probably manage some grocery shopping—after all, we had a good twenty minute car ride for me to rest. So that's what we did. But that was a terrible idea.

Luckily we went to Costco first and we only needed to grab a few things there because, frankly, we're not really buying much of anything in bulk at this point. I told Andrew that I was feeling faint again and went and sat on one of their display couches until we were ready to go and then we went home, had lunch, and I took a long nap while Andrew and the kids did some desperately-needed yard work.

It is so nice to have Andrew back. Seriously. I know that technically he's been here but it's felt like he's been out of town for several weeks now. And today, of all days, I'm glad he was available to pick up the slack because I left a lot of slack today. 

1 comment:

  1. Quite the impressive repertoire! You uke players have worked hard! Sorry about the nearly fainting--that only happened for me with one baby. (You!)