Musical Memories: My Grandpa

talltabI don’t know if playing music by ear is a gift that can be inherited, but if it is, I can’t take full credit for what I have learned.  I have a long ancestral line of musicians, including trumpeters, harmonica players, singers, band leaders, songwriters, whistlers, and of course, piano players.
talltabMy Grandpa Hathaway played the piano by ear.  I never asked him what kind of technique he used to learn what he played, but I have vivid memories of watching his fingers dance across the keys as the sounds of Beautiful Dreamer and Memories filled my grandparents’ living room.  Their house always had a classic, well-cared for style, with curio-cabinets and intricate mementos of their lives and era.  The piano was situated in the tightest corner of their beautiful living room, with only enough room for the piano and a player, but the music carried throughout the whole house.
talltabNot only did Grandpa teach himself to play that piano, he essentially put the thing together himself – at least after taking it completely apart.  When he and Grandma bought it, they wanted to put it in the downstairs living room, but their stairway was too narrow for a full-size piano.  So Grandpa disassembled the whole thing – with every key removed, and took it down into the living room in pieces.
talltabGrandma hassled him that he would never be able to get the thing back together, but he did, and it is still there today.  I suppose that piano will stay with the house forever.
talltabWe had a piano in our living room, too, though we didn’t have to take it apart to get it there.  I was fourteen when I decided I was going to really learn to play the piano, and that year Grandma and Grandpa Hathaway came for Thanksgiving Dinner.
talltabDuring those contented hours between the feast and the serving of pie, I found myself Continue reading

Tribute: I Love You, Mom!

Tis the season to feel guilty,
falalalalaaaa-la-la-la-la.
Mourning that the house is filthy,
falalalalaaaa-la-la-la-la.
Screaming kids and lazy father,
falala-lalala-la-la-la.
Makes me wonder why I bother,
falalalala-la-la-la-laaaaa!

Now that mother’s day’s approaching,
falalalalaaaa-la-la-la-la.
Listen to the old-folks’ coaching,
falalalalaaaa-la-la-la-la.
Think of all your rotten mistakes
falala-lalala-la-la-la.
Work, and just ignore the back-aches
falalalala-la-la-la-laaaaa!

Spare me.

Every year I hear the wonderful things about mothers, and I love it, but every year I hear mothers complain because it makes them feel so terribly inadequate.
I think it’s sad that mothers hearing about how wonderful mothers are makes them feel guilty.  Of course they feel inadequate!  They’re are inadequate.
Has any mother really been adequate to Continue reading

Making Moments: Wike a Sheep

Making Moments – Wike a Sheep

After putting Lunch Bucket to bed and singing her “Princess song,” I talked with her about how our Heavenly Father loves all of his children.

“Lunch Bucket, how do you know that Heavenly Father loves you?”

“He wuvs me because He’s holding me.” Then pointing to the picture of Jesus holding the lamb, “Wike, wike in that picture, he’s holding me.”

She’s got a good memory. It was over a month ago that I told her she was like the lamb in the picture.

“He is holding you. And He will always be holding you – even when you’re sad, or angry, or happy. He will always hold you, huh?”

“Yeah. I’m wike, wike, wike a sheep.”

“Yep. And you’re His little girl.”

“Yeah.”

“Goodnight, Punkin.”

“Goodnight.”