With Webster University Department of Music things that must be attended to today, I left Tan-Tar-A yesterday after finishing my final meeting as President of the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music.

The trip home was harrowing.

Somewhere north of Eldon, teensy snow crystals were falling so thickly that the road was nearly obliterated from view.  I kept on, trusting red tail lights ahead of me.  By Jefferson City, that fog-like snowfall had lessened a bit, and I realized I had passed through the leading edge of the storm.  I was now driving further into harrow-dom.

And so it was that the trip home took five hours.  I-70 was fine, truly.   The road was wet, the temperatures above freezing.  But the snow insistently pelted the windshield, and every ten miles or so one would see a car that had spun out and was now stranded in a ravine or on the hillside by the carriage-way.

I took it slow, and listened to the STL Public Radio app on Bluetooth, not being able to stomach the incessant regurgitation of wrongs committed by Trump, as recounted live in the impeachment trial on live radio.  And I listened to some of the earliest recordings of Broadway music — this on a CD that I had packed for listen-while-driving purposes.

Around 6.45, famished, I pulled off to have some chicken fried steak at Cracker Barrel on MO-94 out west in St. Charles County.  The freeway may have been fine, but the feeder roads weren’t!

I’m reminded of

  • how much I hate driving on snow
  • how frustrating the trip to/from the state music conference can be when January weather arrives, as it does every third or fourth year
  • how hard I struggle to stay awake when driving in mid-afternoon
  • how much a different (rental) car can throw off my usual driving patterns and routines.  And comfort on the road.

So I am clearly home now, and doing work that needs to be done, and ready to collect Mariele the Volvo from the dealer after a bit of post-lease service and upkeep on her.

MMEA always brings me back to my roots as a musician.  I see people who I’ve known for decades.  But this year I saw rather fewer of the people of my own generation, many of whom have no retired from school-teaching.  (We college professors tend to hang on a bit longer.) The torch has been passed, as it was to me as well.

I wrote several years ago a blog entry about the influences in my life.  I was reminded of some of these people as I was talking to an old friend on Thursday.

The blog entry is worth reading, I think.

Photos from MMEAs prior:

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