The gift of music

ornamentDave and I are waiting.  In an earlier post I said I need to learn to live in the wait; BUT IT’S HARD TO WAIT!!  I like to have control and drive.   What are we waiting for, you ask?  A package, that has been ordered since Cyber Monday. It contains a Yamaha trumpet;  a trumpet our son has been asking for since his birthday in September.  So we wait.  And after several frustrating weeks of maneuvering through cyber space, it has finally been determined that our package is to arrive at the  business on December 24th.  So Dave will have to sit at work and wait for it.  Argh!!!!!

Last night, amidst the sound of Minecraft videos coming from our den, I sat gazing at the Christmas decor and my eyes fell upon our music ornament.  I was trying to enjoy our Christmas lights with a semblance of quiet.  Noise echoes from our house walls, all day long, and most evenings I long for silence.  My favorite time of day is when quiet snores can be heard throughout my home (LOL) and I have my computer to myself.   From the ornament my gaze moved to my childhood piano.  Most times I consider it a piece of furniture; an extra seat for people when they are gathered around in our living room.  And it dawned on me that I have not touched the keys in a very long time.

I moved mwhite xmasy fanny off the couch and let my fingers run along the ivory keys.  My parents had saved their money to find this second hand piano when I began to take lessons at age five.  Since I was an only child in a very quiet household; music was a way to break up the monotony.  It’s the strangest thing that, over three decades later, my hands can still remember my favorite childhood songs; one of them being Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.  They fumbled over the keys; to the point where I finally had to dig out the sheet music in the depths of my piano bench.  When I finally settled myself and started to play I realized: Dave was on the couch, Charlie sat on the bench next to me, Doug stood behind me and Nate held his trumpet case, nearby.   And with little more than a few practice runs, the sounds of White Christmas, Silver Bells, Deck the Halls, Silent Night, Coventry Carol, Little Drummer Boy, the list goes on  echoed within the walls of our home.  I found that when I stopped staring at the sheet music and let my mind wander; that my hands naturally found the keys from years and years okeyboard handsf practice.

I began to think about my favorite things at Christmastime.  Besides receiving Christmas cards, I love the carols.  As a child my parents belonged to a Filipino Community.  My mom would make a parol, a star made from bamboo sticks and tissue paper, and it would hang at our window for the holiday.  Carolers would come to our home, each year, and she would have Dutch cookies (those blue tin can things) and coffee, and they would come into our home.  I only understand the Ilocano dialect so I would listen intently to their conversations as my parents’ friends would sing Christmas songs.  I missed the caroling; the music.  Where did that tradition go?

On Thursday as I broke graham crackers into squares with a group of moms; I was surprised to hear Jingle Bells coming from our second grade class.  A teacher’s husband brought a little group of people to go caroling in each classroom and I longed for the choral programs my kids were involved with in San Diego.  They were in Melody Makers and took piano lessons with Marianne Krystmas (we loved the play on her name).  Music recitals were our norm. RBCPC had a group of carolers who would sing around our circle (our street was a circle).  My neighbor practiced her piano, every night, since she was the organist at RBCPC.  When we sat, on Wednesday night, at Nate’s junior high band and choral concert, the memories came flooding back.  I MISS MUSIC IN THE SCHOOL!!!  To think that our school district, so easily, cuts the elementary music program makes me angry.  And, interestingly enough, both of my sons’ elementary school teachers are musical.  One plays a ukelele; the other a guitar.

Dave, who is not musical at all, (he’s the artistic sculptor, remember?) gets teary hearing the boys practice their instruments.  Nate is a trumpet, Doug is an alto sax.  My cousin, Daniel, has let Douglas borrow his saxophone to learn to play.  My saxophone sits in its case; beat up.  All of Daniel’s UCLA sheet music was kept by his mom; but no worries.  I’ll be sure to teach the boys the USC Fight Song and Tribute to Troy to play for him when he visits.

My sheet music remains on my piano now.  After playing on the computer keyboard, I’ll head over to the ivories.



1 thought on “The gift of music”

  1. Ooooohhh! Can you teach us to make parols for our windows next Christmas?! I want to learn. And I would love to hear you play White Christmas on the piano =) Beautiful post.

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