Dragonflies of Autumn

I’ve seen many dragonflies lately. They keep appearing around the farm, perched on the screen to the backyard, resting on leaves in the garden… Recently, I learned that dragonflies symbolize change, more specifically, growth and maturity. Perhaps this is a nudge back to music.

 
Last month, I had the opportunity to volunteer locally, singing for a few groups. I enjoyed performing Irish music, plus a few American favorites for a sing along, and later sharing lunch and visiting with the audience. Preparing for these performances, I had the opportunity to organize my music collection and found a few new Irish tunes to add to the repertoire.

 
Instead of recording on Soundcloud, I decided to create a video, including a bit of creative filming courtesy of my daughter (pardon the construction project and MKs backyard horse jumping course made from bricks, logs, and buckets). Enjoy!

 

Happy Fall!!!

Thanks for reading!

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The Journey Home

 

It seems like a lifetime has passed since December’s post. Early December brought pneumonia for me, and then after Christmas, life proceeded to worse. Chad suffered a serious fall and the next day, Patrick’s friend was killed in a car accident. Chad’s on the mend, and we are attempting to help our son through his loss. As a parent, the challenges of bridging this horrible passage never occurred.

Most generations remember losing and mourning a friend gone too young. I remember those friends lost in high school and college, the pain, questions, and numbness. As parents we sit by helplessly, attempting to ease the grief. While we can certainly be there for support, nothing helps more than letting our young grieve together. Perhaps this is part of letting go; our children need the chance to be with their peers to truly sort things out. As a woman, I also didn’t expect how certain difficult, manual activities provide closure for our men, my father-in-law building his granddaughter’s coffin twelve year’s ago or my son and his friends actually picking up shovels and burying their friend.

When dealing with death, I often think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s glimpse through Gandalf’s words in “The Lord of the Rings”:

“…The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path…One that we all must take…The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass…and then you see it…White shores…and beyond. A far green country under a swift sunrise.”

I don’t begin to know or claim what’s to come, but I have often found solace in Tolkien’s words and prefer to follow my parents’ words of wisdom. “We all have a journey ahead, a topic worthy of reflection.” The following song, from the late 70s has often brought me peace. Also, after witnessing the visitation, bagpiper’s procession and funeral (and later, watching my husband’s stubbornness and strength to get back to work), I truly understand what Maureen O’Hara meant when she said, “We Irish are a fighting people.”

RIP  Jeremiah

wrestling Patrick and Jer

 

 

Reflections from the Journey, a music sampler

cover photo remixed

I am pleased to announce that my CD has been completed! The last year has been an amazing experience. I wish to thank all the talented musicians for their support throughout this project! I would also like to thank my family for all the Sundays at the recording studio and all the evenings of patient listening as I crafted the final versions.

**Reflections from the Journey, a music sampler was released on
December 5, 2009.

**Please browse this site! On the right side of your screen, you will find links to audio samples, concert information, CD purchase information, and many other goodies. Directly below are a series of blog entries written during the last weeks of this project. Enjoy!

**Special thanks to White’s Photography for the use of the cover photo: http://www.whitesofhastings.com

**Songs:

1. Wildwood Flower
2. Frankie and Johnny
3. Silver Dagger
4. Livin’ on my Luck
5. Scarborough Fair
6. Slumber, my Darling

“Frankie and Johnny” through the years

Lately, I have been remembering a song that runs through several generations, “Frankie and Johnny.”  This old, popular American folk song was first sung around the table and in the car on family trips when my dad was growing up in the mountains of Colorado.  In fact, during 1st grade, while performing at a local school talent show, Dad proudly sang this tune to a stunned crowd of parents, teachers, students, and staff.  His teacher thought my father was a delinquent in need of rehabilitation.  Grandad was proud of his son’s performance and thought his teacher should mind her own business and promptly told her so!

 

Later, this song resurfaced again as part of a collection of favorite songs from a good friend, John Willson.  We named this collection the John Willson tape, and it was a favorite music selection for the long drives up north to our family cabin.  Today a sentimental feeling arises as I hear my kids singing along and sharing with them the story of Dad’s talent show, plus a stern reminder that this song will not be sung at their school’s talent show!  I enjoy hearing the old version from the John Willson tape with all the hisses and pops.  I only hope that my version is worthy to be included in the same collection.

cowgirl maggie-one that opens (2)

Flu, Football, and Final Touches

It’s been a busy but productive week.  Despite sick kids, a sick spouse, and not feeling the best myself, I was able to continue with the final recording.  I am adding a viola track this Sunday and have been practicing faithfully.  I wish to thank Mrs. Hames and Mrs. Auseon for putting up with me and their encouragement to always do my best during lessons and orchestra.  I am hoping to develop the audio recordings on Sunday, so look for them sometime next week!

This football season has been special for me too as my oldest has now met the family age requirement to play.  My husband insists that our boys reach 7th grade before putting on the pads, noting that they will have grown enough to tackle safely (is there such thing as a safe tackle?) and be hungry for the game.  (I personally think he wanted them to wait because his mother made him do the same thing;-).  I have enjoyed watching both father and son immerse themselves in this exciting fall sport.  Go Saxons!

Remembering Kyomi

This week I have been thinking about my precious niece, Kyomi Culpepper.  For the short four months I was blessed with knowing her, she taught me so much.  Most important, Kyomi taught me the importance of unconditional love.  When I held her, and touched that soft, full head of hair, and looked into her big dark brown eyes, I saw peace and what love really means.  I was asked to prepare a song for her funeral, and after much soul searching, I chose “Slumber, my Darling” by Stephen Foster. 

That song will always hold special meaning in my heart because of the memory attached to Kyomi.  I have included this as the final song in my CD and have been preparing this week to record.  It has been an emotional week, sorting out what I want the song to be.  It is dedicated to dear Kyomi, who for a brief moment was here with us on this earth, but in that brief moment, taught us all so much.

kyomi from Meg

Fall has arrived…

Well, my favorite season is finally here!  Even today I can begin to see the leaves making their colorful transformations.  Some of the simple pleasures I appreciate from this glorious season are leaving the windows open during the cooler hours of the day, sending my kids back to school, warming up at weekend bonfires, and watching football with my family.  This season is particularly special because I am completing the finishing touches on my CD.  I hope to complete two more songs this weekend, “Scarborough Fair” and “Frankie and Johnny.”  Look for audio samples to be posted in the next few weeks.