Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Music in the Air

This past month has been stressful, both on the work and personal fronts. May brings a month of crushing workload as we work on mailing statutory notices for the majority of our clients. It also brings two events that I do my best not to miss - the Frankum family reunion and the big Texas Miniatures Showcase in Dallas. Bottom line is that I am working and traveling non-stop for the better part of three weeks before things level off and get back to normal.

Just as that flurry of activity died down, my little boy got gravely ill and spent a weekend in hospital. (See Woolgathering for that story.) I ended up taking a sick day on Monday, suffering a tension headache and general exhaustion. Tuesday I was back on duty, although the headache was still there in the background.

When the lunch hour arrived, I decided to go to a bookstore for a little stress relief. Libraries and bookstores can usually be counted on to give my spirits a boost. When I first arrived, I thought I had made a big, big mistake. There were fussy toddlers everywhere and this little old spinster lady does not tolerate that kind of noise with grace. I kept going to the farthest corner away from them, only to have them trail after me like I had toddler magnets in my purse.

And then I got a gift. The promotional CDs that play on the music intercom shifted to a string of numbers by Jerry Lee Lewis. I know that Jerry Lee Lewis is one of those performers you either love or hate. Daddy loved Jerry Lee and started early passing along to me an appreciation of his music. I can remember one of the first records he bought when we got our big stereo back in 1960 was a collection of hits from Sun records, including Whole Lot of Shaking Going On and Breathless.

I have long been grateful to my father for giving me an eclectic musical taste. He liked classical, gospel, bluegrass, rockabilly, big band, and country-western and he acquired records from all those genres and played them often. He probably drove my poor piano teacher crazy, putting in a request every year for a particular piece to be included in my yearly recital. She was a willing participant nonetheless and thanks to him my recitals varied from numbers such as the Warsaw Concerto to Walk in the Black Forest to Pinetop's Boogie Woogie. (I usually played two numbers in the later years, giving her the opportunity to work with me on Beethoven sonatas and Chopin etudes, more her idea of what constituted a recital piece. I believe the year I played the Boogie Woogie was also the year I played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Daddy loved them both. I'm sure everyone else there thought I was schizophrenic.)

I'm sure there were a lot of customers in the store yesterday who were irritated by the onslaught of Jerry Lee Lewis, but I was tapping my foot and swaying to the rhythm. It wasn't long before I was headed to the counter to find the cd to purchase.

I am a curious blend of traits inherited from my parents, but I inherited a love of bookstores from both. From Daddy I inherited an appreciation of a wide variety of music. I almost felt the two of them hovering over my shoulder yesterday as I soaked in the restorative powers of both, willing me to relax.

Daddy tickles the ivories

Another year, another recital


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