Last night was the final regular choir practice before our Advent Lesson and Carol service on Sunday afternoon. Because I am a newbie in the choir, this will be the first time I am singing in this service, and so much of the music is new to me. I am singing in the Contralto section, and if you are familiar with four part harmony, you might agree that the Alto section can often be the most difficult.
Practice last night was intense, and some of the songs were difficult (to me), and the longer the practice went, the more difficult the music became. At break time halfway though the practice, I did not even feel inclined to partake of the goodies being offered in the kitchen, so instead I sat in my chair in the choir room and zoned in and out for about 15 minutes.
Our stone church building is 107 yrs old, and the choir room is in the basement. The room is large and bright and clean, and very warm and comfortable. As I sat there feeling so content, the lady who sings at my side returned from the kitchen and we began to talk. We discovered that we are both very early morning risers, so we decided that we had every right to grumble about our state of exhaustion.
As we talked her eyes wandered around the room, then stopped at the wall on the other side of my chair. "Look at how that wall is crumbling" she pointed to the area where the wall meets the floor, and sure enough there was some mortar which had come away from the wall lying on it's side. I imagine there is a lot of restoration that is required in a stone building so old... and I said something like this to her.
That is when I noticed a plastic black box sitting in the corner on the floor. I've seen these before - they are mouse traps, and yes, even a mouse made sense in a room filled with music written on paper sheets where there may be the odd hole in the wall big enough for a wee fellow to squeeze into.
Gone went Dale's brain - I imagined a tiny mouse - decorating his tiny mouse apartment while listening to a cathedral-style choir practicing Christmas music, just outside his doorway. The more I imagined it - the less I could focus on singing. It nagged at me for the rest of the practice, and all the way home in the van, and the hour of tossing and turning before I was able to sleep.
Guess what! It's still here this morning, and it's growing. The mouse now has a name, and he has a mother and a father, and the children mice in the mouse community play a game called "pitching" on the Pipes of the mighty organ in the church proper.
Guess I have to go with this one, and see where it takes me...
I'll let you know - when I know...