7 Quick Takes Friday - Music, Sports, DIY

Joining Jen over at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday...

Something strange has happened to my teenager. The Professor (who will be 14 very soon) has become passionately interested in music. Classical music. Sacred music. And... opera. No kidding. He says to me yesterday: "I used to hate opera but now I see that it is one of the highest form of musical expression." *my jaw hits the floor* He is also completely captivated by the Dies Irae and is intent on memorizing it.

Full disclosure: When he talks about music, I usually have only the vaguest idea of what he's talking about. I have a great appreciation for these types of music but I am not very knowledgeable about the topic. He has discovered this interest on his own and is pursuing it on his own. We just support him.

Speaking of music and particularly the Dies Irae... I saw this post at A Reluctant Sinner and had to share. The author was privileged to participate in an All Souls' Mass set to Mozart's Requiem and said, "This evening witnessed one of the most profound moments of my entire life. I beheld, in an immediate and very real way, the height of human civilization." I can't wait to show the Professor.
Read more HERE.


People steal stuff. People cheat. I know these things. It is why I write names and memos on everything from clothing to volleyballs. But it is still surprising somewhat when it happens. Perhaps because I am accustomed to hanging around honest people.

Yesterday, the Chief and I played in our beach volleyball playoffs. I watched the referee cheat. He pretended to turn the score on a number of occasions; ruffled the floppy plastic a bit before leaving it just as it was. He intentionally made bad calls to move the games along. It was just a little thing. It's just a game after all. But it was still disturbing. It stuck in my mind and I regretted that so many adult activities are full of cheating and profanity and excessive use of alcohol. People behave poorly and disrespect themselves and others... and leave me happy, happy, happy to be returning home. Kind of like life on the whole I suppose; and as much as I love my life, I will be happy, happy, happy to go home when it is my time.

Have you seen the latest rage among crafty folks? T-shirt yarn. I admit being a bit captivated myself. As soon as I get a free moment (so it might be a while) I'm going to dig out some t-shirts to cut up. Don't even ask me what I'm planning to do with it yet. One step at a time, you know?

Anyone with a fireplace or wood stove knows the value of fire-starters. Instead of purchasing expensive starters or fat wood sticks, we're going to be making our own using items we already have around the house.  There are a few versions out there but they generally all involve wax, lint or dust, and some sort of cardboard. I haven't decided which we are going to try this season (maybe multiples) but like this video tutorial... Green Fire-Starters

Club volleyball try-outs have now concluded and one thing is very clear: there is nothing easy about youth sports. Gone are the days when talented kids can play just for the enjoyment of it. We have talented children who can play on the teams of their choice, but even choosing a team becomes a complex game as parents wait to find out who signed a contract with which team. Coaches wait to find out if their team this year will be nationally competitive or if it will be a developmental "growing year". The phone rings frequently and texts fly. Talent starts to gravitate in one direction or another and suddenly - again - we are looking at our talented young daughter and wondering at what price success aught to be purchased.

"Take your time," the coach says. "Even if we fill up our roster, we will make space for your daughter to play on this team." Actually, we have only three days left to decide.

Practice on Sundays? Well, it's no worse than CYO. An out-of-state tournament over Easter break? Outrageous. What will we do? She wants to play. And she is talented. I do believe these questions will only get more challenging over time. And it isn't just this sport. We had a swimmer ranked in the top 5 in the nation in multiple events. We quit cold turkey, determined that sport would not destroy faith and family. And our family healed, thanks be to God! St. Sebastian, pray for us!


To my kids:

I pray you always remember the final goal. Don't forget that there will always be someone faster than you. Always someone stronger. Always someone who can jump higher. There will be times when you lose because someone cheats; when you lose because someone on your team gives up; when you lose because you just didn't give your best; or because of injury. There will be times when people hate you for your success and times when they will attempt to hurt you because of it... you have felt that sting. You know. There will be times when you give everything you have and it will not be enough. And times when people give you too much credit, too much attention and praise... and you will be tempted to forget to Whom proper gratitude is due.

Remember the lessons of the pool: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?" ~ Mark 8:36

Do not forget the final goal. Pursue goodness. Pursue truth. Pursue beauty. There are millions of other people pursuing success in your sport. If fighting for success costs you permanent things, then let those people have success. And let it go. It is fleeting... and you will never regret the prize you have gained in its place.

Posted on November 4, 2011 and filed under "7 Quick Takes Friday", "music", "sports", "volleyball".