Last night. Friday nights in the Dittes family mean a trip into Portland for Oasis, a group of progressive Adventists who meet in the office of Dr. Taylor.
It's an improvement on a group that I tried to start at the Highland Church about a year ago. That group never got off the ground, but after I was off the scene, more Highland members got Oasis together, and it has proven to have legs, with an attendence of between 55 and 105 every Friday night for about nine months!
To date, I've been leery of helping as I burrowed into my new Methodist church community in Bethpage. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the music of the services had been sketchy. People resonsible for organizing the music hadn't been responsible. I felt God calling me to work with the music and build it up if I could. So on Thursday night, I went to practice. I took my dulcimer with me, thinking that I could play the strings if the whole keyboard thing didn't work out.
Instead I got drums. I've never played a drum set in my life, but they had a better keyboardist (my dad), and no one cared to hear my dulcimer. We were halfway through practicing the second song when the thought hit me: I'm a drummer in a band with my dad!!!!!!!
My dad's life revolves around music, and I'm lucky to have inherited a small portion of his enormous musical talents. But I remember growing up about how horrible the drums were. If my dad heard drums on a song, he turned off the radio--stuff like that. "If this were 25 years ago, I'd get a spanking," I told everyone there.
We had a great time, however. People weren't too critical of my beginning skills. I still look forward to turning over the drum set to someone else and picking up a real instrument, but this will have to do for awhile.