We drove half-way across the state this morning to attend the funeral of my good friend Rick's mother. I can't remember how long I've known Rick, but it seems like a long time. Rick married my wife's best friend a few years ago and the four of us are like family, if you were given the luxury of choosing who your family members are.
Carol was born in 1935. She and her husband raised six sons on their farm in Iowa County. All six sons, their wives, children and grandchildren still live near the farm. Carol's husband died six years ago. ALS. Rick took a six month leave of absence and moved into his parents' home so he could take care of his father. The idea of putting Dad or Mom into a nursing home was unthinkable.
Carol was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. She had surgery and chemo, and was sick as could be. A different son took her in to the city for her chemo treatments three times weekly. A nurse was hired to spend overnight with her. Three weeks ago she called all her sons to come visit and told them that she was done with chemo. She surrendered. It was time to die. An eighty year old woman said enough is enough. Carol's physicians said that she might make it another six months; she lived two weeks and died in her home with her family around her.
The funeral was this morning. It was a beautiful winter day here; light, dry snowflakes gently floating to earth in the absence of wind. We watched the snow through church windows, falling as quietly as the tears of the family. The snow seemed to be whispering a message to the family that everything will be okay.
The church is in a small town, Spring Green, and is the third church built on its site. The first church was built in the 1850s. Stone was quarried near the plum thicket and set in place by hand. Timbers were floated down the Wisconsin River from Necedah, where they had been harvested, and then dragged over sand roads form the river to town. The first church was small, a white frame building on a stone foundation on a lot surrounded by a white picket fence.
The second church was larger, built of bricks and frame in the 1880s. Parishoners built this church, made the stained glass windows, built the pews and the altar and plastered the interior. Hard labor done by loving hands. This church burned down in 1988.
The third church, the present one, was designed by William Wesley Peters, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is both beautiful and humbling by its simplicity. It has elements of Wright's Prairie Style architecture, but is appropriately subdued for a church. We felt like we were in a special place, which is how a church should make one feel. Simple, but beautiful. Welcoming. Warm. Peaceful.
“All indecorum of the members is strictly forbidden at all the Society’s meetings,” one rule read, banning “smoking, the wearing of hats or caps, violent language, &c. &c.”
Those founding documents of the Philharmonic — the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States — are now available online, the orchestra announced on Wednesday..."
"The documents from that first season, which have been posted on the Philharmonic’s website as the latest installment in its digital collection, paint a vivid picture of the orchestra’s earliest days, when it was founded as the Philharmonic Society of New-York, with an orchestra of 53 members, and charged with “the advancement of Instrumental Music.”