Monday, September 26, 2011

Signs of Fall

There are signs all around the Northern Hemisphere that the days are getting shorter and the Fall has arrived.
   My mantle which always is graced by the Painting of the Month is showing some fall color. Another sure sign that October is around the corner is the appearance of pumpkins in the parking lot at our local grocery store.
   Our cousins in Germany enjoyed a pumpkin adventure at a Dino Park where they celebrated the Splutterbucket's birthday. 

Fall brings so much color and muted sunlight. It is a reason for rejoicing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Teacher Son

Today is the birthday of my third child. Hooray for No.3. It is a difficult position in birth order but this man  stands out with his tenacity and intelligence. He came with that, even his birth was intense and quick.

Now he is a grown man, faithful husband, and loving father.
   When you are born in the middle you have siblings moving ahead and middle children try things they may be too young to actually accomplish, like the day we gave hot cycles to the older kids.
  There he was, outside, trying to ride when his feet did not touch the pedals. When he couldn't ride his brother's he just borrowed a neighbor's, until he was stopped by a neighborhood gang. They were four year olds and they wanted him to leave their bikes alone. I saved him time and time again.
  I have learned much from this man and most admire his kindness and love of learning. I look back fondly on the two decades we lived together.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Splutterbucket.

   It has been four months since I heard your giggle and today you are two years old. I was there that day in Auburn, Washington, when you emerged as our X-Man. You were so sweet and we all loved cuddling you.

 Your sunny smile is as bright as any summer day. I love how you say "a huh" when I asked you a question. It seemed so agreeable but I know you can't possibly be agreeable all the time.You did not remember me when I came to visit but you did not hold back, you welcomed me immediately. Thank-you for that , sweet boy.
  I liked coming to get you in the morning. Your little arms would reach out to me and I could scoop you up and take you with me to start the day. I can still see you in your car seat, watching with anticipation to see where we would go.
  You had this disarmimg way of backing up into my lap and waiting to be embraced. I think about all these things and hope you have a wonderful day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Early Morning Guests- Old Testament

   A new year has begun for my seminary students. This is my seventh year teaching religion to high school students who come at zero hour to my home. My Junior is now a Senior, and the Freshman a Sophomore, and we welcomed two new Freshmen into our Old Testament class.
  The first week is always a training week. They train me how to respond to them, how to protect their egos, and how to let them tease and laugh together. I TRY to train them how to talk about a meaningful verse in the scriptures, how to answer when the silence gets heavy, and how much silliness is to much.
  Today we explored the meaning of symbols. I borrowed a few objects from my weapons expert and we searched for meanings to the symbols of swords and shields.

  With sword of truth and the shield of faith I will get up every weekday and invite the Holy Ghost to teach and fortify them in the battle of life. Hopefully I can stay out of the way so that they hear his voice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Piano Parade

 Going into a piano store is like walking on the red carpet with your underwear on. The gleaming models pose in black and white, their price tags fluttering back and forth so you only see the dollar sign and miss the five digit number. There you are with your longing exposed but unworthy to be a legitimate customer. That is exactly how I felt the day I went into the store, at the mall, with my beloved aunt. Coming from a very conservative background, she often showed an adventuresome, reckless side. She beckoned me to flirt with the Steinway. I sat ever so lightly upon the black cushioned bench and stroked the keys. The sound cascaded out of the belly answering my touch, beckoning for more questions.
   "I am going to own a grand piano one day!" I declared boldly.

    "What are you waiting for?" She propped her round elbows on the lid and smiling, rested her chin in her hands.
    "I don't have any money set aside for that luxury." I stood up and dismissed the idea. She surprised me by opening her purse and handing me a one hundred dollar bill. The revealed cash was not unnoticed by the salesman who made his way over to us to render his assistance.
   "Here is the down payment." She laid the bill in my hand and pointed me in the direction of other pianos.  "Go find the one you want."
   I did not buy a piano that day. I had five children at home, a badly running station wagon, and only a handfull of piano students. This idea would find no support at home. I kept the hundred in my sock drawer as a down payment on a wish.
   My husband did not respond the way I thought he would when I told of my venture. He sat down with me to make a business plan. How many students would I need to add to make the monthly payment? The harder question was how would we fit a baby grand in the living room? We lived in an old, four bedroom, one bathroom home, with five growing children, two of them just emerging as teenagers.
   Still feeling ridiculous, the two of us visited another showroom. I played a fifty thousand Chickering and thought Chopin was whispering to me.

 I think I danced with every piano in the store and finally a shiny, black Yamaha yielded to my need. It was bright without being brassy, resonant without muddiness, and just firm enough to make me decisive. There were others that looked the same but this one sang with my voice.
    I needed five additional students to make the payment; I got ten. My children resented giving up the lounging area in front of the television; one of them learned to play like an angel. 

   The piano was paid off in five years and sixteen years later all my students have played on an instrument that responds to the novice and the master.
   Some risks in life just look like a raging river to cross, but end up being a puny puddle viewed from the other side.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


There has been a lot of moving in my family this summer. Both the Music Man Son and the Analyst Son have found new homes which have been a welcomed change. Moving is exhausting and stimulating. My grandchildren have been hyper excited to share their new surroundings with me.

Neither son moved far from home and both situations have provided more space and more satisfaction.

I get excited for them when they have more room for their creative outlets, whether they be cooking, gardening, or teaching their children.

My sons get to find out  that they will have improvement projects now and in the future.

My daughter's in-law can look forward to making space beautiful and more functional.

And I look forward to visiting and watching the seasons change in their new surroundings.
Anyone know what kind of bush this this? I thought it looked like a Camellia but it is late in the summer for that bush.
So welcome home!