“Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon,
All I want is loving you, and music, music, music!”
These are the words that popped into my mind when I started thinking about writing an article about music! This song, written by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum in 1949, was very popular when I was growing up. Teresa Brewer put out the biggest version of it in 1950. At that time, whenever one singer got a big hit, every other singer followed it up with their own special version. The minute I would hear it on the radio I would start singing right along with it. Teresa was at the top of the charts for many years with her bouncy style of music. She was a very small girl, but filled with energy and people loved her.
In my teens there was hardly ever a time when I didn’t have the radio or my phonograph turned on. The first thing I bought with my library job was a 3 speed record player and it cost $60. Since I was making 60 cents an hour you can see that I really felt it was worth it for me to have my own music. As the years went by I acquired quite a few long playing 33 speed albums.
Singing in our church choir for many years, taking piano lessons for seven years, listening to the radio constantly, my life has always been filled with music. Now my laptop and my Ipad are filled with it. As I type here I am listening to Elton John singing “My Song”.
My Aunt Donnie played the piano beautifully and I wanted to be as accomplished as she was. For a long time I just played the piano by using my fingers and pretending on our kitchen table. My dad found a way to buy an old upright piano for $25, and then my mother figured out a way to pay for lessons for me at $1.00 a week. She gave up things that she needed so that I could have the lessons for a long time. Alas, tho I loved playing and practiced diligently, I never acquired the skill that my aunt had all of her life. My cousin, Carolyn played by ear, beautifully, which means she didn’t even need to see the notes, and I really envied that.
It is amazing how the words, music, music, bring back all of the memories of my life and how much of a part they played in it. Music, books, writing, the Internet, all have formed me into becoming the person that I am today. In our house my mother played mostly show tunes from Broadway, so I became a great fan of people like George Gershwin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Classical music also filled the air, mostly because my piano teacher gave me assignments of symphonies. And in later years I became an avid rock fan, and still to this day I play all of the greats of the 80s and 90s.
So I guess that I am a product of all of the years spent listening to radio and tv in all of its forms, and it has been a great pleasure for me. Many of the major events in my life can be brought back just by listening to a particular song, like “Rainy Days and Mondays” by the Carpenters.
We all seem to feel a special closeness to the singers who sang the songs that we have loved for a long time. When we hear of the untimely death of one of them, it is like a big chunk has been taken out of our lives. We smile thru the tears as we remember what it was like when we listened to them at a special time in our life. And we thank all of the songwriters who expressed our feelings so well as we listened to their music.
Thanks to the friend who suggested using Music as a subject to write about in our group. The words just came bubbling up like Teresa Brewer, Music, Music, Music. We owe a debt of gratitude to the ones who make us sing, or cry or smile as we remember. Music, one of the greatest pleasures in life.
For the past several years the word “pragmatic” has been popping up in my conversations with my husband whenever we got into any serious discussions about life and our place in it. Now that we are retired we have a lot more time to have these talks, and it has been amazing to me how we have gotten better acquainted with each other by just sitting and talking. After almost 24 years you would think that we are used to each other’s ways, but that is not always the case. When you both have a job somewhere there isn’t always time to really get down to the nitty gritty of how you feel deep inside about certain subjects. We think that we know most of how the other person will react to everyday subjects because we have been together for so long.
Each of us seems to have a certain boiling point, and we know pretty much what it is, so we try to avoid it. What is the point of having an argument when you know that you aren’t going to change the other one’s mind anyhow? That is what I call “pragmatism”, when you know what is important and what really isn’t. Like when you know that you really should get after that extra load of washing, but it surely will wait until tomorrow. Or the grass certainly needs cutting, but you can always do it later.
“Realism” seems to be a synonym that works just as well. One of the advantages of getting older is you begin to realize that it is a waste of time and energy to force anything upon anyone. Realism tells you that it is all going to work out just as it was meant to anyhow, regardless of what you do, or push or shout. If at the same time your spouse is learning the same lessons as you are, why, you are a very lucky person, and they will be happy to embrace your pragmatism. You will live in a more joyful house, and your children and friends will call you blessed.
A pragmatic is one who accepts what is, and is happier for it. But a pragmatic is also one who looks for the silver lining, because they know it is here somewhere.
DEEP INSIDE OF YOUStandard
Deep inside of you and
Deep inside of me,
In point of fact,
Deep inside of all of us
Lies a loving spiritual being
Striving to come forth.
To see the light of day
To see the wonder of the world around us,
To see the beauty and to see the love of everyone,
To feel the oneness and the purpose of all that we encounter.
It is our fate and our future to open our eyes,
To open our minds and to open our hearts and Know
That we are all in this world together.
Sometimes it seems to be a difficult step to take,
To relax and know that we are here to help each other.
Sometimes it is harder to allow another to take a step toward us.
But here we are, on this small globe together.
Our lives are entwined with each other.
Let us resolve to restore the love and caring that lies deep inside,
Deep inside of You, and deep inside of Me.
WHERE IS HOME?Standard
Whenever I sit down and begin to get quiet, it seems like there is always something that comes popping into my mind, shattering the notion that I have this quiet space where I can retreat to, leaving me with the notion that there is something left undone. Something that if only I could focus on it I could solve all of my hassles, make things fit together in a way that makes sense, giving me the feeling that by resting my thoughts I can rest my mind and body.
And so this morning I am thinking about an e-mail from a friend in Michigan asking when am I coming home? Home? Where is home? Is it in Michigan where I live 7 months of the year, on a fruit farm, where I feel at home as I am surrounded by beautiful orchards, old friends occasionally, scattered relatives? Or is it here in Florida, where I am surrounded by new friends? In Michigan I am connected to my friends and relatives by the wonder of the internet, and e-mails, but that is even more true here in Florida. Wherever I go I am connected by thoughts of love and friendship.
When I am at my Creative writers group, I say I need to go home now. Yet when I am visiting someone in Michigan, I leave them to go home to the farm. It is all a question of semantics, I have come to believe. When I lived in Colorado, that was home. When a woman marries, she changes her name usually, and she also changes her home.
So there is only one way to look at it. No matter where we are, no matter what state we currently reside in, no matter how long we are there, Home is where the heart is at the current time. I feel very fortunate that there have been so many places in my life where the heart truly was. And still is, I must add. The memories are a gift from God.
IS IT POSSIBLE?Standard
Sitting here in the warm Florida sunshine,
Listening to the hum of a distant airplane,
Immersed in the coolness of a springtime breeze,
Watching the rainbow spinner turning in every direction,
Hearing the quacking of the mallards walking down the street,
Smelling the citrus trees in bloom all about me,
Is it possible I am in heaven and don’t even know it?
Neighbors float by occasionally in their brightly colored golf carts,
A husband and wife go walking by arm in arm,
The flowers are blooming at their most brilliant best,
And I am sitting here in my front yard watching, listening, smelling and smiling at all of it.
It is such a beautiful day!
Is it possible I am in heaven already?
MY CONSTANT COMPANIONStandard
Walking thru my quiet house on an early winter morning,
I am on my way to my place of sanctuary,
my warm and comfortable chair.
Thru the dimly lit kitchen I pass,
Stopping only to pour the water for coffee,
Waiting for the hot brew to emerge,
picking out my favorite cup for today.
On to the inviting room where my chair awaits me,
Books and journals piled high on the table beside it.
I sink into the chair, cover my lap with a blanket,
Close my eyes, and I am home.
Later I will study a daily lesson,
Write in my journal, read a special book,
Make a list of “to do” things for today,
But now, right now, I relax and know
who and where and why I am,
safe with my Constant Companion.
Outside of this room storms may be blowing,
Memories of old anxieties may prevail,
Duties and responsibilities may clamor for attention.
I may have to plan for tomorrow.
But here in my chair, I am safe, I am blessed.
No fears need dominate my mind and thoughts,
I close my eyes, and the loving Presence envelops me.
I know that I am where I belong,
safe in my favorite chair, safe in the Presence,
safe in the arms of my Constant Companion!
Just suppose that we all followed the Golden Rule.
Right there I lost 90% of my readers. I can tell because I can feel the immediate reaction to my statement. We all want to follow the Golden Rule, it is the standard for decency among people and nations, right? But, but, but, we all know that when push comes to shove we will lose the 90% because we feel no one else will follow it. We would like to do unto others and have them return the favor full fold, bringing happiness and satisfaction to our lives.
But trust in each other implicitly is what we are lacking. We have been burned too many times, by friends or nations or governments. We have listened to too many opinions on too much television, radio, and speeches. Now we are having a hard time believing each other.
For me the word “Freedom” means the ability for each of us to be free to do what makes us happy and productive, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. There is the kicker, because it is very difficult to allow others to have their own opinions without getting excited when they are different than ours.
How to solve this dilemma? Maybe we should all try to LISTEN to others more often. My dad always told me that there is more than one side to a story. Part of the problem is that we tend to listen more often to the ones that agree with us.
This has been a Sunday morning ramble, after listening to the so called news shows. I don’t have the answers but I have decided that I want to try to listen more. Maybe it will start a trend if enough people read this on Twitter.