Tag Archive | Fourth of July


Last week I wrote about the “Great Expectations” I had for the week. Just as I expected, all 7 of them were met. It was a great week. But there was something more. There was a big surprise.

“Organ for Eight” CD cover

As I was scanning through Facebook on Tuesday, I came across an announcement for a concert called “Organ For Eight! (4 hands + 4 feet).” Being an organist myself, I tried to imagine what it would be like to share 2 or 3 keyboards, a pedal board, and stops all around the console with another person – and not either kick or elbow my fellow musician.  The Facebook announcement quoted the organists as saying, “The complexity of intertwining hands and feet and shifting organ registrations is akin to the game of Twister on a bench and three keyboards.”

That’s something I wanted to see – and hear. The concert was going to include a “Patriotic Medley,” “76 Trombones,” “Champagne Rag,” and “Bach for the 4th of July” – not the usual organ repertoire.

The concert was scheduled for Wednesday evening (July 4th) at the chapel of Sinsinawa Mound, the motherhouse for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, in southwestern Wisconsin, about a 2-hour drive from Cambridge. Thanks to our very gracious and flexible friends, Mim and I managed to quickly rearrange our commitments for the next day and we went to the concert with one of our friends joining us.

Fifteen minutes into the concert I realized that my facial muscles were getting a vigorous workout from holding my mouth in a huge continuous smile. I couldn’t help myself. The music was too delightful to not smile. The only relief for my smile muscles came when we sang the songs for each of the armed forces, accompanied by the booming “Organ for Eight!”

What a wonderful surprise for the week!

Early this morning, as Mim and I were walking Abbey, we were talking about our plans and “great expectations” for this week. We were walking down Highland, just past Whispering Winds, and Mim stopped and said, “I just love these beautiful blue wildflowers. The color is so brilliant. And there are so many of them this year.” I took out my phone so I could take a picture to share their beauty with you.

I guess being on the lookout for God’s beauty all around us is one way to be sure we have plenty of “wonderful surprises” this week along with our “great expectations.”

God’s surprises!