Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Dulcimer Tale - part 1

I made a promise to myself to write in my blog every single day for an entire year. There's a whole other story there but ...

Tonight I'm cheating. I'm heading off to bed super early so I'm going to tell you a story from some years back.

It is a tearful story, so get your kleenex handy.

Oh, and before you get your kleenex handy did you remember to enter my little giveaway? No? OK, just click here and go do that really quick. I'll wait!

And now the story can officially begin.

So...several years ago when my last child left home and I was pretty much wallowing in the whole empty-nest, my-life-is-over-let-me-hurry-up-and-die syndrome (yes, there is to a disease by that name!) for some abstract reason I decided that I should learn to play a musical instrument...specifically the dulcimer.

No, I have no idea why that strange thought entered my head.

My husband, looking for any possibility of me not sitting around weeping for hours at a time, was all for it! I found a dulcimer. And I started lessons. And here is my tale of that adventure...

So…. The 5 o’clock traffic made the streets quite busy and even in the crowded parking lot I could hear traffic from Main Street bustling by. The parking lot was busy, too, with cars and little groups of people ping-ponging in all directions.

I got my dulcimer case out of the backseat. I was excited. It had been four days since I’d been there and another student’s cancellation had scored me an early lesson for the week. My second dulcimer lesson… yee haw ! To get to the lesson studios you go through the back entrance of this huge, slightly grungy, old brick warehouse type building. There is a long hallway with tattered and worn square linoleum tiles and bulletin boards lining the entire length of the hall. When you walk in you can feel the energy and the hum that big music stores always seem to have.

On the right side of the hall is the glass-windowed repair shop and on this particular day four techs are playing a discordant jangle of musical notes from various stringed instruments in the process of repair.

A quick right turn and you are at the stairs to the second floor….but before you get there you pass the glittering display of brass instruments and the gleaming shine of pudgy basses and elegant violins. The stairs remind me of high school. Wide, busy, a little dirty… the wood railing is sanded slick from use and little clusters of giggling teenagers gather here and there using the steps as their own personal social hang out.

To get to the lesson studios you have to weave your way through the sheet music…. Thousands and thousands of tunes and rhythms encased in crisp paper and just waiting to be released to budding musicians. And then you are in another long hallway where the lesson studios are. Rows of chairs stretch down the hall.

The hallway is filled with two types of waiting students… the serious ones with the polished cases who sit primly on the chairs and the cool ones with ripped clothes and jeans whose cases, clothes and skin display an astonishing array of stickers, paintings, tattoos and drawings. I look at my pristine dulcimer case and nice cotton shirt. I sigh.

I always wanted to be one of the cool ones but to be honest the whole ripped clothes thing and tattoo needles just never worked out for me. I think about buying one of the dulcimer stickers I saw on the internet when I started this empty-nester distraction program.

I wonder if adorning my unblemished black case with a sticker about having “Dulc-heimers” disease would make me cooler. I suspect the humor will be lost on this particular crowd of under 15’s. OK, maybe some of them are pushing 17.

I wait a few moments. OK, I feel a little weird. Is this something like when the 60 year old guy gets a convertible and a twenty year old girlfriend? I listen to piano music, and loud guitar riffs and someone playing a violin terribly. I watch the little kid musician wannabes wait and giggle and yawn and whisper about boys and dating and girls and dating. I decide I will play my dulcimer very quietly so this odd little group of peers won’t giggle about my choice of instrument, my lack of coolness and my youth challenged appearance.

To be continued...

By the way, just curious....did you need any kleenex yet?


Allie said...

Oh I hate to be continueds ..... i am on the edge of me seat .. and no kleenex .. perhaps you should put in (grab kleenex line) when it is appropriate to help me out .. lol

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I had the Kleenex out when you said "empty nest"! I know the feeling. I did not take up a dulcimer, but that is when I learned how to use a about a device that distracts the mind and keeps one busy! LOL!

Looking forward to chapter two ..

Hugs, Pat

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Awwww, you totally should have gotten that sticker girl. Can't wait to read the rest.

And on your precious comment today-

You aren't crazy in my opinion. In fact, I did go that route for a while, and kept hitting roadblocks. At the time, I was just laying everything out in the open and praying for either closed doors or open ones, because I had no idea what the problem was and there was a plethora of roads to take.

Flash forward two years, and we are now aware that our daughter has an MSG and MSG by produce and Corn Syrup, corn by product sensitivity. I've gone to tremendous strides to remove things from our diet with chemicals and the like, and I've seen a little improvement with a few things for him, though it was done for her... Most of his issues are sensory related, and we work with that daily. It's exhausting. I so appreciate your words of support and encouragement. We have gotten very little of that from our families yet I seem to get plenty of it elsewhere, just from sharing my story. It's been such a blessing.

Cedar ... said...

Love the dulcimer story. I'm a git-tar gal myself. Keep smiling!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I must have started reading your blog shortly after this. I would have told you back then that you should be writing. You have a way with words, with painting a picture.
Off to read part 2!