Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Week of Highs and Lows

July ranks just slightly less stressful than May in the work department. Our yearly work cycle really gets started on July 1st and we kick off by mailing out delinquent statements for all of our clients. I stay very busy for several weeks, finally getting a little breather at the end of the month before we pick up with a second wave of statements that get mailed in August.

The High: Last Friday I finally caught up and reached the breather stage. I celebrated by taking off a couple of hours early and hitting the Elgin Antique Mall on the way home. At first all was well. The bookcase I have my eye on is still there waiting for me (and may be coming home in the next week or so) and I found a book on the history of Manchaca to add to my Texana collection.

The Low: Abruptly, in the middle of my antiques ramble, I didn't feel so good. My stomach was not happy about something and I had managed to mis-step and put my hip out of kilter. That took the fun out of things and I paid for my book and headed home. By the time I got home the stomach ache had escalated and I had developed a bad headache to go with my hip ache. I took some aspirin and some antacid and crawled into bed for a 2 hour nap.

I still don't know whether I ate something that didn't agree with me or I had picked up a mild stomach virus, but for several days following I would feel almost ok for awhile and then feel totally rotten. I mostly hibernated over the weekend, resting and watching what I ate.

The High: I was relieved that I felt ok enough to go ahead and attend a play at the Opera House on Sunday afternoon. I had ordered my ticket weeks before for Always, Patsy Cline. The one and only matinee performance was sold out and the play was getting excellent reviews, so I did not want to miss it. Thankfully, my stomach cooperated and I was able to relax and enjoy two hours of a good story performed by an excellent cast. Ordering my ticket so early had earned me a seat front row, center, one of the best seats in the house.

I was glad I had not missed the opportunity to see the play, which centered on the true story of a friendship that developed between Patsy Cline and an ardent fan, Louise Seger, when they met at the Esquire Ballroom in Houston. In those days a musician did not travel with an entourage and Patsy had traveled alone to the gig at the Esquire. Louise appointed herself Patsy's manager for the night and before the evening was over the two had become great friends. That night began a correspondence that lasted until Patsy's untimely death.

The play was full of music, with Terry Lyne Moore doing a very good imitation of Patsy Cline and accompanied by an outstanding group of musicians. There was even a little bit of audience participation when Engela Edwards, as Louise, pulled a couple of gentlemen out of the front row for a little dancing during the nightclub scenes. Everyone had a great time going back in time to when country music was something special.

And, even knowing how the story ends, it still took your breath away when Louise hears the news of the plane crash.

The Low: After such a good afternoon, it was a disappointment when the evening brought a relapse of my stomach issues and I spent Monday lying on the couch alternately napping and watching old movies and hoping that another day's rest would put an end to whatever bug had taken hold.

Another Low: I was back in (cautious) action on Tuesday and decided I would spend my lunch hour getting an overdue oil change taken care of. That was a bad decision. Normally the dealership gets me in and out in an hour, but I made the mistake of asking them to go ahead and do the yearly inspection so I would not have to make another trip in a couple of weeks. That lead to having to purchase a new tire to pass inspection and it took twice as long to get me back on the road as I was told it would be.

The High: But, when I got home that night, there were packages waiting for me. I had located a copy of a Crittenden County, Kentucky, history book for a good price from one online source, and a book on Mary Hardin-Baylor history from another online source and both had arrived. It was a good week for adding to my history book collection.

Another High: With the rigors of July notices behind me, and finally feeling almost human, I found myself in the mood to do a little genealogy. I spent a couple of days making some headway in getting piles and piles of Hodge genealogy sorted out and filed. I am rediscovering how much material has been acquired to document my black sheep ancestor, Dr. Henry, and his long-suffering father John. And this week brought an unexpected contact with a gentleman who is researching the Pointe Coupee Artillery, a Confederate unit in which my ancestor Albert McAfee may have served. I have been trying for many years to prove that the A. McAfee listed in their ranks is indeed my Albert. It was nice to get an objective opinion from an independent researcher who feels that it is a good probability that the two are the same.

More Looming High: Have I mentioned I love live theater? In about another week, I will be attending another play, this time at Festival Hill in Round Top. Friend Lana and I have been scheduled for some time to attend a John Edward appearance in Austin, with her spending the night afterward. When I received notice that a matinee of a play focused on connecting with your heritage would be playing the following afternoon in Round Top, we decided we had to include that in our plans. I have been wanting to attend something at Festival Hill for a long time and this sounds like it will be a perfect opportunity.

And, Lana's vehicle is large enough that we are anticipating a trip to the Elgin Antique Mall to buy that long-coveted bookcase that I hope will soon be holding my collection of music books. I can already see it standing next to my piano. I certainly hope that it will soon be mine and that nobody else will suddenly get it into their head to buy it out from under me. (I've only been watching and drooling over the thing for the last 3 years.)

So, life has had its ups and downs this month. Fortunately the accumulated highs have outweighed the lows. And when life gives me lemons, a nap on the couch with two cuddly dogs is a great analgesic.