Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Violin Love

A couple of Sundays ago I practiced violin for about an hour while my husband played a card game upstairs with the children.  When the hour was over I trotted into the room. "That was the fastest hour of my day," I joyfully proclaimed.

"It was the longest hour of mine," my husband said dryly.  

I laughed and laughed. 

*                *            * 
When my husband got home from work today I excitedly showed him the tiny callus on my index finger. 

"WHAT is that?" he laughed.

"I CAN PLAY E!!!" I exclaimed.

*                  *               * 

And then this evening after my violin lesson I cried in the car.  Because I just loved it so much. 

My violin instructor and I picked out "Joy to the World" (hint: it's just playing along the scale, not exactly virtuoso material here) and played it together and it was phenomenal.  Piano and guitar have always been, for me, solo instruments. But playing music with someone else is glorious.  I have caught a glimpse of that glory when Finn and I have played duets at his piano recitals but that's as close as I've come until tonight.  

Of course I came home flush with excitement and told my family to gather around and "listen to this!!!!" and the result was, well, anticlimatic.  But they get the gist.  

By Christmas, I'll play that simple song perfectly.  Mark my words. 

Double Yolks

We get a lot of these!  They're always shocking. 



For me, and probably for the hen, too!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Getting Things Fixed

Last week our water went out.  

Our dryer has been broken for months. 

Our back door was ripped out today.

Two days ago our hot water went kaput.  

BUT!!!

My husband fixed the water the same day it went out (he's so clever).

The dryer has been replaced!

The scaffolding has been built along the back of the house--the first step in repairing flashing, replacing doors, and building the new deck. 

My husband spent two evenings working in the mechanical room and the hot water is back on!

Whew.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Eighteen Years: A Brief Retrospective

We were married 18 years ago today, before the digital photo age really took off, so I don't have wedding photos in digital form. Maybe one day I'll scan them in!  I also noticed that once Finn was born, the photos of "just us" dwindled and the photos of "us with children" surged.  Of course!  


Thanksgiving at home, around the turn of the century. 



My best friend's wedding, June 2002.


My brother-in-law's wedding, July 2005 (Devon, England). 


Helsinki, Finland, September 2006. (In the days before the phone selfie--we just turned the camera around and hoped for the best.)


Thanksgiving at the in-laws'--I don't remember which year!


Easter at the in-laws', March 2016. (What's up with my hand placement?) 


Valentine's dinner, 2017. Taken overlooking our beautiful valley. 

I'm endlessly grateful for this man and our life together.  Worth celebrating!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Cure for Mid-Life Crisis



(Actually I haven't touched this stencil in a month.  But I *am* almost done cutting it out.  After experimenting, I've decided I'm an x-acto knife devotee.  Just have to pace myself to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome!  Once it's all cut out, I'm hoping to stencil a skirt to have as a little handsewing project this winter.)

Right now I'm very busy homeschooling, keeping house, reading as many books as possible, and indulging in a new interest: learning to play the violin.  The backstory is a little crazy: twenty years ago I decided that if I hit mid-life and felt a crisis coming on, I'd do one of three things: 1) go to medical school [this is NOT going to happen]; 2) buy a ridiculous sports car [again, NOT going to happen] or 3) learn to play violin.  

Well.  I never told anyone this, but it was the list my little 20-year-old brain invented...back when I thought medical school and sports cars were worthy of my time and attention!

A couple of weeks before I turned 40, our pastor's wife asked me out of the blue if I'd like to have her violin to borrow for a while.  Hmm. 

So I got the violin.  And I just happen to have a friend who is a Suzuki violin teacher.  And she just happens to be free on Tuesday nights at the church 5 minutes from our house. Things fell into place....

so a week after turning 40 I had my first lesson.  

How long will this last? I don't know, but I do know that so far the hour I spend practicing each day somehow pays me back in dividends later: I'm more relaxed, and more productive, after fiddling around with the violin.  It's good therapy, and it's making me happy during this season of life. Learning a new skill is fun (so far) and best of all, Finn and I sometimes plunk out a duet while he sits at the piano and listens to which notes I'm playing.  He's on his fourth year of piano, and I think this year he'll eclipse my own skills on that instrument. 

Mid-life is feeling great!