Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Five: First Times

A fun play from MaryBeth:


Firsts. With so many folks starting school, college, seminary, etc. I've been thinking of a lot of other firsts in my life.  Share with us, if you will:

Your first "place" - whether it was an apartment, dorm room, or home with a new spouse, the first place where you really felt like a grown-up:


My first apartment, post-college--the one I got all by myself. The one where I kept a hammer under the bed in case of intruders. The one where a forgotten head of lettuce turned to soup in the crisper. The one that was over a computer-repair shop. The one where I went downstairs one morning to discover that my my car had been squished by a truck in the night (and the trucker left a note, shoring up my faith in human nature). The one that my dad helped me to wallpaper, instilling in me one of my first Important Life Lessons:
never, ever wallpaper with anyone you ever want to speak to again.

Your first time away from home. Construe this any way you want. College? Girl Scout Camp? Study Abroad?

 Oooooo...Girl Scout Camp! Many interesting things were discovered:
  • Oranges impaled on peppermint sticks, through which the juice was sucked out. Mmmmmm.
  • Cliques, which left several girls in tears...and me, just mad as I watched it unfold.
  • My first earworm in memory, sung repeatedly with Julie Elswick in our tent after lights-out (listen at your own risk):

Your first job in your field of endeavor (so, not babysitting, unless you are A Professional Babysitter today).


I had two church music jobs while in college; actually, I'd been leading since I was about 13, but these were my first steady, paid gigs. The real job was at a campus-adjacent church, where I led Saturday night Mass from behind a guitar, with a talented teenage girl singing along. That was fun.

Less fun was the situation with our college chapel services; our liturgist (who I adored) left over the summer, and she hadn't been replaced. The sister in charge of the chapel services fully expected that I'd lead the music in her place until such time as a new hire could be made...without any sort of compensation (my first experience of the "undervalued musician" dynamic). I tried to explain to her that I'd be happy to bring my gifts and years of training to bear on the dilemma, but that I'd like to call it a work/study situation (at the princely sum of $7/hour...quite a bargain was I!), as I needed to eat that summer. Otherwise, another paying job would need to take up the hours she was looking to fill with music. Let the record state that summer chapel services were music-free that year.

Your first time hosting. Again, construed broadly, this could be a dinner for the in-laws, your first time to have guests for a holiday meal, etc.


My best friend/roommate and I, post-college, decided to host our church "young adults" group for a sloppy joes/beer/movie gathering one New Year's Day. This was a particularly close group of people; we spent a great deal of our free time together (one couple had got rather publicly engaged at the Christmas party), and almost all of us lived within a radius of just three miles or so.

So, that morning, as I cleaned the apartment, Roommate went to the kitchen to start cooking. We had no ground beef.

No. Ground. Beef.

This made the planned menu rather difficult to prepare. So, thought I, "I'll just go over to the grocery store and pick some up." On New Year's Day. You can see where this is going...

So we got on the phone and called the guests, inviting them to bring a pound of ground beef along, if they had one.

Every party we hosted (or attended) that year, we were given ground beef.

Your first love.That can be a person or something else!!


I was absolutely nuts about my elementary school music class. Singing, playing instruments, talking about music...I was absolutely HOOKED. Mrs. Ewald (to whom I will always be grateful) made it so much fun! I loved "music stations" days, where we rotated around the room, trying out various instruments and music games. I loved that she got us to bring in the instruments we studied privately, to demonstrate for the rest of the class (my first performance experience!). I loved that we frequently sang this song (expressing my nascent inner hippie):

 ...and that, every Halloween, she got out crayons and drawing paper, and had us draw this music:

Besides being fun, it opened my mind to music as a vehicle for storytelling, art and other forms of expression. Well done, Mrs. Ewald!

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