Sunday, December 28, 2008


Tomorrow we pull out and head south.

We won't get to New Orleans till New Year's Eve, but we leave Winchester, VA tomorrow, camper in tow. We'll spend tomorrow night somewhere in Tennessee, the next night in Alabama, and on the 31st, New Years Eve in the Big Easy. Except we'll probably be too tired out to do much celebrating, especially if it means going into town. We'll probably go to bed at 10pm just like every other night.

Today we drove the 2 hours back to Winchester from our son's home in western MD, which was a couple-day stopoff on the way back from our daughters'/grandchildren's homes in Columbus, OH. In the cab of the truck we had my full-length digital piano, my violin, Steve's big duffel bag, my big camera bag and tripod, a high chair in a box (long story, returned it to Wal-Mart in Winchester after buying it in Maryland), our pillows, many Christmas presents, our cat in a cat carrier, and our 50-pound dog (who had about 18 inches of space on the back seat.) Outside in the truck bed were the stand for the piano, my guitar, a food dehydrator from our son (now I have TWO! Yay!) and my AT hiking backpack, full of not only my clothes, but a bag of food that traveled with us, and more presents, all covered with trash bags in case of rain and wedged between all the tool boxes and bins that go with Steve's RV-repair business.

Yesterday my mother and I, with son Jon's help (and a fully-charged computer battery) finally got our music recorded satisfactorily. I'm not saying "perfectly." I have music in every molecule of my body, but I never pursued it, am largely self-taught, and only play my piano a few times a year. Getting this music playable has been a major undertaking. My mother was a superb cellist in her day, but she's nearing 90. The resulting CD, well, you just have to remember it's not Yo-Yo Mah and Van Cliburn. There are goofs. Maybe not noticeable if you don't know every note of the music, but goofs that made Mother and I groan and roll our eyes because we know how we wanted it to sound, how it should sound, and how it didn't, but we finally got acceptable renditions of everything. I am so grateful we had the chance to do it. I was exhausted afterwards. So was she.

It's a keepsake we made for ourselves and for family history as well as for anyone else who's interested. I'll see what I can do to get it on the internet, after we get settled. Our son has still to download it to CD from his computer.

In addition to the cello-piano numbers, we did one, "Ashokan Farewell," with her on the fiddle/violin and me on the guitar. It wasn't the best-ever performance for either of us. Her left shoulder and arm were weakened in a fall a couple years ago, tore her rotator cuff, and it's hard for her to hold the fiddle up. The arthritis in her hands makes it hard for her to navigate the fingerboard. As for the cello, she's diminished by osteoporosis to about the size of the intrument itself. It's hard for her to get it out of the case, let alone set it up, hold it, and draw the bow with full-arm strokes.

I just wanted to get us recorded before she's gone. I feel so much better now that we've got it done.


Anonymous said...

I tried to leave a comment the other day but our internet connection has been sort of like your journeys lately - in fits and starts.

It's great that you were able to do a decent recording with your mother!

I love what you wrote about reading your Bible. It is terrible how we let everything else take priority, totally unintended.

Here's to a year full of contentment and joy!

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