Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life During Roller-Coaster Weather

We are having roller-coaster weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be colder than anytime in the past 17 years. All schools, K-12, are closed in Minnesota tomorrow, January 6. I looked at the closings on a web site and 3 universities in the Twin Cities are also closed tomorrow.

Yesterday was a bit warm, + 15 (-9 C). Ever since moving, my stapler has been empty and I have no idea what is the good place I put a box of staples. I decided it would be easier simply to get a new box of staples rather than to keep searching. So I took for a walk to a nearby shop. I put on a polar fleece shirt and then a winter coat.

The shop to which I was going is located along a pedestrian street plaza.
Along the side of the shop are four murals.

The murals are all fanciful representations of major landmarks in Saint Paul, but in some of the murals buildings are next to each other which in real life are several blocks apart.

By the time I walked back into my apartment I was sweating, but that won't happen anytime time soon!

Last evening I had been invited to supper gathering and was delighted when other guests e-mailed to ask if they could pick me up. Going out when the temperature is dropping is more fun when one is with others. The gathering was so much fun, but on the way back to our homes we noticed the temperature was now -7 F.

This morning the temperature was -10 (-23 C) when I left for church. I had volunteered to help with a re-gifting fundraiser. The idea is that we often receive gifts that don't fit or are not our style. Yet someone else might like the item. So today many brought items and next week we will sell them.

 The proceeds go to support the international service teams associated with my church.

After being done with this, I drove to the Science Museum, parked the car, and had lunch in the Elements Cafe there. About six weeks ago I had purchased a ticket for a performance at the nearby Ordway, envisioning that I would walk there from my new apartment, but the weather convinced me otherwise. I decided a 2 block walk was much better than a 10 block walk!

 Easy to see why no one was having lunch on the outdoor plaza. This is the first time I've ever eaten lunch here, and wow! the food is very good and quite reasonably priced.

Then it was time for the 2 block walk, and oh my! was it cold. There was a blustery west wind blowing.

The concert today was a Broadway Song Book featuring Gershwin music.

When I was about 10 years old one of my grandmothers gave me a record with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

The idea of the song book series is that one learns about the composer as well as details about the songs. Things that surprised me -- Gershwin was well on the way to being a juvenile delinquent, when one day he was forced to attend a violin concert presented by a friend. He became mesmerized by music. Then shortly thereafter his family bought a piano -- and the rest is history. His brother, Ira, produced some lyrics under the name Arthur Frances, which is a combination of names from their younger two siblings.

The concert included very familiar songs such as "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." It also included some not so well known such as Vodka. I've never heard this one before. I can remember only one line: If I have a drink, I can't think.

The final song -- yes song-- was Rhapsody in Blue. About 20 years ago a lyricist put words to the concerto that tell the story of Gershwin's life. Another surprising fact: Paul Whitman published in the New York Times  on a January date that he was playing a Gershwin piano concerto in late February. That was the first time Gershwin heard about his writing a piano concerto. Whitman said he did it to challenge Gershwin, and we all know Gershwin did rise to the challenge. 

Back across to the Science Museum plaza again in the wind, and then home. So glad I decided to do it this way -- and since I'm a member of the Science Museum, the parking fee was discounted. Temperature back to -7 again when I got back to my building, only to discover someone in my parking place. Since the building is not 100% occupied I put my car elsewhere and hope it will be OK.

Temperature now 2 hours later as I write has dropped to  - 11 (-24C). By Tuesday things are to start being better -- weather-wise! I just know I'm not going outdoors anywhere tomorrow.

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