Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Thumb's Up!

Stereotypes. We all make stereotypes, right?

I’m actually delighted at having been found guilty…. not once, but twice!

For instance?

I’m thinking Mr. Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”
(Any other fans out there?)

Who’d have guessed, Lil’ Jon had such smarts going on under those dreads!?!   I'm still not fond of his music … but came away capital-letter Impressed.

Lately I’ve been thinking of a prior season finalist, Trace Adkins. Long-hair, slow-talking country fellow, right?  

Not so fast!
I just finished reading his book, A Personal Stand ….. and can’t stop chattering!

Though I’m no accomplished reviewer, I’d like to try – with a little LOT of help from the internet:

At 6'6" and sporting a blonde ponytail, #1 country music superstar Trace Adkins isn't your typical conservative pundit. Brash, persuasive, and controversial, A Personal Stand isn't just the story of Trace Adkins's life; it's the story of what life can teach all of us.

Trace Adkins on personal responsibility: "I stand for personal responsibility and against anything that undermines it. So much what I see in our country today represents a flight hell-bent from responsibility to victimhood. From acting on one's convictions, to going along just to get along. From making decisions based on moral principles, to taking the easy way out. That's not what the United States of America is all about, and that's not the legacy our children should inherit."

On blame games and pity parties: "Life is messy. When you fall down, pick yourself up and go on. Don't waste time trying to pin the blame on somebody, even if you did get some rotten breaks. Life has thrown me some hellacious curve balls, stuff that would make for a dandy pity party on the Oprah Winfrey Show. But life has also given me plenty of blessings."

I’ve never before experienced the urge to stand up and do a “fist pump” while reading, --but I did just that on a couple of occasions (much to the amusement of DH’s and our reigning canine).
Just wish I’d the discretionary dollars to buy each of you a copy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Day the Music Died

Out-take from the homefront:
“Now she wants to learn the saxophone.”

Outwardly, my left hand signals “Thumb’s up!” ..... while opposite fingers are crossed "good luck" behind my back.

I’m curious. Did you ever play a musical instrument? Do you still play?

Long before I came along, momma played piano. Daddy studied the violin. Factor in one child … you can guess the rest.

Like it was yesterday, I recall my folks’ phone call, promising a “big surprise.”

Yessssss …. a horse!

I was practically doing pirouettes – my mind leap-frogging to time spent riding “Flicka” across the high mesa.

“Dismayed” doesn’t begin to describe my feelings when the big surprise turned out to be a piano. I despised it on sight. My tutor ~ and that pesky violin ~ fared no better. But at 8 years old, does one have a choice?

Summer Camp 1961
Come high school, my parents reluctantly agreed to let me quit orchestra and join the school’s choir. Mind you, I did NOT have a great singing voice. (Theirs was the FUN crowd!)

Ironic, but these days, I’m married to The Music Man. While he no longer plays professionally, DH adores tinkering. His results seem effortless.

Sooner or later it had to happen. A few weeks ago I ventured to DH’s sanctum. Assuming a seat at the keyboard, I glared at the keyboard.

Squiggles and symbols on sheet music bear no more resemblance than say, the Russian alphabet.

I like to think my memory’s keen, but this????
Somewhere along the way a large chunk of my brain cells simply EVAPORATED.

Chagrined? Yes.
Regrets? I’m still trying to sort it out.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to live out my days as the designed applause-maker.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Gratitude Opens Every Door

(Excerpted from

The following story really struck a chord when I read it! You see, DH and I experienced the same thing last fall at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport!

Maybe it was one of those “you had to be there” moments; but I still appreciate Sara Rigler’s telling:

* * * * *

One of the most moving scenes I ever witnessed took place at Gate B2 of the Baltimore airport.

I had set down my carry-on and taken out my prayer book, when I suddenly heard a sound I had never before heard in any airport: applause.

Are people greeting a rock star?, I wondered. 
A couple of minutes later another wave of applause picked me up and carried me to Gate B2 where a crowd of about 30 people was gathered. Lined up against the wall were 5 uniformed sailors and sundry civilians, including a TSA official.

I weaved my way through to glimpse the object of all this adulation. At the entrance to the jet-way I spotted him: an old man in a wheelchair.

The follow pushing the wheelchair stopped to let the old man absorb his rousing welcome. The man smiled and weakly lifted his right hand to acknowledge the crowd. As the wheelchair slowly moved past the receiving line, the sailors saluted, others nodded, and the TSA official stepped forward, shook the old man’s hand and said in a heartfelt voice, “Thank you for your service.”

A quiet lull ensued, and then another round of applause for the next deplaning passenger – another old man, standing wobbly on his own legs, leaning on a cane. He paused, looked up in surprise at his hero’s welcome, as if not quite understanding all the hullabaloo, then continued his limping gait.  He stopped only when the TSA official stepped forward, grasped his hand and said, “Thank you for your service.”

What’s going on here””, I asked the young woman beside me.

“They’re WWII veterans; they’ve come to see their monument in Washington DC.”

When the last wheelchair rolled off, I approached the official:
“I want you to know that I was very moved at how you thanked each and every veteran.” I told him.   “We all clapped, but you were the only one who put the gratitude into words. And words are very important.”

“Well,” he said humbly, “I myself served, so I know what they’ve been through.”
Unexpressed gratitude is like a gift purchased and wrapped, but never given.

Gratitude opens every door!

Happy Spiritual Sunday ...
and Happy Independence Day!

(Please, stay safe out there!)