Monthly Archives: June 2013

What a Privilege

Peggy and I met in youth choir at church. Even though we went to the same high school, I was a year older and we were in different activities.

When I say “youth choir” it probably evokes an image in your mind. That image in your head is wholly insufficient to understand what I am talking about.

I was fifteen when I moved to the Dallas area, and I attended the Methodist church in the town where I went to school. It was a nice-sized church with plenty of activities and opportunities. I sang with the choir there which had about forty members.

At Christmas, a close friend from school invited me to the Christmas Concert at his Baptist church. The first group that sang had about 100 members, but they looked very young to me. When I looked at the program I discovered this was the Junior High choir. After they sang, the youth choir came on stage with about 150 members. I was blown away by two things — the sound that came out of that group and how good the girls looked! We had a few good-looking girls at the Methodist church, but, man…

When we came back to school after Christmas I joined the youth choir at the Baptist church.

Every summer the choir went on a choir tour and then every other summer the choir tour was combined with a mission trip. My first year we did a choir tour through the southeast with about 125 singers. The next summer was a mission trip summer, so when we traveled in 1980 we had more than 200 people on the trip with us. For seventeen days. Driving from Dallas to New York and back. Three charter buses and four 15-passenger vans full of people as well as equipment trucks and other vehicles. It was quite an amazing sight when we would roll up to a church where we were singing and see the looks on the faces of the church members there to greet us.

This is the trip when Peggy and I got to know each other and after which we began dating. I was seventeen and she was sixteen. We have spent the rest of our lives together since that incredible start.

So, think of this happening over a span of fifteen or so years. The youth choir fluctuated between 100 and 175 people as different classes graduated and moved on, but the tours continued uninterrupted.

Last night Peggy and I attended a reunion of the people that went on those trips in the 70s and 80s. We had such a great time seeing friends we have not gotten to see nearly often enough since we left Dallas almost twenty years ago. Getting back together made it seem as though no time had passed — at least until we look at the pictures!

What an incredible gift it was to be part of these events as we were growing up! And how do you ever thank the adults that gave up their vacation time to go along and make it possible for us to go? Seventeen days in a bus with a bunch of teenagers? For vacation?! It was an amazing sacrifice that I never fully appreciated when we were kids. I hope I was able to adequately convey my appreciation last night to the ones who are still with us and were in attendance.

I know that we will never see some of these people again — we even lost one of the organizers of the event during the preparations. It is just a reality of getting older. But we got to see so many last night and relive some wonderful memories. We will relive them again today on the four-hour drive back home to Katy.

Such a privilege…

I don’t think all 170 made it into the picture, but what a wonderful night seeing all of them in person.
Carolyn met her husband when we had them stand together at our wedding.
Photobombing. That’s what friends are for…

Peggy’s Secret Life

My wife has a secret life.

By day she is a Personal Trainer. She is really good at it. So good, in fact, that several of the doctors in the area send their patients to her to improve their balance, strength and mobility. It is a really cool profession that she loves.

But at night she is something completely different. How different?

A little Joy in your life

That different! Peggy is a member of a musical comedy troupe called “Minnie Pause and the Hot Flashes.” The show is a faith-based show that takes famous songs from the 60s and 70s and changes the words to make them pertain to dealing with menopause. We have two different shows — one for ten months of the year and other for Christmas — and they are pretty hilarious. They perform for a lot of women’s groups, but the men who attend probably enjoy it more than the ladies.

For the past couple of years we have been doing 20-25 shows per year — I say “we” because the four husbands are the roadies that set up the stage and run the sound. It is a lot of work but it is truly a lot of fun, too.

When Peggy and I were dating she told me she had always had a dream of performing in plays when she was a young girl. As she got older she was involved with several productions as a musician, but she never got to be onstage. When this opportunity arose she asked for my opinion of whether she should do it. I told her, “You have always wanted to do it, so do it!”

She seemed surprised that I remembered that conversation from many years ago. When you love someone, you don’t forget their dreams.

Even when their dreams look like this…

Every performance folks line up to take pictures with the cast
What they really look like, at least at the beach