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Since I never seem to get around to sending out Christmas cards or letters, I decided to blog a bit to keep my fans updated. :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

One of those phone calls you hate to get

"Hi Holly, this is Mom..."
(so far, so good)
"Has B" (my brother)"called you today?"
(Oh no. What happened to B?) "No, he hasn't called me today"

"I was in an accident today and totaled my car"
(Wave of panic)
"I'm not hurt"

I calmed down and realized that her voice sounded ok. Have you noticed that about voices? They often broadcast more than words. I was quickly reassured that she is indeed OK, but her car is not. Her seatbelt and airbags protected her, though she will be sore for awhile.

Poor mom. The woman who rarely evens turns on her cell phone happened to have it turned on today and looked at it for one tiny moment to see why it had beeped. That's all it took for the guy in front of her to stop for a light. One moment. Thank goodness it was a city street where they were not traveling at high speeds.

That could easily have been me. I admit, I often talk on the phone while driving. I'm one of those who likes to think "it won't happen to me". But if it could happen to my mother, who only turns on her phone once in a blue moon, it could happen to me, who only turns hers off at night. And since I engage in this activity often, my chances must be much higher.

Note to self (maybe I should write this on the back of my hand each day): Ignore the phone while driving!

Before cell phones, I never worried about who might be calling me while I was in the car, so why should I care now? Instead of turning it off at night, perhaps I should turn it off when I get into my car.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I LOVE the internet! In the past month, I have reconnected with two friends from High School via Facebook , one friend from 5th grade via Goodreads (she found me!), and I just had an IM session with a college roommate who is as poor a correspondent as I am. (Which means we have not communicated in an embarrassingly long time). As she lives in Germany, she was up early on a Saturday morning, and asked why I was up so late on my Friday night! It was fun to discover that she too works with the cub scouts.

My family is so much better connected than the previous generation. Between IM, email, and cell phones, I stay in touch with parents, siblings, and the nieces and nephews. (I always know when there’s a “snow day” in Colorado Springs, because that’s when my niece K likes to email.) (And M, thanks for reading my blog – I did see your comment!)

And then there is my favorite almost-4-year-old. What a grand time we have IM-ing! Believe it or not, she often initiates our video conferences, which works quite well since her typing is yet largely undecipherable. I love that she knows me and recognizes me even though she lives in California.

Now there is blogging which allows me to bend your ear (eyes?) on a regular basis. Can it get better than this?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Holly's happenings

For those who have noticed a lack of Christmas letters from me in recent years (I think I've missed 3 years now), here's what I would have mentioned in a 2008 letter--

This year started off with a parting of ways...between me and my gall bladder. Parting was not sweet sorrow in this case, because I was to the point of feeling ill nearly all the time by the end of the holidays. My parents came out to tend to me and it was very nice to have them here for a few days while I recuperated. Before heading home, Mom extracted a promise that I would not go into the office for the rest of the week, and Dad made me promise not to drive a car until Saturday. Naturally, I was a very good girl and obeyed my parents -- the closest I got to the office was sitting in a comfy chair in the living room with a laptop perched between my knees. (sorry...no photo to show for that. Actually, it's probably better that way)

The next big event was on March 15th – I traveled home that weekend for my Dad’s baptism. (Note: Mom was baptized in July 2007). It was great to visit with the 5 nieces and nephews who live there, and I’m glad I was able to spend some quality time with them because I haven’t been back since. (which is unusual for me) At the time, I was gearing up to teach the cub scouts some magic tricks and tried them out on the nieces and nephews. 8-year-old R was convinced I could read his mind!

In June I went with my choir (Utah Baroque Ensemble, hereafter referred to as UBE) on tour to Italy! I had never been to Italy, and nearly didn’t go this time…but when else would I get a chance to sing in the Vatican? Our small choir provided the music for a mass service in St. Peter’s Basilica – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up. Just in case you go to Italy sometime – my favorite thing was public fountains. If you look closely as you visit them, somewhere nearby fresh drinking water is being dispensed. I only bought 1 bottle of water during the trip and just kept refilling it. And my brother B was right – Rome is ALL about walking.

Since then, mom came out in July for our annual pilgrimage to Utah Festival Opera, which marked the beginning of the high season at “Hotel Harvey”. August is always my busiest month for house guests between Education Week and the start of BYU’s fall semester. I love visiting and reminiscing with friends as they drop their children off at BYU! As an added bonus, I often get to play “aunt” for their kids, so my list of pseudo nieces and nephews continues to grow.

As for the rest of 2008, it will be full of singing! In addition to my new assignment to lead the choir in my congregation, the UBE is preparing to present 4 concerts this fall, and this Sunday rehearsals commence for the Christmas Chorus – a treble choir that practices every weekend from now through November and presents 2 concerts the first weekend in December. We always sing Britten’s “Ceremony of carols”, plus a lovely selection of international carols. I love Christmas music best, so I dearly love being in the treble choir!

I'm sure there is more I could share, but I fear I have rambled on too long already, so I will call that good for now. Thanks for reading to the end!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kindergarten carpool

This month I have been helping a friend by taking her turn with the kindergarten carpool, which consists of picking up 3 children from the preschool/daycare they attend and transporting them to their elementary school. I must say, they make me laugh EVERY time!

At the end of the first trip, as they were exiting my vehicle, I cheerily told them "Have fun at school today!" One of the girls stopped and turned around and corrected me with "You mean Kindergarten". "Oh, right!" was the only thing I could utter before swiveling my head away from her so that I could laugh. DUH Holly! It's Kindergarten, not School!

Today, my friend's son was commenting on how AWESOME Halloween will be this year, because they will get both Preschool candy AND Kindergarten candy. I commented that this is called "double-dipping". They each had to try saying "double-dipping" aloud, and from the sounds of contentment and wonder I heard coming from the back seat, I think a little chunk of their worlds has just fallen into place and now makes sense.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Taking the plunge!

I'm taking the plunge into the world of blogging! If you've found my blog, you know that the winning entry in the "name that blog" contest is "Gathering Holly", which was submitted by my sister-in-law LH. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of submissions that came in this last week -- my family and friends are definitely more creative than I! Many heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who sent in your entries. The remaining entries are too good to discard, so watch for them to come up as titles for individual postings.

Here is today's bit of news -- I am the new choir director for my congregation. This should be really interesting because I have NO experience in choral conducting (other than observing it while singing with my community choir for the last several years!). I do lead the congregational singing, but that really is just waving one arm in time to the music. Now I have to actually be coordinated and make sure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing -- even when they must operate independently.

I'm already reviewing possible selections for Christmas and twisting the arms of friends and neighbors to get attendance commitments from them. I think some will come just for the fun of laughing with me as I make a fool of myself. Maybe some others will come if I promise treats. Some will come for no other reason than they are my friends and wish to support me (and be glad that THEY are not the conducting) Whatever the reason, I hope lots of people come out to sing. It will be much more fun and less nerve-wracking for me. (And, yes...it's ALL about me. That's why I now have a blog. ha ha)