Saturday afternoon I really had wanted to go hiking… but I got this offer for a gig, and well, I needed the money, so I accepted the date at Billerica Crossing Senior Living.

I have played there before on a Friday afternoon, but this was different, I’d be playing during lunch. Would they be able to sing a long? Would I have to play more quietly so they could talk? Would they leave after they ate? And I still had that nagging cough ( I wasn’t contagious- or I would have cancelled!) – would I, after all that, be at my best?

I arrived on time and came in and set up my sound system. I checked the microphone and checked the tuning on my guitar. I was ready. I had 10 minutes to look at Facebook before I would start.

When I began I realized my guitar wasn’t coming through the speaker! I quickly changed the battery to the pick up- still nothing! Was my second battery dead, too? This couldn’t be helped. I went on knowing my guitar was gather quiet compared to my voice, at least it wasn’t the other way around, anyway! The things we have to deal with on the fly as performers!

Well, I started with “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma and Etta James’ “At Last” continued with “Let it Be” and “New York state of Mind” and Got them all singing along with “My Favorite Things” and “Edelweiss” from Sound of Music, “You Are My Sunshine” and “America the Beautiful”. They cheered when I dedicated “God Bless the USA” to the Vets in the room. And they sang out with all their hearts to “How Great Thou Art”! I ended it all with “God Bless America”! Yes, these were proud Americans! They had no more reason to hide their faith or patriotism. They just sang out!

When I was done, I wandered around the room talking with the residents. I talked with Sophia and Murray and so many others. They were so gracious! So complimentary! So encouraging! So dear! I went to entertain them – but ended up enjoying them so much!

I have to give a shout out to the staff, too. The young men and women helping to clean up the lunch and help the residents back to their rooms were so cheerful and playful! They obviously were enjoying their senior friends as well!

“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” – Leviticus 19:32