Sunday found me and Doc sitting in the newly restored Turnage Theatre in downtown Little Washington (so-called to distinguish it from Washington DC). We were given the tickets from the featured writer at last week’s “Writers’ Read,” and met Jayne and her husband for an afternoon of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, performed by the Carolina Chamber Symphony.

It was pouring rain, but undaunted, we set out for our hour drive, only slightly guilty at leaving out two dogs in their pen. This very large pen features a nice sheltered dog house, and its steps lead into our screened-in porch, where there are old dog beds, bones, water, and a nice high view of the river, but this did not lessen my guilt at those two noses pressed against the wet screen as we drove away…not guilty enough to keep me home, though.

The music was everything I’d hoped. The director told us about the composers lives before waving his baton. I loved hearing about Mozart’s brief but productive life, although until that day I hadn’t known he’d produced SIX symphonies in the last year of his life! And I’d also never known that Tchaikovsky’ was a closet homosexual, and that this had haunted him all of his life and imbued his romantic pieces with its longing.

It had been a while since I’d attended a concert and this proved to be an energetic and enthusiastic group, from the director with his flying arms to the cellist whose face reflected the emotion in the music. The second violinist was perhaps my favorite, a man whose entire body swayed and moved with his bow as he ‘got into’ the romantic pieces. During the first offering, that nagging tickle I can get in my throat when I’m supposed to be quiet acted up. You know, the one that only bothers you in churches and concerts and funeral… but not to fear; I quietly whipped out one of the trusty cough drops I routinely carry around. As the music continued, so did my cough. And then my eyes started to tear, and my right nostril closed over…hmmm…

I was on my fourth cough drop when I leaned over and asked Jayne what perfume she was wearing. “Just something from the grocery store, cheap Gardenia something.” Aha! I’m allergic to gardenia’s. Quick solution at the interval: we switched seats so there was a husband on either side of me. Second half: only one cough drop for me, tears lessening, sinuses opening…but Jayne started to sneeze at her own perfume, and I found myself handing those suckers down the row to her. Seems her own perfume got to her, too.

Moral of the story: Carry your own cough drop supply, and sniff your neighbors deeply before settling into the quiet of a concert.

It was still a wonderful afternoon, and I can’t wait to go again–providing Jayne switches her scent of the day!

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