So we were on the road, a tiny bit late for the Ohio Music Education Association's District 1 High School Solo and Ensemble Event and we ended up with a flat. After slowing down considerably, Nolan yells from the back that it is coming from the rear passenger wheel well. I pull over, get out of the van, and indeed . . .a flat. Mind you that Nolan is supposed to be playing his piece in front of a judge at 10:30 and it is currently 10:15 with about 8 miles to get to the competition. So he and I get out to change a tire. It was a good thing that Nolan had previously wanted to learn how to change a tire on the vehicles. He already had practice changing tires on the Gator, but felt like he needed to change one on the van or car since he drives quite a bit by himself now.
Since we had never used the spare in the 11 years we have owned that vehicle, I was not sure how to get it out from under the van. After laying on my back on the freezing cold country road, and not having brought my gloves (because we were going to be inside all day) Nolan came up with the idea to get the manual out. I was glad! My stomach and neck muscles were tired from holding my head up from the rocks and the ice on the road.
Skip forward to our arrival at the competition. Back on the road a fellow stopped to see if we needed help. It was a great help because he let us use his cell phone to call the children's piano teacher who was a little concerned where we were. So we arrive, Nolan and I get into the bathroom to wash all the oil and grime off our hands and arms, and we all proceed to find room 123. When we get there, a note advises us that the piano solos have been moved to a different building. Scurrying as fast as we could for eight of us, we make it to the auditorium where we are to be, and walk in as quietly as possible. And it was really quiet in there! Altogether, there were about 20 people, a judge and his helper, and a big, black Baldwin grand piano on the sparse stage. After a little conversation, Nolan was given the chance to "make-up" his missed time slot. And he was given the chance to do it right then! And he still had his coat on. :)
After taking off his coat, he squeaked across the lonesome stage and sat for his performance. After a couple of scales, the judge told him to play his piece when he was ready. He took a breath, and then played L'Orage (The Storm) by Friedrich Burgmuller. Here is his home, candid version of the piece.