Last week was cold and wet. Rain, snow flurries, sleet. Temps in the 20’s at night. With all the gray, wet days it might have been easy to slip into the last of winter doldrums. But I have the cure for blue moods.
As the days progressed from gray to grayer, the buds on my forsythia kept opening wider as though their mission was to compensate for the lack of sunlight.
This week we’re experiencing clear skies and balmy spring weather. And the forsythia is in full glory. I could just crawl in and build a nest right here.
Even so, there’s nothing wrong with being a little blue now and then.
Filed under: Music
I bought a copy of Tom Moon’s “1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die.” It’s a thick book. I’ve been wading through it for two weeks and have only scratched the surface. Reading it is a very humbling experience for a music professional. Makes me realize that even though I eat, sleep and breathe music, there is always more of the art form to experience. What Mr. Moon has compiled is so much more than a list of “must hear” recordings. It is a comprehensive tribute to the one truly universal language……music.
I love the Henry David Thoreau quote found on one of the opening pages. “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”
If you’re into music, this is a book you should consider adding to your reading list.
Filed under: Family
My niece, Madison is an athlete in the truest sense of the word. She has a God-given gift to excel in just about any physical task she undertakes. As I watched her play in the 5A junior girls’ district basketball championship game, I was filled with pride and awe. Literally amazed at her athletic prowess. Madison isn’t quite 5 feet tall yet she has a vertical jump that is higher than any other girl on the team. Time after time she was in the midst of a cluster of girls under the goal. Time after time she rose above them to rebound the ball.
Of course I love it when she shoots and scores, but what I enjoy watching the most is Madison stealing the ball. She is like a mosquito or an annoying little gnat that keeps on coming no matter how many times you swat it away. Girls on the opposing team would be dribbling and Madison would simply run up and steal the ball in mid-dribble. She is so small and so fast. One second the opposing girl would be in control. The next second Madison would have the ball without any obvious disruption in the bounce of the basketball. Girls would turn their backs to put their bodies between Madison and the ball and Madison would just run around them and still take it away. It is so cool to watch.
Madison just never stops. She isn’t a prima donna either. She leads her team in assists. For the second year in a row, the junior Lady Lions won the district championship. And for the second year in a row, I cried at a basketball game. Madison melts my heart. I admire her so much. And every time I watch her play, I learn from her. Lessons in perseverance, grace, humility and sacrifice for something greater than the individual.
Filed under: My Life
I was insulted by a peer at work this week. This person questioned my ability to do my job. To be honest, I didn’t even get angry. I was too stunned by the words that were coming out of his mouth. I did tell him how I felt about what he said. My response was very calm and matter of fact which surprised me. Usually my emotions get the best of me in an adversarial situation. Maybe I’ve reached a new level of maturity. No, what I really think is I remained calm because that person’s opinion means pretty much nothing to me. So why waste energy getting bent out of shape? Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And I didn’t give that guy my permission. Hmmm, maybe I’m a grownup after all.
Filed under: My Life
I’m driving home late at night with ColdPlay so loud in the speakers that I couldn’t hear the siren of a state trooper if he was attached to my back bumper. The lyrics are echoing around in my head…..”when the truth is I miss you….yeah, the truth is that I miss you so…..” Suddenly I’m short of breath. My stomach is in that oh, so familiar clinch. And my heart…..hurts. And the person I’m thinking of with such familiarity….with such clarity that I can feel him, smell him, taste him…..is someone I haven’t laid eyes on in twenty-five years. Does it never end? That crazy, insane first love? I’m drowning in the mess we made of our life together. I’m lost in memories, both the good and the bad, as I’m flying down the highway with the ghost of Mick sitting next to me. Where is he? I don’t know. Somewhere. With a different wife and some kids. Do I really care where he is? No, but I’m so into the here and now of what I’m feeling. Familiar, yet unfamiliar at the same time. I loved him, but I couldn’t save him. I couldn’t save us. I did save myself. Sometimes that’s all a person can do. That and remember.
Filed under: Family
My family celebrated Mom’s 70th birthday this weekend. Everyone got together on Friday (except me) to watch my oldest niece play in a basketball game. My high school choir sings the National Anthem at all our home games so I had to stay here for that. My nieces came back that night with Mom and my brother. I started food preparation around eight Saturday morning. My nieces came over a couple of hours later and helped with the cooking and housecleaning. We had so much fun!
Family members dropped in and out at my house throughout the day. My brother and brother-in-law were cutting wood for Mom at her house. We all managed to listen to the Razorback’s disappointing loss to Auburn. My oldest niece left to help haul the wood and Hannah, my youngest niece, and I kept on cooking.
We all got together at my house in the early evening for our feast of pork loin roast, stuffed baked potatoes, green beans, yeast rolls, coconut cream pie and strawberry shortcake. Delicious, if I say so myself! After Mom opened her gifts, we watched “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” And we missed Dad. He loved movies full of slapstick comedy. And he loved all of us.
My brother recorded the pre-inauguration concert and we watched that later in the evening. We finally stopped ‘partying’ around eleven. I was so tired, in a good way, that I left all the clean up until this afternoon after church. Mom loved her weekend-long birthday celebration!! May she have many more!
Filed under: Odds and Ends
Anyone surprised that The Dark Knight didn’t receive more Oscar nominations than it did? I didn’t like the movie. Not at all. It was too depressing. The “there is no hope” type of depressing. Yes, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger did wonderful jobs portraying Batman and the Joker, but knowing it was Heath Ledger’s final role made the movie even sadder. And even more depressing. My brother, Mom and I watched The Dark Knight together. None of us liked it.