Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book

I like photographs. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman inspired me to do something with them. They compiled a creative book entitled A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book . These talented ladies came up with great ideas to decorate their lives with photographs. I like the ideas, especially the photo ornaments and photo skirt! I highly recommend it.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

A Word, A Look, A Smile

Last night, Steve and I received (among boxes of other photos and stuff) an old trunk. The trunk was my mother’s. I first remember the sturdy black and brown trunk when we lived in South Bend, but I think she had it for many years prior to the little house on 639 Woodcliff Drive. The black and brown trunk is now in our care. I rose at 7:00 a.m. and thumbed through several photo albums. I kept eyeing the trunk. Finally, I mustered up the courage, reached over, and opened the two heavy latches held by the same chains.

Click, click.

Since the trunk is heavy, I used both hands to lift the attached lid. Inside the trunk is detailed with bright red flowers. A slight scent of must wafts out of the trunk: the scent of memories; the scent of the past; the scent of history.
There is a small shelf with nothing on it, and then a large area that contains stuff: announcements, newspaper clippings, birth announcements, marriage announcements, death announcements, report cards, and an old yearbook from 1906.
In the plethora of brown envelopes that are located in the trunk, I found a folded piece of paper the color of cream; the paper was very light, like Biblical pages. I opened the paper and discovered a poem typed by Burton E. Tobias from Adrian, Michigan:

A WORD, A LOOK, A SMILE

A word, a look, a smile
Can make a life worthwhile.
It’s not the mountains that we climb
But little things, and all the time.

A friendly hand, a kindly deed
These are the things that we always need.
A cheerful word, a kind good night
Will bring a smile, a child’s delight.

And so, at home and on the street
To everyone you often meet,
Let’s say a bright good morning then,
‘Twil bring both joy and hope to men.

It’s not the mountains that we climb
But little things and all the time.
A Word, A Look, A Smile
Can make a life worthwhile.

Soon after, I sift through the same folder and noticed my grandmother’s obituary. The date of her death was October 5, 1983.

She died thirty years ago today.
Was this a coincidence that I found this poem today?
I don’t think so.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Playing The Planets by Holst: 1st Movement--Mars


I have been playing with the Twin Cities Concert Band for two weeks and I absolutely love it. It's a great community of performers of all ages performing at Indiana University South Bend. We are located in a brand-new building with brand-new percussion equipment. There is actually a 5-octave marimba! Interestingly, one person really enjoys playing tympani (my least favorite instrument) and the other favors the marimba (not my strongest instrument), so I am playing snare and auxiliary percussion.

The two hours fly by.

I forgot how mental--and physical-- playing percussion is, or else I've gotten older and out of practice. And you have to count. And I am horrible at counting. I did it before, so I will do it again. Our first performance is in late November.

One of the songs we are going to play is called The Planets by Gustav Holst. It's the first movement. I am playing a drum roll on a gong for forty measures in 5/4 time. (In other words, I'm rolling for a looong time.) And then I jump over to the bass drum a few measures later for a bass drum note. Then rolling on the suspended cymbal, then back to the gong.

As you can see,percussion is a perfect instrument for a person with ADD.

Gustav Theodore Holst (1874-1934) composed The Planets. This is his most well-known work. Mars was composed in 1914 and based on Hoist's love of the night sky. Mars is also influenced by the themes of war and violence, especially since the music was composed and influenced by World War One.

Come see us in November!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

October Musings




Happy October!  I'm teaching two classes and taking my own, so I've been busy outside of the virtual world.  It feels good to help someone out, no matter how busy life gets. Helping someone out lifts two heavy hearts. Hoping to lift more heavy hearts through words and actions.

Labor Day Weekend: Library, Gaming, Rock Band, and Kayaking

Isn't it interesting how a simple, one-line post on social media can inspire a person to write more about it on a blog? Yes, that is w...