Many have enjoyed (or endured) the quintessential surprise party. Stepping into a darkened/or quiet room, you’re suddenly bombarded with shouts of “Surprise!” Some love it; others hate it, but no matter what, your heart-rate increases and, hopefully, you have a great time with wonderful memories to share.
But not all surprises are followed by cake and presents.
Faithful readers will know about my love of music, but what you may not know is that at one time I considered myself a budding singer/songwriter. I have a handful of songs that I sprinkle through performances when the time is appropriate. Sadly, I’ve not written new material in some years. So it was with great eagerness that I hurried to a neighborhood organization for blind and visually impaired people where a songwriting workshop was to be held. You can imagine the outcry once we learned that we would instead be having a percussion lesson. Various drums were handed out and we proceeded to be taught by a genial instructor with a passion for his subject. I love all things percussion, but I must admit that I was thoroughly disappointed not to have gone away with some tips on the original topic. The coordinators sheepishly admitted that they had lured people there under false pretenses. I thought this underhand tactic wrong and inconsiderate on so many levels but stayed (and enjoyed) just that one class.
Our Lighthouse music school has offered summer mini-classes for the past several years. An e-mail is sent out with the particulars for the courses and you sign up for the ones you would like to take. Life-long learners, Maria and I are always seeking to hone our performance craft. The course labeled Musical Theatre sounded just the thing to obtain tips and tricks for our upcoming show. Again, we learned two new charming pieces, but not a drop of musical theatre knowledge was imparted. We later learned that the course had been renamed Women’s Ensemble. I will definitely say something at the start of the Fall semester.
Our latest surprise came during our recent tandem ride. We’ve always wanted to ride down by the scenic Hudson River. Riding the streets of Manhattan is death-defying, but it is quite exhilarating. Teamed-up with a women’s biking group, we soon found ourselves whizzing right along with everyone else as a part of New York Summer Streets. We rode about nine miles. Talk about being so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk–we all could have shared one, humungous omelet. A fabulous ride to be sure, it would have been nice to have been a bit more prepared for the trek but as with all of our unexpected events, we had fun and learned something in the process.
We welcome your surprising moments in the Reader’s Forum.