On being married to Superman
If you’re going to live in a third world country, you want to be sure you are married to Superman: a man who can speak foreign languages, wash and wring clothes by hand, drive through herds of cows on their way to summer pasture, and perform concerts without notice.
Last night, President Perez told us there were people coming into town from Bluefields, a city accessible only by plane or boat, and he wanted us to perform a concert for them—today. Suddenly, we are apparently soloists and a performing duo. Since an early morning phone call took us to Boaco today, we planned our program in the car. We sang some hymns a capella, and I sang some solos while Frank played. I think it was fine, despite the fact that the president announced it as we went along, a little differently than we had planned, and we were selecting additional hymns between numbers. This is what you can do if you are married to a Superman who has been practicing the piano for 60 years.
Tonight after the program was over, Frank was asked to play the piano for the choir of the sisters from Bluefields in church tomorrow. Of course, there are a few minor complications. The sisters didn’t have any music for the song, “Consider the Lilies,” which is not in the hymnbook. That was fairly easy to fix. The church has Internet, and I have an account with Jackman Music, so we purchased some music to download. But then there was this: the sisters have never sung the song with an accompanist; they don’t read music, and they don’t know any of the modulations or variations from verse to verse. In fact, they need someone to play their melody part as they sing, which is not the way the music is scripted. This is when Superman swooped down to spend a good part of the night rearranging the music to keep it all in one key, with melody added and some nice accompaniment to fill it out—between the time we left the church at 8:30 pm and the time we have to be back to rehearse the song at 8 am tomorrow. Fortunately he can write this all out by hand, because the electricity is off tonight and we are working by candlelight. (We bought a supply of matches and candles our first night here.)
Before the computer battery dies, I’ll mention a few other traits that make for a good Superman: scratches backs, irons shirts, remembers where to find scriptures (important when you can’t do a search because of the accents in the aforementioned foreign language), stands up and gives gospel discourses when announced without notice, wakes up cheerful in the morning.
He has not yet figured out a device for generating electricity, so I’ll have to add some pictures and post this tomorrow.