Newsless…

Working on the novel, keeping up with doctors and dentists, reading, bingewatching My LIst on Netflix… stuff so exciting that it requires an extra nap…

We’ve nearly made it through January…perfect time for a January Hymn…

January funk…

I’ve been trudging through this week, staying up too late at night, oversleeping in the mornings, and napping too long in the afternoons.  My inner critic (that shrew) has been active, though, judging me for my inactivity.  I’ve spent an inordinate amount of thought-time missing my mom and dad, wishing my kids were still kids.  The water pipes in the kitchen froze.  I just couldn’t bring myself to blog…

Killing time on the internet, I’ve been reading some entertaining blogs.  The photos are wonderful, the content is pithy and/or funny as hell.  Instead of being inspired, out came the critic to compare and discourage.  So I drowned that bitch in a bottle of wine…

There’s only one thing to do about these January Blues:  Dance, brothers and sisters.

I betcha can’t Not Dance…

 

Stride…

My grandmother, Dad’s mom, would have been 106 today.  I wish I had thought to prepare a blog tribute, but instead I’ve only thought about her all day and listened to music that evoked her style, and reminds me of her.

She was The Greatest…and I’m not exaggerating, kids, she was really good…The Most Great Stride piano player.  One of the songs that I associate most with her style was called “Runnin’ Wild” and it used to be rather difficult to find.  Thanks to the you tubes, I can share this with you.

Watch these folks’ left hand, back and forth, and fast:  That’s Stride…  She was a lefty and that gave her the extra strength she needed to pound it out.  Barely brushing 5-feet tall, she bounced from one end of the piano bench to the other as she used up the entire keyboard.  What takes two artists in this video, she did all by her little self.

It’s a great song and so was she.  Wishing she were here to play it for me… (okay, she would be reallly old, but you know what I mean)

 

Christmas with the Jrs.

We packed Michael, Jess, and Olivia into the Caravan around 7:30am Saturday morning.  By 10:30, we were standing in line at the Delta Riverboat landing in Opryland Hotel.   The hotel is a giant conglomeration of atriums, with gardens, fountains, and riverways that ooh! and aah! the most jaded visitor.  Restaurants and shops dot the walkways that meander through the building and every stop is a drag on your wallet, so beware!  Opting out of the $16 hamburgers, we ate at Stax and filled our little guts full.  After a side-trip to meet Santa and the Mrs., we wandered awhile before walking the couple of blocks to The Opry House for the Rockettes…

I’ve never been to The Opry House before and I was mightily impressed.  The effort to keep the ambiance of the original Ryman is appreciated with the pews and the wonderful lights above the top mezzanine.  The outside porticos look like a great place to party.

Comparisons between the venue and Radio City Music Hall are inevitable, but seriously unfair.  The Music Hall is a huge, unique place with a monster stage that moves into three sections, an orchestra pit the size of my house, and art deco interiors that make you feel like you’ve stepped into the jazz age.

The NYC rockettes number 36, and the Nashville company has 18 on-stage, which illustrates how much smaller the stage area is.  There is no orchestra pit, and the decor is decidedly, plainly, country.  Since there’s no orchestra, the music is what I call karaoke’d into the sound system, and the lip-syncing is a bit obvious.  The voice of Santa is Exactly the same as the Voice in New York, I swear.  I don’t think he was lip-syncing, though, so how did that happen?    The program is actually longer, with a 15-minute intermission, and a much longer Christmas section to please the Bible Belters.  The first half is the same as NYC, in different order, including the same 3D trip into NYC.  The trip to the North Pole is the same, but they added a veryvery boring dance sequence about snow…zZzzZ…before going into the Nativity scene.  They preached some, and when they played the Hallelujah Chorus, nobody stood (except me and a half-dozen others).   Our seats were Great, first row of balcony, and Olivia was mesmerized by the up-front view of the dancing.

The Opry House strictly forbade photography…go figure…

I’ll deliver presents to my sister tomorrow at our annual Christmas luncheon, always good chance for some photo-ops, so I’ll check back in to keep you apprised of the ongoing celebrations.

I hope you’re having a ton of fun, too!

Thanksgiving Edition…

We woke up to snow…

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Usually Casey would get a call to go out and catch flurries during such weather, but this year they called Jr. at 1 a.m.  The torch is being passed…  Still, Michael was here with Olivia by 10 or so and we were feasting on crockpot roast beast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and crescent rolls by 11.   Jess is afflicted with a bug of some sort and couldn’t be with us, but we soldiered on…

After they had left to attend another Thanksgiving meal, I muted the Dog Show and fell into YouTube, remembering…

Looking for a simple version of “We Gather Together”, I came across this little gem.  I Loved Tennessee Ernie Ford–bless your pea-pickin’ little heart– and grew up listening to an album of him singing hymns.  It was such an innocent time…Was the world really so much simpler, or was it because I was so much younger?   I don’t know…  At any rate, I never knew this existed, from 1963…

 

Thinking now of present-day…Emma’s in Philadelphia competing in a major Irish Dance competition and somehow the sight of those Red-Irish Dubliners made me smile, gratefully, for all of our gifts…

Same prayer as last year, still hoping…

With Your feast You feed us.  With Your Light now lead us.  Unite us as one in this life that we share.

I’ll drink to that…

 

 

 

Wedding Anniversary Edition

We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on Friday.  Well, celebrated is a bit of  a stretch:  Casey brought me a beautiful bouquet of roses and I brought him a bottle of Jack Daniels.

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We sat out on the porch swing, sipping the Jack and walking down Memory Lane.  Our wedding, though, was hardly our high point.  Our marriage, 34 years of hanging in and hanging on, 34 years of laughing and loving, 34 years of growing and morphing into the couple that we are…that was the topic of conversation.  It’s a wonderful thing, this long-term commitment that is occasionally grim determination, and I marvel that we have come this far.

Our personalities have little in common—he thinks math, I think words.  In the early years, especially, I longed for him to “understand me” (though I certainly didn’t understand him).  I’m a little emotional (ya think?), with some mental health issues that occasionally over-ride my good sense;  he’s very logical and always clear-thinking.   Over time, those opposites blended, so that we are all that we need;  our mutual introversion and love of home has bonded the relationship into the solid rock you see today.

Of course, that’s what you see, and there’s always another side to marriage.  We expect so much of each other and sometimes the results just aren’t what we had hoped for.  We get angry and hurt and we argue the same arguments over and over.    Somehow, we have managed to pull it all back together when that happens and the result is a stronger love, robust friendship, and great hope for another 34 years…or so.

On our 30th anniversary, we went to see Garrison Keillor’s Summer Love Tour.  It was the usual hot, August day (unlike this year) and the show was in a lovely amphitheater.  We actually danced—though he mostly stands still and twirls and dips me–and one of my favorite memories is swaying and singing along to this song…

(grab your sweetie and sway along)

Hallelujah!  Amen!

 

3 more days…

After the kids have come and gone,  I always feel a little blue.   Last week was a bit slow-motion, but I’m revving up now for the First Day of School.  It is my custom to go back to the building on the day of 6th-grade Open House, set up my office and try to mooch as many free meals as the PTA can possibly provide.  I get to take a gander at the new crop of kids and see what sort of challenges they’ll offer.  This year the open house is on Thursday and our nurses meeting is on Friday–another free lunch!!!  We’ll be munching as we’re being lectured on head lice and vaccines…nice…

Let’s not rush through the Now, though…I have 3 more days of vacation.  Even though my to-do list is legal-pad length, I just might do something else…

loud music

why not

Camp Sonnystone Yearbook

 

Camp Sonnystone, 2014 was a rousing success!!  We started each morning with our Theme Song…

Welcome!  I say welcome!  Welcome to Camp Sonnystone!  PawPaw is our leader.  His assistant’s JoJo.  Step right up and see the show!  Let’s Go!

We painted birdhouses, canvases, plaster monkeys;  made suncatchers and planted zinnias.  We went to the zoo, rode in PawPaw’s tractor, swam in the pool, played musical instruments, marched, and had several spontaneous dance parties.  Camp wrapped up on Friday night with a campout-sleepover…

I apologize for the quality of these pictures;  Me and my Nikon have been broken up for a while and we’re just now coming to an agreement about our relationship, so I won’t blame the camera completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blow up your TV

Despite the glorious morning sun coaxing my mind toward peace, the news and the internets is full of hateful people spouting their vile bile…   What ever happened to Peace, Love and Rock -n Roll?   I will NOT respond to it, will not allow my Peace to be Shaken.

Sis and I are headed over to Henderson for the Garden Walk.  We learned long ago to only talk about those things that are lovely, true, honest, pure, and worthy of praise.  In the meantime, take the sage advice that John Prine gave us lo those many years ago: