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Snowstorm in DC area in 2011.

Image by DeusXFlorida via Flickr

We had almost 12″ of SNOW on Saturday afternoon and evening!  In October!  The record for this time of year in Western Massachusetts is 7.5″.

The church dinner went on using candlelight, but my concert was postponed.  So now I have an additional week to practice before my next scheduled performance!

My blog series about this program could now be called, “The Ever-changing Story!”  Keep reading.  You’ll see why.

Let me tell you about my day.

Saturday was an exercise in patience.

Check-in #1

I called around 11:30 a.m. to see if the concert was on.  A major snowstorm had been predicted for mid-afternoon and evening, and the sky was becoming darker and darker.  My body told me it was definitely going to snow.  There was no answer, so I left a message. Then I practiced for an hour and called back.  I asked if there was a backup plan, considering the weather report.  The answer was no… the church deacon said it wouldn’t snow ’til midnight.

Check-in #2

I finished practicing, took a shower, and looked out the window about 2:15 p.m.  It was snowing hard.  I called again.  The person in charge of the kitchen said they had to do dinner because all the food was already cooked.  The plan was to have dinner, then look outside around 6:30 to check on the weather.  If people felt they needed to get home, we would postpone the concert.

By that time I felt that the concert definitely would be postponed, so getting ready to leave was hard.  Getting ready normally puts me “in the groove” to perform.  This time, though, it was “maybe I will, maybe I won’t.”  The lack of decision by the presenters caused uncertainty on my part, affecting my mood and level of excitement.  Most times, cancellations are made well in advance:  for example, Smith College announced the cancellation of its Saturday concert the evening before.

Concert makeup, concert hair, and concert dress happened anyway, and I packed up my music and heels.

At the church

We arrived after 5:00, driving bumper-to-bumper the entire time.  I began practicing at 5:10, with dinner scheduled for 5:30.  At 5:15 the power went out!  After some discussion about my playing by candlelight (which might have worked with 2 candelabra and large flashlights), the deacon decided that elderly people shouldn’t be going up the stairs by flashlight. (The church sanctuary is located on the 2nd floor.) So the the concert was postponed, date to be confirmed.

An atmospheric dinner

Dinner was excellent, served and consumed by candlelight.  Not many people showed up.  A former co-worker came, driving some distance. We were surprised to see him, and had a good time talking.

The ongoing discussion

We had an extended discussion about a new concert date.  It will tentatively be Sun., Nov. 20th (1st choice) or Sat., Nov. 19th, at 3:00.

A busy time in the church year is coming soon: Thanksgiving, Advent, a church fair, and Christmas.

Any proposed date for the church calendar has to be approved by the deacons. Not all of them were present, so we are awaiting the next church service or deacons’ meeting.

With the major snowstorm and loss of power at the church, I wonder whether the service was held this morning.

What’s next?

If one chooses to be positive, as I was after a short time, this can be turned into an advantage! I have an unexpected additional week to practice before the next scheduled concert, same program.

This afternoon, it felt great to practice with the sun streaming through the window, reflecting intensely off the snow.

The Town of Amherst has canceled just about everything for Monday, as there is a wide-spread power outage and most businesses are closed. There will be no school, including the closing of all 5 colleges.

So I get to stay home and practice tomorrow! There’s tennis to watch, too (Basel, Switzerland)!!! Free snow day!

Mother Nature wins this time, and now I’m fine with that.  However, this could be a very interesting winter!  (It’s not winter yet!)

Stuff happens.

Related articles

Have you experienced a rescheduling with a long decision time? This is probably the most difficult cancellation I have encountered.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!


Snowed in?  This is the PERFECT TIME to read “Goal-oriented Practice:  How to Avoid Traps and Become a Confident Performer!”

Goal-oriented Practice

August 2011 review by pianist Robert W. Oliver

When You Buy a Piano

How to Maintain Your Piano

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