Forever Young

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May your heart always be joyful – may your song always be sung – and may you stay – may you stay forever young. ~ Bob Dylan

Posting late tonight because we  out celebrating the 60th birthday of a high school friend.  He has a band with his two sons and a nephew along with a friend of the boys. They played songs that had special meanings to various people in the crowd.  People were clapping, tapping, and singing along.

It was fun to see “kids” from the neighborhood that we hadn’t seen in years.  Though some hair is gray, and the years have taken their toll on many of us in different ways, everyone was talking and laughing as if we had seen each other just yesterday.  As always the talk turns to stories of our youth.

I looked around and wondered how we got to this age – closer to retirement – talking grandkids – moving a little slower. Each time the music started I felt like I was back in my 20s or 30s.  My mind is young, my body not so much.  I guess that is the power of music – the ability to take you back in time.

My youthful feelings were short-lived when I realized we were tired and leaving to go home at 10:00.  As we were walking to our car, couples were walking towards the tavern.  That was a reality check for sure!

Being forever young is not a body thing; it is a heart and soul thing.

May you stay forever young.

 

 

You’re Still the One

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You don’t marry someone you can live with – you marry someone you cannot live without. ~ Unknown

I was searching for inspiration after a long week at school.  I was thinking of writing about the super moon that graced us this week, and I still might, but then something happened. I started looking through old journals and writer’s notebooks – 21 to be exact – when I came across a poem I wrote for my husband for Valentine’s Day 2004.

Chuck and I met when I was 15, and he was 17.  In 2004 we had been together 31 years- 24 of them married.  As I read this poem 15 years later, I still have the same feeling as I had on our first date and the day we got married.  I cannot picture a life without him by my side. We are going on 46 years together, and he is still the center of my universe – my super moon.

Here is the poem.

I love you in the morning
when the first whispers of dawn peak through the window
when I am trying to shake free of last minute dreams
when I need a reason to turn off the alarm and face the day

I love you in the afternoon
when I am weary after a day of teaching and need to unwind and share
when the aroma of a homemade meal fills my senses
when the sun begins to descent and the sky starts to pinken

I love you at night
when stars take to the skies twinkling with promise
when late night giggles permeate the darkness
when the sound of your breathing becomes my lullaby, and I rest easy in your embrace

I love you…morning…noon…and night.

Tonight I am feeling peaceful.  I hope you are too.

Happy Birthday, Johann

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The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. ~ Johann Sebastian Bach

I began playing string bass in 9th grade and continued as a music major in college.  It was during those eight years that I fell in love with classical music, but in particular music of the Baroque period.  Baroque music is perfect for string ensembles, and I loved being the keeper of the continuous bass line under several independent and overlapping melodies and countermelodies. Besides playing string bass, I spent countless hours in the practice rooms working on my Bach Two Part Inventions for piano.  I felt so satisfied when I “mastered” one.

The word baroque comes from the Portuguese word barroco which means oddly shaped pearl.  I guess the period is aptly named since it was so much more ornate than the simplicity of the Renaissance period.  There is something soothing about the binary form of Baroque music; you know what to expect; it is reassuring.

Happy listening!

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 1st movement

 

Six Months

 

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mom's hand                Hang loose - Copy

In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on. ~ Robert Frost

Today marks six months since my mom passed away just about seven weeks short of her 91st birthday.  Some days it feels like forever and some days like it was yesterday.  As I scrolled back through my pictures to find the ones above, I realized life did go on.  I made it through my milestone birthday, her birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all without having my mom to visit or hug.

I could always count on her to be smiling and happy.  She had such a positive spin on life. The picture of my mom, Lucy, is from 2017 when we celebrated her 90th birthday.  My sister bought her the “Hang Loose” sweatshirt because when anyone asked Lucy how she was doing, she would always answer, “Hanging Loose.”

There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of her or talk to her.  She may not be with me physically, but I can feel her presence in so many little ways.  From the unexplainable  scent of her laundry detergent wafting through my family room to the cardinal that swoops just in front of my car on the way to work, I know she is looking over us.

Although I am sad some days, I try to emulate the way she lived.  She celebrated life every day. I don’t know how this grief thing is supposed to work when it comes to grieving your mother, but I know she wouldn’t want it to take over; she would want me to celebrate her by celebrating life.

Thanks Mom for holding my hand all those times I needed you for a shoulder to lean on, for words of wisdom, or for a good laugh.  Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives.  I am remembering you tonight with a smile.

#livelikelucy

For the Love of the Game?

 

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Love the game of baseball, and baseball will love you.  ~ Babe Ruth

When the Babe uttered those words so long ago, how could he have imagined how much baseball would love back the players in 2019?

I am a life-long Phillies fan.  Win or lose, I love to watch the games from the first crack of the bat in the spring until temperatures are cool again in the fall, but watching the contract negotiations of some players these last few weeks has left me shaking my head.

First it was the Phillies acquiring Bryce Harper to the tune of $330 million dollars for 13 years only to have him hit in the ankle by a 97 mph pitch during spring training.  I have never been a Bryce Harper fan probably because he played for the Washington Nationals, a division rival, however I have been listening to his interviews, and he seems to say all the right things.

Today rumors are swirling that the Los Angeles Angels and Mike Trout (a Millville, NJ native) are finalizing a 12-year deal worth $430 million.  That would keep Trout with the Angels for the remainder of his career dashing any hope that the “hometown” boy would make his way home and play for the Phillies once his contract was up in 2020.

I have to admit that I did get sucked into the Mike Trout fantasy, but who wouldn’t want the most talented player of his generation to come to their favorite team?  Yet, I cannot fathom how sports got to this point.  Big name players are paid exorbitant sums of money to play “a game they love.”  I am still trying to process my feelings – not that it matters to anyone but me. I know that lots of major league players do lots of great work in the communities surrounding their ballparks, but I can’t help but wonder – would they play the game for less money – just for the love of the game?  Maybe they could take a page out of Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long’s book and donate part or all of a year’s salary to organizations that promote educational equity.

I teach in a parochial school, so my salary is nowhere near the salaries of my counterparts in public school.  It doesn’t matter though because I really do “teach for the love of the game.”

 

 

Changing Cannot to Can

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Never let the things you cannot do prevent you from doing the things you can. ~Coach John Wooden

I am tired today, but I can check things off my “to-do” list.

My legs are hurting, but I can go to Aqua Fit class.

I cannot walk well when I first get up after sitting too long, but I can walk.

I cannot wrap my head around the violence in the world, but I can listen to the news and pray.

I cannot keep my eyes open, but I can finish this post.

Good night!

 

Purging

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In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself. ~ Deepak Chopra

Yesterday, my daughter and her family came over for their monthly visit to help us clean out the clutter in our home.  Living in a house for 30 years can pack in the possessions.  We are not moving or downsizing; we already live in a small home, but  getting rid of things we don’t use is already making it feel much larger. I know Angela realizes that doing some of these tasks can be difficult for Chuck and me these days, but I also think she doesn’t want to deal with so much “stuff” when we are gone either.

Yesterday, we tackled the dining room and a closet.  You might not think that would be a large job, but it took a long time.  I have two boxes and a tote bag of various items plus a bag started with coats to donate.

Yesterday, I realized that we can’t keep everything; we have to let some things go.  After all, just how many cut glass candy dishes can one person use?  I had so many candles and plates and knick knacks that I hadn’t seen in years.  They were just taking up room in the drawers and server shelves.

Yesterday, I gave away things that previously I didn’t want to part with.  It wasn’t hard.  There were only a few things that I had to really think about or persuade my daughter and son–in-law to let me put in the keep pile.  I was proud of how quickly I could just say donate or trash.

Yesterday, I made space in my home and in my life for things that may be coming my way in the future. I’ve decided to only let in what I really need and and let go of the rest.

Happy Sunday!