Sunday, May 17, 2009

~NEVER LET THE MUSIC DIE INSIDE YOU~ My 100th Post!!!

CEDARLANE JUNIOR HIGH - 1972
Spring Talent Show

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Growing up on Sigman Street brought many changes to my life, but none more lovely than those I experienced during the summer months of 1971. I was twelve years old and "technically" still a little girl. Even though I flirted with Mabelline's Great Lash Mascara and Avon's Ginger- Rose Blush, I had yet to master anything even remotely close to being "grown-up". I loved wearing my corduroy pants of powder blue and I was rarely seen without my navy deck shoes. That is, of course, unless it was Sunday! I always wore dresses on Sunday! Wearing pants to church back then, well...that might have been pretty close to sinning. With my daddy being a Preacher-Man and all, he sorta frowned on those types of things (can you even imagine that today?). I was better off just wearing a dress and keeping my personal opinions about fashion to myself. He wouldn't have understood anyway...

It was a hot mid-summer day, the first Monday after the 4th of July (why I recall that I do not know!), when I first remember asking begging my Father for a guitar. I dreamed of learning to play since attending tween church camp the summer before and had chatted non-stop about it for a solid year. My daddy was a lover of country music so convincing him was easy...it was finding the extra money for the guitar that proved to be the challenge. Still, he somehow found a way to purchase me a tiny acoustic $15 guitar and ten, thirty-minute lessons. By the time school began in mid September I hoped to be able to play at least a song or two~ By the following Spring I knew enough about my musical friend to enter the talent contest hosted by my junior high school. I sang and played a song called "Bright New World" by Flo Price and won 2nd place. My bestest friend, Becky Blanchette won first place pretending to be Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl...(Beck was fabulous and even now I know she deserved to win!).

SINGING IN THE CHOIR
8th Grade

COLORADO SPRINGS
1975-1976
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To my surprise learning to play the guitar came easy to me and for the next three years or so I was never without my trusted, six-stringed friend. When I was 15 years old my father bought me another guitar, this one albeit a bit on the fancy side. She was golden yellow with highlights of scarlet red. Scrolly white Roses complemented her black pick guard and I truly believed I had died and gone to heaven. She was $50, case included, and I felt very blessed by the sacrificial gift. She traveled with me everywhere I went and I loved her so much! She wooed me out of my shell and also encouraged me to develop a deep, lasting bond with my father. He loved to hear me sing(actually, he loved to hear all FOUR of his children sing). He was the one responsible for helping me land a little singing "gig" at the Colorado Springs "Blue House"...a tiny "coffee-haus" for college students that served up live local talent and complementary bagels and cream cheese. I thought I'd hit the big time!
When I met my hubby and we started dating my little guitar was there. When our relationship grew serious, it was my stringed companion who helped me write songs about love and faith and family...even more about life and death, loss and longing...fear, joy, regret and restoration.
The years sped on...
I grew older...
Things changed...
Life happened...
I cannot say exactly just when it was that I turned away from my songbird of many years. Truthfully, I have a wide gap in my memory here... I know the early demands of motherhood played a part in silencing the voice of my friend and sadly she stood alone for months at a time without making a sound. Money was tight and free time was a rarity for me. I was an adult now...busy raising two tiny children and being a wife to my beloved. He would ask me once in awhile to "play and sing" but I was always too busy tending to my life and making a home. My goal was to help provide food and shelter for my family and there was little time for things like song-writing or singing without pay...
So, on a cold winter day in late 1984, a month or two after my Adrie-Girl was born, I sold my little guitar for $85...case included. I had groceries to buy and a light bill to pay. My hubby was at work, and for months and months thankfully wasn't the wiser...
The years sped on...
Things changed...
My children grew older...
Life happened...
Last Saturday, as usual, my Mr. AGPMan and I slummed around town for cottage treasures. The day was full of visits to places we've grown to love and even a dive or two (just to SEE if there was anything good there!). The next day was Mother's Day and we planned to be home early to get things ready for the celebration. Family, food, faith, food, faith and family...that's us!
As we pulled close to the corner of a street not far from our home my hubby suddenly turned into a familiar parking lot.
"I've gotta run in here really quick!" he said "Come with me!"
I looked up as he parked in front of a shop I hadn't been in since my children were in grade school. It was our local music store and I must have driven by it over a thousand times in the past 10 years. Knowing my guy was getting his Clarinet re-padded, I jumped out of our SUV and thought nothing about joining him at the door.
As we stepped past the threshold he smiled and said...
"Let's look around!"
I'm thinking...What? We've gotta get home! Mother's Day is tomorrow!
My guy continued to chatter...
"Wow! They have guitars here, Baber!! Play one for me!"
I eyed the gorgeous displays of high and low-end guitars in the music store~ They were all so beautiful...'just like my long-lost friend' I thought...
With that I whispered
"You know I can't play anymore!"
"Will you try?" he said
"Play for me, Baber...Remember? Like you use to?
I picked up the shiny new guitar the salesman brought out and sat down to strum her tightly wound strings... As I looked in the direction of my husband of 30 years, the one who had always been there, always seen me through tide, through the good and the bad, the want and the plenty, the joy and the sorrow, I saw the face of one who longed to hear again the familiar voice of his youth...
MOTHER'S DAY 2009
~Home at Last~

It was then I knew I'd been had. It had been my guy's plan all along to get me into this store...
on this day...for this reason.
"Happy Mother's Day from your children and I" he said as he wiped the tears from his eyes~
"Practice up! Your daddy and I have been waiting a long, long time..."
Blessings to you as you allow the music to live on and on...

Rebecca

21 comments:

Southern Lady's Vintage said...

Oh my goodness! What a sweet story and what a thoughtful husband and children!

Connie said...

Rebecca, they got the "beaters" in jail friday.....well, 3 of them. Keith is getting so much better. Go read today's blog about him. His letter to friends and relatives is on there, sugar. We're just thrilled that some of them are caught!!!

Sweet post, chickee! I know the feeling of reminiscing as we get "old."

xoxo,
Connie

Laura said...

What a wonderful memory. I truly feel honored to have read it this evening.

I enjoy your blog so much,

Laura

blushing rose said...

Rebecca, your memories are so precious & full of love. You always catch me in a soft moment, & eventually with a warm chuckle. TY for sharing, once again, your life ... This was a very loving & adorable gesture & gift.

Are you SURE you don't want to share your hubby ... sounds like a dream come true. I'm still waiting for John Wayne to come sauntering in ... chuckle.

TTFN ~ Marydon

Rebecca said...

Did I land myself a KEEPER? Yes'm I did!

However...before you all start thinkin' that this man is without fault...let me clue you in...

He isn't! I'll blog about them someday and blow you ALL AWAY! He is a man...therefore he is irrevocably flawed! He just happens to be very thoughtful and genuinely kind person and that has ALWAYS shined through...

Bottom line...his Momma did SOMETHING RIGHT and for that I'm grateful.

xoxoRebecca

Lisa T. said...

Oh, that was just a nice story. Though through the whole thing I was holding my breath and SO hoping that he had found your old guitar~

Smiles,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories.

Lisa
www.palepinkandroses.com
www.palepinkandroses.typepad.com

June said...

Oh Rebecca you do have some lovely surprises for us. I think learning an instrument is one of the most rewarding things one can do in life. I include singing in that. What a gift you gave your father, and now your own family. My daughter is a singer and has her own band. Everytime I go to one of her 'gigs' I'm in tears just listening to her amazing voice.
How I would love to her your sweet voice. I love all the pictures in your post but the one of you at the end is so lovely. I can tell that you love your new friend.
Hugs,
June

A Stitch In Thyme said...

I have learned through many mistakes when it's right, God shows his hand and his will to us women. My guy has had his moments of, well lets just say breathing was about all he dared to do, but as the days, months and years go by, he manages to surprise even me. I'm pretty hard to surprise all in all. Half the time I don't think he's listening. Then, he surprises me with the very thing I told him about weeks or months ago.

Letting him make mistakes that I knew would initially hurt was the hardest thing to do. But i'm glad I did. He's a MY keeper and I wouldn't trade him for all the faults i'm sure will come!

I didn't take a bath, I stood for a shower. Hard to drown when standing eh? Oy those two days were awful. But, i'm recovered. :)

rufflebunnies said...

ohhhh. . . . . . WOW. This story really touches my heart!!!
\Sara

Kris said...

What a beautiful story. I'm so happy your hubby didn't let the music die inside you. Dr. Wayne Dyer did a show where he said that very quote. It is so true regardless of your passion or those you've put aside. :)

Kris

Holly said...

Oh, Rebecca! That last picture of you with your guitar is precious! You're so special. ♥

I know how your husband feels because my husband played A LOT when we first met. He actually propsed to me in song! My heart still melts when I hear him play a love song- or any song for that matter! ♥

Francy said...

What a beautiful story!! What a beautiful love you have! Always keep the music of your heart singing, Rebecca dear....you are so blessed!
Love, Francy

Secondhandrose said...

Well, you got a tear out of me for that story! That's why I keep coming back.

karen

wildbillyelliott said...

I have always loved the John Denver song "This old guitar"... check it out. Great story, Beck.

jen said...

wow. the thoughts i have about this are so personal. i don't think i could post them here. it was a long time ago, and when i think that my juliette is now nearly 12 - and how grown up you seemed to me then - life rockets forth at break-neck speed. i'm so glad you've picked it up again. you were brilliant.

Mr. AGP said...

Oh my babe, how the memories come flooding back when I listen to you play and sing. Yes folks, my gal and I use to go to the park or just sit in the courtyard at the college and she would sing and play for me almost every day. I had forgotten just how beautiful she looked as she sang with her guitar until the other night as she played and sang the old songs to me sitting in our den....whew, is it getting warm in here?... uh anyway, I could not believe she remembered all the chords as well as the words to all the songs she sang to me 30 years ago. Wow, did I just say 30! She still looks 27 to me.

The original plan, by the way, was to give her the guitar on Mother's Day morning with a big bow while she enjoyed her breakfast in bed. However, after several trips to several music stores and hours trying to figure out which one to get her, it became clear she would just have to hold one in her hands to know it was right. So.....plan B.

As we were out Saturday, and as is her custom, she would say after each store, "lets just go one more place and then go home". After 5 "just one mores", I was getting nervous as the day was flying by and the store closed at six. I was so relieved when she finally said "let's go home", and meant it, as we finally made it to the store at about 4:30. The salesman caught my eye when I came in as he knew me well by now, and played along so well he should get an Oscar! He showed her a couple other guitars first before he brought out the one we had agreed on just so she would not get suspicious. When the realization began to set in as to what we were really doing there, she started to cry. That's when inside I secretly said, "YEEEESSSSS!!!!, Score, I got the right gift!". So I said happy Mother's day and told the salesman to wrap her up.

I knew she was excited when she went home and cut off her nails so she could play, (if you knew her you would know that was a big deal, girly girl to the end you know). Then when she sat down and started to play it was like stepping into a time machine.

I can't wait for her to go to the nursing home and play for her daddy. It will be a beautiful scene for sure.

I love you babe, keep the music flowing.

me

Lee Laurie said...

Rebecca,
This is the most beautiful story! As you were telling it...I could picture it so clearly. Your husband is such a sweetheart! I'm so glad that you are able to still play the guitar and bring back these special memories. I've always wanted to learn how to play. My son plays and I love just sitting there listening to him. The comment that your husband did was so sweet and loving and we can tell that it comes from his heart.

Hugs,
Lee Laurie

ceekay said...

This is so sweet. It is even more precious when the gift comes with such thought....enjoy practicing!

A Romantic Porch said...

Rebecca, What a wonderful touching story. It speaks to me very deeply. I'm glad your day was beautiful. Hey, how about putting a YouTube video of yourself playing and singing on your blog! The whole world could hear you then! xorachel

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

This is a wonderful story. With me it's a piano...
I've known you (sort of) for all these years and didn't know you played the guitar. My chldren play and so did Patrick. I miss that. I know you your husband must have felt...missing your voice singing to him. I am surprised you didn't sing to your babes...I did...and I can't sing! :)
Hugs..and lots of love.
Mona

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