Sunday, April 17, 2011


Entry into Jersusalem - Orrente, c. 1620
Today is Palm Sunday, and the Box and I went off to the service at Market Square Church. I sing in the choir, so I had to be there early and ready for a last-minute rehearsal. I had awakened early and got out of bed at 5:33 a.m. after some tossing and turning.

I have an electronic keyboard and when I knew that Susanne was awake, I turned it on and ran through some "problem" areas of the pieces we were to sing.

The choir loft was full today because the Alleluia choir, made up of older children, joined us -- actually, we joined them! -- in a "hosanna" song by local composer Robert Lau. They did a great job, with spirited singing in tune and with a catchy rhythm. A brass ensemble had played prelude music and the adult choir sang a sort of choral fanfare to open the festivities.

The bulletin cover and palms.
When the entrance hymn rolled around, the congregation participated heartily in the waving of their palm branches during the refrain. I apologize for the sloppy beginning to the video, but you'll get the idea. You'll also see the palm plants to the right of the pulpit, which I had placed in memory of my parents. They will be there through Easter Sunday.

Later in the service, we adults sang two parts of Cherubini's Requiem in c minor, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei. We were accompanied on the organ. I think we did pretty darn well. It's a fun piece to sing, the Requiem. Beautiful without killing the singers, if you know what I mean. People in the parking garage and men's room said the music was "great" and "magnificent."

Palms stay for Holy Week.
After the service my sister Rachel and I made our ritual pilgrimage to the McDonald's on Front Street near Linglestown Road. We jawed awhile, ate a burger, and then went our separate ways, she to prepare for a party she was to attend, and I to write this blog.

Susanne and I unloaded her treasures from the car, talked on the phone for a while with Sarah and Chloe, who called to wish us a happy fortieth anniversary, and then got ready for a special dinner at Olive Garden to celebrate. Forty years...I know...I should be made a saint. (Hey, this is my blog, so I get to write stuff like that!)

While I parked the car, Susanne went in to Olive Garden to reserve a table. There was no line, so she was seated immediately. I followed shortly after parking up against the Pier 1 next door.

Seafood pasta.
We had the usual breadsticks and salad while our orders were prepared. Susanne order seafood pasta, and I ordered eggplant parmesan. Like my quest for the perfect hamburger, in Italian joints I always test out the eggplant. This was quite good, crisp and tasty. We decided to splurge on dessert, too. I had warm apple crustata (or something akin to that) and Susanne took home something chocolate. All in all, it was a pleasant meal, even though it paled in comparison to the wonderful restaurants of Little Italy in Baltimore, where we have dined on occasion with our son Matt and his wife Marylee.

Eggplant parmesan.
During the evening, we enjoyed reading the comments and congratulations left on my Facebook page by family and friends near and far.

It's hard to believe it is 40 years since we tied the knot. Susanne will kill me (for the insurance money) when I tell this awful joke one more time:

"Susanne and I were happy for 24 years. Then we met!"

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