Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Thirty: Comfort Foods

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 30: “favorite comfort food”.


And as before, the staff here at the Blogge reserve the right to adjust the terms of the deal a bit. Who’s gonna stop us?

So here are the favorite comfort foods, in no particular order.


[] Macaroni and cheese. Preferably my grandmother’s; but as she is currently causing mouths to water at the Great Kitchen Table in the Sky … I’ll take what I can get, this moment.

[] BLT.

[] Creamed corn. As has been chronicled elsewhere in this writing prompt festival.

[] Egg salad sandwich. Oddly enough, the one that is made and sold at the Stop & Shop in Natick, Mass., wherein the egg is surrounded by a croissant. I know: supermarket egg salad? Eh, it speaks to me.

[] And of course … of course … darn near anything chocolate. Bunny, mousse, ice cream, whatever whatever.


There’s good food … and then there’s food that makes you smile whenever you even think of it.


[Editor’s Note: the Blog Challenge comes to a close tomorrow. The big finish will bring tears to your eyes. Or someone’s.]


May 30, 2016 Posted by | blogging, food | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Twenty-Nine: Before the Kick

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 29: “top things on my bucket list”.


I’m going to have to get back to you on this one. I’ll say that up front.

For fun, I Googled “weird bucket list items”. That was fun in and of itself. But now look. I’m all for adventure, but some of these ideas would cause the bucket moment to arrive well ahead of schedule. To wit:

Do the Polar Bear Plunge. Take your picture with a tiger. Go skydiving. Run with the bulls in Pamplona. Swim with sharks. Jump off a waterfall. Survive a tornado. Fly into a hurricane. Bungee jump.

I’m not a fraidy-cat – well, no, actually I am. Read my piece on my trouble with climbing four steps up a ladder and you’ll sense just what an utter lie that was. I guess I just have a different definition of adventure than some of my online colleagues do.


Most of the bucket-list lists that I’ve found online have been to do with seeing places and doing things.

Yes, there are places in the world I’ve never seen (heck, there are places in the US that I’ve never seen, and I can see those without a passport). And there are places in the world that I haven’t visited in a great long while, which are probably are different now, or which certainly I would perceive differently now that I’m not 12 anymore (hello London! Hello Paris!).

And yes, there are interesting things that I’ve never done. Plenty. That list will always be longer than the list of things that I have done. If I’m looking to be a comprehensive achiever, let’s be honest, I’m tilting at windmills. (Hey! Maybe that’s a bucket list item. Hello Netherlands!)

Happily, there are bucket-list items on some folks’ bucket lists (and items which nobody appears to have thought of at all) which, thanks to my associations with people and my adventures within my chosen profession, I crossed off my bucket list pretty early. (Accompany someone singing “Alice’s Restaurant”. Write a Christmas cantata. Throw a mace, roll, catch, wave at between 4,000 and 8,000 people. Boom. Done.)


So, again … even though I’ve had four weeks to think about this one since I started this little writing-prompt festival, I’m going to have to get back to you. For now, here’s one thing I know I want to do before the bucket gets tipped over:

See my niece and nephew take over the world.

Because they will.

May 29, 2016 Posted by | blogging, family, travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Twenty-Eight: Lacrimosa

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 28: “last time I cried”.

The actual last time I cried? I’m going to bypass this one. It occurred a few hours before I wrote this … and I’ve spent quite a lot of time on that little “difficult time in my life” (speaking of writing prompts).

Instead, I shall scoot backward in time to the second-most-recent time, which was, oddly, a tiny bit more public.

For background, go read the item that I read at my Dad’s memorial service. I’ll be here when you get back.

That wasn’t my moment of weep.

He died on a Tuesday, if I’m not mistaken; and the following Sunday, I was at my post in front of our church’s volunteer choir. Partly because it was one of my jobs; partly because of Dad’s “carry on” philosophy; partly because it was something to focus on, rather than sitting and moping.

Our family decided to put off the memorial service at least a week, mostly so we wouldn’t have to rush pell-mell through the planning process in just a couple of days.

One part of the plan was that I would deliver a little paragraph or two, in the spirit of eulogy; which I did. There were folks who marveled that I did so with not a hitch or a pause to wipe the eyes or nose. I kinda wrote the thing so that there were more laughs and smiles than anything else. Distraction, maybe, but also a focus on the great and funny memories.

Another part of the plan was that I would conduct the volunteer choir that assembled to sing an anthem or two at the service. There were folks who were completely blown away that I could do that, but as my college band director used to say, “I’m a professional. I can do this.” Again, notes and rhythms and such to focus on. Again, distraction, and an awareness of the responsibility of conducting a choir (and helping to keep their heads in the game).

What took me out, though, was the last hymn of the afternoon. “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, by Thomas Chisholm and William Runyan. Number 140 in your Methodist Hymnal. Before and since, it’s been one of my very favorite hymns. A couple of really cool chords in there, the kind that gives us music theory nerds a little tiny thrill and causes us to see how the chord was approached and how it was resolved thereafter. A fun intellectual exercise, at the same time as the harmonies stir the spirit.

Well, between that and the accumulated experience of the previous nearly two weeks … the stirring won out. All I can say is, I’m glad that everyone else’s noses were kinda “buried in the score”, as we say in the choir world, so they didn’t notice that I was a quiet wreck. At least I didn’t have any more musical or public-speaking leadership responsibilities that afternoon, so there was that.

But it was a good day, so I didn’t mind, and have not minded since. And now, every time the opportunity to sing that hymn rolls around, I lay into it with just a little extra verve, and just a little extra smile.

May 28, 2016 Posted by | blogging, choir, family, music | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment