It is the day after Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving and I’ve managed to still be alive. How did I battle the crowds and remain unscathed? Simple! I stayed home and shopped on my computer. (That’s kind of cheating, isn’t it?) Oh well, I didn’t make many purchases anyway, so why face the danger of stampede? LOL
Thanksgiving Day was another matter! My family and I spent the day with a missionary couple from church who hosted a meal for a few of us who didn’t have big families to travel to. It was a wonderful day with quite the ethnic diversity! The couple originally hails from England and Ireland and they also invited a family from India, a lady from church and her 90 year old mother (who loves reading on a Kindle!). We had quite the time! As the dishes were passed around the table, I couldn’t help but notice which one received the most complements. It wasn’t the turkey, stuffing or cranberry sauce…it was the African Lamb Stew! After tasting a bite myself, I had to agree that even though it was probably the most out-of-norm culturally, it definitely was the favorite! Afterwards, we had a choice of pumpkin or pecan pie with a proper cup of tea! (Well, it was a split between coffee and tea, but I enjoyed the tea best!)
On the other hand, we weren’t the only ones who had something unusual on the table for Thanksgiving. The Red Roots (whose single Great Big Yes is #21 on the Singing News Charts for December) flew to Norway Thanksgiving evening and were served Reindeer meat by their hosts! You can visit their Facebook page for photos! Poor Rudolph… LOL
The month of November has been slow for traveling and seeing concerts, but I have used that time at home to write some “catching up posts.” Did you know that November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where writers challenge themselves to write almost a whole novel in thirty days? Well, I didn’t take part in writing a novel, but I did challenge myself to catch up on as many reviews as possible. After blogging about The Mark Trammell Quartet Homecoming, Silver Dollar City’s Southern Gospel Picnic, a few NQC posts and the Lester’s Homecoming, I felt quite successful…but there is still work to be done! So, after this post, this is what you can look for: I have two more posts to write about the National Quartet Convention, a concert review of The Isaac’s, a book review of Lily Isaac’s book You Don’t Cry Out Loud and a CD Review of Home For Christmas (the new CD from the Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants.)
Speaking of that CD, please pardon me while I brag on it a little… *wink* The Singing News Magazine gave me the opportunity to talk to Jeff Whisnant and Mark Trammell about their new project, Home For Christmas, and that story is featured in the December issue on page 28! I am very thankful to the staff at SN for encouraging young writers and allowing us opportunities such as these. I do not take that lightly! So, if your SN came in the mail recently, why don’t you take it out and give page 28 a peek?
So what did I do with my time on Black Friday while everybody else was out shopping? I was finishing up a book. Now you must understand, I did not set out to finish reading this book last night, but after a point there was no way I was putting it down until I knew what was going to happen! It was good. When I finally read the last page and closed the book I was satisfied. This book was written by Rita Gerlach and titled Before The Scarlet Dawn. In England, we met our main characters Eliza and her soon to be husband, Hayward. The newlyweds sail to the Colonies just before the Revolutionary War breaks out and soon after their first child is born, Hayward goes off to join the Patriots. I have great admiration for Rita’s writing and how she captured a world that is so different, yet, with struggles so much like our own. Most of the time, when I begin a Christian novel I just expect there to a happy ending where every problem is resolved and healed. And why not? It’s fiction and can be crafted that way. But when the author chooses to take a character down a difficult path with hard questions and often, hard consequences, the reality of the answers can be refreshing even in the midst of the plot’s sorrow. The story was different and that’s why it resonated with me. It wasn’t the princess fairy tale ending – it was life-like … yet, not without the healing touch of God. It had the strange mix of a sad and happy ending. Sounds a bit mysterious, eh? It kind of is! But if you like a bit of historical romance coupled with tragedy and healing (that resembles God’s mysterious ways) I would highly recommend this book!
Tomorrow I’m off to Branson for my very first mini-cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle during their “Carol of the Belle” series this season! Though I didn’t get to attend last weekend when they had Triumphant Quartet, tomorrow is the Whisnants and Mark Trammell Quartet (with that new Christmas program I mentioned above) and next weekend is Karen Peck and New River. It’s going to be good!
Until next time,