|Following my 30-city Christmas Tour with Jim Brickman (ended December 28th), and my back-to-back shows with Abe LaMarca the night before, it felt like heaven to just chill on New Year’s Day, at home with our eldest son and his betrothed. We feasted on chili and watched football games and movies in our slippers, like any family!
We were all up the next morning at 4:30 am to take Sean and Cait to the airport. Our goodbyes weren’t as sad as usual: we had their March wedding to look forward to, only a couple of months away!
At the end of December, I received a very sad call from my dear friend, Cooper. Her younger brother, Bill, had died a couple of days earlier and she requested I sing at his funeral, to take place on January 3rd. My heart broke for her and her family. I had sung a year and half ago at the funeral of Cooper’s sister, Noreen, who had died of breast cancer. To think that her dear parents have lost two children in such a short time; no parent should have to bury a child, let alone two. It was a beautiful funeral and a privilege to be a part of it with my small tribute to Bill’s memory.
Ten days later, my husband and I, accompanied by our usual foursome, flew to Cancun, Mexico for a seven-day vacation. We stayed at a fabulous all-inclusive resort, and although I was still fighting an awful respiratory virus, it was a wonderful week of relaxation and fun. The resort had scrumptious restaurants, nightly entertainment offering music, dance, comedy and magic, a beautiful beach and pool and plenty of sun. But two days after I returned home, I started my antibiotic for a sinus infection. That’s how my virus had evolved. I wish I had started it sooner, though as long as it was still a virus it probably wouldn't have done any good.
Feeling better by Friday the 25th, I flew to Atlanta, GA to sing with Jim Brickman, Tracy Silverman and The Atlanta Symphony. We had performed with this excellent symphony twice before. I arrived on an early 7:30 am flight, checked into my hotel and tucked in a little nap before our rehearsal with the Symphony. The rehearsal went very well, by the way!
From there, Tracy, his son, Toby, our sound engineer Bob and his wife, Angie, and I walked to a nearby restaurant, where we were treated to a wonderful dinner by Jim. We celebrated Bob’s birthday with a champagne toast.
An hour and a half later, the 8:00 concert began. I had some issues hearing myself during the show, but did mywas the concert. It was good to hear best. My friend, Cooper, her son and four friends were in the audience, and told me the sound was amazing, as after the fact, but as a performer, you need the confidence that comes with the feedback in your ear, because you know that you’re giving the best show possible. Unable to hear myself, I was so uncomfortable--I just had to act as if everything was perfect!
After the concert, Cooper, her son and friend joined me, Bob and his wife in our lobby hotel bar, for a drink to toast Bob’s birthday again. Soon it was time to say goodbye to my beautiful friend, go to my room, pack… and dissolve into my pillow for a four-hour sleep. My Uber picked me up at 6:30 am to make my 9 o'clock flight home. I walked in the door at 11:30, oof!
The last day of January is my youngest son’s birthday. I made his special dinner request of vegetarian black bean enchiladas, followed by a birthday cherry pie, topped off with some gifts. So hard to believe my baby is 28!!
And that’s the rewind of January, my friends, with all the ingredients that will continue to season the New Year: music, family and friends…peppered with a bit of travel for good measure!