This weekend we hosted an 18 person slumber party at our house, friends flung back into our orbit from New Orleans and New York, Washington, Richmond and Los Angeles, all to come see us and the horse races, to toast champagne, try their hand at moonshine, eat fried chicken and enjoy the glorious southern spring in all of its almost-unbelievable beauty. The air was crisp, the sky was clear, the horses were swift, and the company was excellent. What more could a girl ask for? Oh yeah, for the day to end with 30 people singing and playing music around the campfire.
Up several flights of stairs into a small but airy blue sanctuary with high windows, the singing hasn’t started, but the drums and organ are warming up, seats full and pews stocked with paper fans from the local funeral home. Needless to say, getting the spirit raises temperatures. Amen. This Saturday I met Carrie up in Harlem for the fourth annual gospel choir festival at the Elmendorf Reformed Church. Our friend Laura was singing, the proceeds went to autism research, and the noise promised to be joyous unto the lord and anyone else who might be listening. The church itself (now in its fifth home uptown) was founded 350 years ago, and, as the MC Elder Kevin Spooner said “it feels like some of us have been here that long”. Amen. Four choirs. Organ, piano, bass, drums.The crowd instructed to sing out if the spirit moved us, and moved we were. And afterwards, we waltzed out into the warm Saturday Harlem night to Sylvia’s for fried chicken. Amen.