Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Every Ten Years

As I sit here writing, Greg is outside my office window.  He has a couple of ladders and is on one about half way up our cherry tree.  He is pruning the branches.

forcing laughter faking smiles.

forcing laughter faking smiles. (Photo credit: shesthereasonfortheworld)

It looks a little sketchy to me as I watch from this position safe in the house with an ace bandage around my bruised foot, but he clearly knows what he is doing and is no stranger to climbing up ladders, being high up on roofs to clean gutters or being on sides of buildings cleaning windows.  He has only fallen once – and it was from a low roof at Christmas time when he was installing lights for someone.  He said it happened because he was in a hurry and being a little careless.

Luckily he knows how to fall – landed on his feet then did a quick ‘tuck and roll’.  No damage to himself physically, but he said he looked around him to see if anyone had seen him, as it was really embarrassing. 🙂  Now if that had been me, I would have put out my arm, probably my right one – and broken my wrist or arm, not to mention other bones in my body.

I do not know how to relax into a fall.  I tense up and when I fall I always injure myself.

My falls seem to come in ‘ten year intervals’.  And since I’ve already had my fall for this decade in my attempted leap over our puppy gate last week –  I should be safe for another ten.  🙂

Twenty years ago I fell on some jagged rocks at the Ocean in Northern California where we were living.  I broke a bone around my right thumb (yes I am right-handed) and had a painful sprain which put me in a cast for 6 weeks.  At the time I was the only musician at the little church where Greg was the pastor – so for 6 painful weeks there was no one to play the piano.

Ten years ago I fell down some cement steps at the church where Greg was on staff in Renton, Washington.  I broke my foot (yes my right one) and had to be in a boot for 8 weeks.  I couldn’t drive or use the sustain pedal on the piano in that long two months – and to top it off, Greg was in process of installing new oak stairs in our home.  There were no side rails – no rails of any kind going up and down, so I just had to hop on one foot and hang on to the wall, when there was one to hang on to.  It was loads of fun.

All of this occurred to me as I was in Dr. Clark’s office getting an adjustment a few days ago.  Because of the jarring that happened during my fall I needed and will need several adjustments on my back.  The facts dawned on me as I relayed to him the above events – they happen every ten years!

There will be many massages in my future as I get my shoulders, back and neck to relax after last week – but it really hurts to have those areas massaged. This kind of pain is gain and anything that gets me back to normal is very welcome.  

And as I look back over these events, I smile.  I’m pretty clumsy – and I’m truly surprised that they don’t happen much more often!  So for now I will heal and try to be careful, “look before I leap” and keep my knees and elbows “in” when walking through doorways – and lift my feet up when I step up on a curb.  At least, I’ll try.

God Bless

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Funny Birthday Memories Of Greg

IMG_0044

My husband Greg turns 53 today.  An age that makes him proud.  He is living his dream the last 4 years – doing what he loves to do.  It just took him many years to find out what exactly that is.  Doing wedding and funeral services make him happy and fulfill his purpose – especially memorial services.  And I am happy that he is now free to do this full-time.

But what a time to have a birthday!!  5 days before Christmas – it’s tucked in the middle of other events and holiday activities.  He has never known a birthday without a Christmas tree, concerts, parties, dinners and other numerous things.  I’m sure that as a child, his parents made sure that Greg had presents separate from those that were under the tree.  But as he got older – it was so much easier to combine gifts.  And many in the family have done that over the years – even our own children.  He doesn’t mind – it makes sense to him.   As long as there is good food and something yummy for dessert (especially chocolate) he’s just fine.  Today he will get lunch AND dinner at restaurants and tomorrow and special dessert from out daughter Ashlee as she and her husband Drew come and have an early Christmas with us before we head to California to spend Christmas with our son, Shawn.   

When Greg came home late last night he was humming a “Happy Birthday” tune after working his “moonlighting” job.  It was the middle of the night and I had already been asleep.  And when I heard this I suddenly remembered, “that’s right!  Today is the DAY!”  This morning we were reminiscing over the many years of birthday celebrations.  There are two memories I have of this day – and I just HAD to share them with you.  Both of them are humorous.  What else?  Life with Greg is hilarious – we laugh EVERY day about very random things – each other and life in general.  So here goes.

My first fond memory is 25 years ago today.  I had just found out I was going to have Ashlee.  I was less than 2 months pregnant and felt icky.  I was in bed trying to fight the nausea.   We were living in New Castle, PA – in a 2 story rental.  The master bedroom was up the stairs and to the left.  I remember Greg walking downstairs and singing a sad little tune, “Happy Birthday to ME”  It was so funny that I laughed in spite of myself.  It helped to break up an otherwise very unpleasant day for both of us – and I’m sure we celebrated his birthday later when I wasn’t so sick.  We even flew to Seattle that year for Christmas!  Good times – being pregnant and sick everywhere we went that year.

My second fondest memory happened about 8 years ago.  We were having lunch with Greg’s parents.  A tradition that has lasted even until this year.  For some reason Greg’s mom (and probably me) needed to finish up some Christmas shopping.  Greg said there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he was going to the mall.  He has a standing rule:  NO MALL IN DECEMBER.  Now you have to understand – Greg’s HATES the mall.  No, I mean he REALLY hates it.  Now just add the holiday shopping, traffic going in and out of the mall AND the parking – and you have what possibly could be what Greg loathes the most in life.  But for some reason his sweet mother talked him into going “just for a few minutes”.  She told him, “Greg – you won’t even have to get out of the car – you and dad can just drop us off”  She understands his hatred of all things “mall” or “shopping”  especially in December and so tried to appeal to him in that way.  Somehow – I don’t know how, we were taken to the mall that day.  We quickly did our errands and returned to the car.  All the time, Greg muttering to himself – “I can’t believe it’s MY birthday and we’re AT THE MALL!!”  We were leaving the parking lot and onto the main road when all of a sudden Greg’s mom said, “Oh no!”.  That could not be good.  We were like, “what happened?”  She said, “I left my credit card at the last store”.  Silence.  Greg said, “There’s NO WAY I’m going back in there, mom”  But there was no way around it – we had to go back and retrieve her lost credit card.  It was sad but also HILARIOUS!  I told Greg that he would find the humor in it some day.  But somehow when I brought it up again this morning – he still groans and sighs.  Good times!

Happy Birthday, Greg!  You deserve a wonderful day all to yourself – something that is not just tucked into Christmas.  I hope all your birthday memories are sweet (except maybe the two above) and that you will have MANY MORE in the years to come!

You are loved!  Here’s a special song just for you on your birthday – enjoy!

http://www.jibjab.com/view/ZhR-KktWRuqJLWHEEQGdJA?mt=1

 

Straight No Chaser – Indiana Christmas

Last year I posted “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by this great a cappella group. This year I was looking for additional music for my 4th Christmas CD.  The hand picked music that I make for my car. I stumbled upon this group again. I listened to all their wonderful music  – and chose three to use. This one is my favorite. If you have never heard anything from this group, look them up – you won’t be disappointed. They are a class act.
I also suggest “Carol of the Bells” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.

God Bless you on this rare day of 12-12-12.  I hope all your Christmas wishes come true this season.

Song For The King

Last week I was listening to my Christmas CD driving home from somewhere.  All of a sudden this next song came on and I was transfixed by its beauty.  You know the kind of song that I mean.  The one that has a hint of sadness in it.  Of pulling at your heart-strings – in a good way.  The pulling of emotions that only music can do – when mere words fail us.  It was Michael W. Smith.  This song is on his Christmas CD.  It is reflective and moving.  I found myself being grateful and shuffling through some wonderful memories of past things around the holiday season – some sad, some happy – some a little of both.  Tears were streaming down my face and it was a little embarrassing the closer I drove to home.  I wondered, “what will Greg think I’m crying about?”  It was a little silly.  Thankfully he was not home yet – just my pretty puppy and she did not notice anything out of the ordinary – was just glad to see me as always.  I told Greg about the incident the next time we were in the car together listening to my Christmas CD.  I can’t remember him ever being moved to tears by any music before, except “Lamb of God” by Michael English – but I think he understood.

We had the pleasure of hearing Michael (Smitty) in concert a few years back with a full choir and orchestra.  From the first notes of his majestic Christmas music – I was moved to tears and stayed that way the entire concert.  He’s just that good.

Music is the universal language and can say things that words can’t express.  It sets a mood – prepares our hearts and minds – and brings a new appreciation for the gifts around us.  I’m always grateful and thankful for music that stirs and moves my heart.

Enjoy and God Bless

Are You Alone?

I am at a Starbucks out of town, while on a road trip with Greg. I noticed when walking in this place that it was unusually crowded. I peered around for a vacant table – and then I saw it. The only empty table in the place. A lonely LARGE table. This table holds eight people. It is empty. There are many smaller tables around it – all full. It is awkward. Little old me at such a large table. By myself. Alone.

Throughout the years I have witnessed people alone at a table for two in restaurants. I'm sure they are uncomfortable. They avoid eye contact, are often reading a book or a magazine and trying to “appear” busy. At the few times I have found myself alone out in public having to eat alone at a table for two – it is very awkward. I try not to feel that way – but the society in which we live – dictates that to be alone means something dreadful and sad. You feel people watching you – you want to scream, “I'm only alone because I am choosing it” but it is no use. Alone is alone. No matter how you slice it.

Many people find themselves alone at different seasons in life. Usually it is not planned, can happen suddenly and takes them by surprise. Being alone is an unpleasant prospect. Being alone out in public – even scarier. Especially for women.

I have often marveled at how people, once in a long-term relationship and suddenly alone, can begin again. They takes the necessary steps to go out in public again – and even after time *gasp* – begin the thought process of dating again. *Double gasp* The first time around is scary enough for anyone – why oh WHY would anyone choose to do it again? – I've always thought. But at the same time – I am amazed and warmed by those who have not only taken steps to not be alone – but actually find someone else. The chances for 'love the second time around' are really great!! And I have witnessed this marvel – many times over the years. Usually it is a long time friend, who also finds them-self alone or in this technically advanced society – through online dating sites.

The holidays can be wonderful – but also very lonely. Especially for those who have lost a mate, child or friend. There are so many sad songs surrounding the holidays. Some of the best lyrics involve sadness and loss. You would have to be intensely naive – to think that this season is automatically joyful for all.

If you are alone this season, the best thing you can do is get out and be with people. Attend a church service, holiday concert or an invite to a Christmas party. You may find that the warmth of friendship is your anchor and will bring you additional courage in the months to come. And because you are alone – your relationship with others in your life will become much more precious and you will now have time to renew old ties. If you have The Lord in your life – you know how much of a comfort it is to have a friend that “sticks closer than a brother” and who knows it all. He will become more dear to you during this time.

If you know someone who is alone for the first time this season – invite them over. Be a friend. Look around. Notice the ones who are alone in your church services. Get involved. Show gentleness and compassion. Spread love around. Sprinkle kindness. Stir in humor. Fold in understanding. Bring true meaning to the season this year. Make someone's Christmas truly special. You may be the only person who can.

God Bless

 

Christmas Angel

christmas angle

I watched this movie last week on GMC.  I didn’t expect to like it – after all, most of the “Christmas movies” are too sweet and very precious – but at the same time a real turn-off for those of us who live in the real world.

This one was different.  A single mom played by Teri Polo.  A little girl with a big heart.  An elderly sick neighbor who still blessed others even though she was suffering.  Bullies and misunderstandings, not enough money and kindness of strangers.  Life.  And wishes and prayers that must be left up to God.  Great story line and wonderful actors.

I highly recommend it for you and your family this Christmas season.

 

God Bless

 

 

Waiting

And so we enter into the season of Advent.

English: Advent wreath, First Advent Sunday

English: Advent wreath, First Advent Sunday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We lit the candle in our church service and our pastor explained that this season is about waiting.  Waiting for the coming of Christ.  We symbolically express that through our congregational singing and the choir singing songs like “The Yearning” so picturesque and beautiful.

I do not like to wait.  And yet I have spent most of my life doing just that.  It started back when I was a little girl.  The waiting for Christmas to open gifts, the waiting for birthdays and other special events.  Time seemed to take forever back then.  As I got older I realized that things did not always happen the way we thought they should – and many things took a lot of time, patience and endurance to just wait.

When I first met Greg – it was the end of our freshman year in college.  Shortly after we met he had to return to Alaska, where he was from – to work in the summer months.  It was four months back before cell phones and internet which keeps people connected day and night – no matter where you are in the world.  Waiting then seemed like four years instead of months.

When we became engaged the next year – it seemed like so long until our wedding – just 5 months later.  But it finally came.  Then the next was waiting for college graduation and then a job that would take us to Alaska and then Pennsylvania.

The next big “wait” was when we wanted a baby – and it didn’t happen very fast.  Both times!  Then when it finally did – there was the waiting for the baby to just get here!  After that – it’s waiting for the babies to grow up from the toddler and diaper stage, then the young children stage and then the teenager stage with all the drama – to where they finally become independent responsible adults.  They finally did this.  In time.  Our children were very much worth the wait.  And we learned to love every stage of their development – though it wasn’t always easy to wait it out.  But we appreciated them so much more because of all the long waiting.

Last year I had to “wait” again.  I have wanted a Bichon puppy for years – we found a breeder out of town and waited for our puppy to be old enough to bring home.  But after waiting – my first puppy and the whole litter died at 5 weeks of age from a routine anti-worming medication.  So we began the wait again – another 6 weeks.  I’m happy to say that we got the right puppy – but the waiting was hard.

Life is a series of waiting – events – waiting again – events and then more waiting.

I thought I would be done waiting when I became an adult.  There seems to still be a lot of waiting.  Waiting for the fulfillment of a dream.  Waiting on God’s timing for a much-needed reconciliation with a friend.  Waiting on a family situation.  Waiting for direction.  Waiting, waiting, WAITING!!!  WHY DOES IT HAVE TO TAKE SO LONG???

God’s promises are always fulfilled – in HIS time.  Sometimes I would like to know what that time is – other times I just have to trust and know that He is working all things out – behind the scenes.  And sometimes I believe that this waiting is His idea for me.  It is in the “waiting” that we are still, focused and intense.  If we don’t give up – keep believing and stay positive – using that waiting to develop good things like tolerance and patience.

Here is a great song by Michael W. Smith – it is perfect in this season of Advent.  This season of the long wait.

Enjoy and God Bless

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