". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First of July Update

For the interested, and anyone else who needs one more reason to put off mopping the kitchen floor.

It's a little quieter around here today. As I write this, Trevor should be finishing up his first day at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival in Maiori, Italy. He left two days ago and arrived yesterday after about 24 hours of traveling. His route took him from Chicago to Montreal to London to Milan to Napoli via air and then to Maiori via shuttle. The reason for the less-than-direct path was our need to pay for his airfare with accumulated credit card points. (Ironic, isn't it, that it takes more planes, more time, more labor and more fuel to get there more cheaply.) Trevor was awarded a grant for part of his cost and is paying for the rest out of his own money. He auditioned and was accepted into the Young Artists' track, which means that in addition to studying with some amazing teachers he will also be performing a solo recital. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of him, not only for the hard work that earned him that honor but also for his success in traveling internationally by himself for the first time ever. He has spent the last several months learning some basic Italian! It seems to have helped. Not only did he find all his gates on time, but he found a place to trade his dollars for euros in London, and he caught a cab from the airport to his hotel in Napoli, spending the night before catching a cab back to the airport for the shuttle to Maiori the next morning. The thought of doing all that alone is scary to me, so all I can say to my son is "Bravo." Here's a picture of Trevor on his first day in Maiori. He is on the right; his teacher is in the middle.

There have been a few mix-ups. In Montreal his carry-on, which was valeted due to insufficient space in the overhead compartment of the small plane, was sent to baggage claim by accident instead of being returned to him. This meant he had to leave the secure area and go through Customs to retrieve his bag and then clear security again to catch his trans-Atlantic flight. In addition, we discovered that even though we visited our local T-Mobile store ahead of time to get instructions on calling internationally between our cell phones, his phone is not working in Italy, resulting in some tense times for the parentals as we awaited his check-in calls (luckily in London he was able to find an internet kiosk so as to send us an email). Finally, his computer, which he decided to pack in his luggage rather than carrying with him, was damaged by baggage handlers who did not take care to return it to its cushioned location after inspecting his bag. He seems to have not been too fazed by any of this (or if he is, he's putting on a good front for his worrywart mom).

Here is the website for the piano portion of the festival. If you click on "People" and then "Young Artists" you will see Trevor's bio along with those of all the other remarkable young pianists chosen for the performance track. Prepare to be blown away. There are several child prodigies in the mix.

Moving right along, Caitlin is one week into Drivers' Ed (Driver's Ed?) and is doing great. We practiced yesterday and I didn't scream or grab the steering wheel once. At least I don't think I did. Maybe I am just blocking it all out.

Evan recently took another swimming class. You can read his swimming journey here. The first attempt, a few years ago, did not go well. Last fall we tried again with private lessons and he made great progress. Now he is building on that progress! Here he is trying out the big slide for the first time:

As usual, we are continuing "school" into the summer months. Considering our hit-and-miss, um, relaxed homeschooling style, we have never been able to justify taking the summer totally off. Right now Caitlin and I are reading Hamlet, and Evan and I are trying to wrap up the Life of Fred elementary series. Piano lessons, continue, of course, as do Bible and catechism study.

And, oh, did I mention we're moving? Dad is in Oklahoma right now, laying the groundwork for things to come. It looks like God cooled things off a little there this week. I'm sure that was done with my husband in mind. ;-) It's been a long time since we experienced summer in the South!

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