For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Her Final Performance

As parents,  my husband and I have attended many 
performances of our daughter, Annie.

It began with piano recitals.

She took lessons with Mrs. Reitsma for many years.

Mrs. Bigge got her started on the saxophone in 5th and 6th grades.

She had lots of fun in the high school jazz band and concert band.

She marched in many parades.

She performed in a few talent shows in high school.

She also played in the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble 
under Glen Adsit.

Many summers were spent at the Litchfield Jazz Camp.

She had her first solo saxophone recital during the summer 
before college.

Eastman School of Music offered many opportunities 
for Annie to perform.   Her saxophone quartet meant
so much to her, and it was fun to watch them come together
as a group over the years.

This culminated in winning a national chamber music competition 
at MTNA last year!

There were so many other group performances at Eastman too.

So,  after so many years of performances,
Annie gave her final performance of her
school career in January.

We were so proud of Annie as she performed 
her program!  Even though she was extremely
nervous, she appeared poised and confident.
Annie was accompanied on piano by three very
accomplished musicians and friends: Joe, Evan, and Naomi.

When it was over,  her relief revealed itself in her 
bigger-than-usual smile.

And her smile never left her face for the rest of the
evening as she was greeted by her many friends 
from her years in Rochester.  

Dr. Grunow Annie's advisor and professor, 
 has supported Annie through good times and bad.
We are so thankful for him!

Josh, one of Annie's best friends from high school, presented
her with a bouquet after her performance!

Chai has been another very supportive and loving friend.

Khanh, who played with Annie in their quartet,
reenacted their famous pose!

We were happy to see Lauritz from quartet too!

The performance was live-streamed online, 
so even members of the family in New Jersey
we watching and cheering Annie on!

Annie could not help but feel the love all around her!

Annie is student-teaching this semester and will 
graduate in May.   

We are so proud of ALL of Annie's performances,
from that first piano recital until now. 

We are also proud of the woman she has become.
We know she will do amazing things
with all she has learned!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ode to Winter

I truly, beyond a shadow of a doubt, LOVE winter.
More than that,  I NEED winter.

The cool, crisp air of a winter day energizes me.

Unlike the majority of people in my life (and the world)
the heat and humidity of the summer bring me down.
By the middle to the end of the summer,  
I experience a sort of depression.

Every year in the spring,  I am full of hope and excitement
to work in my garden and reap the benefits of its beauty.
As the heat of the summer builds,  I tell myself this year will be different.

I tell myself that it's mind over matter. 
I get up early to walk the dogs before the sun is beating down,
yet I still come home each morning drenched in sweat
from the humidity in the morning air.

My garden looks lovely until mid-July when I find
it harder and harder to force myself out into the heat,
longing for the change of seasons.
Air conditioning helps me keep my sanity,
but also holds me prisoner.

If you want to make me happy,  send me a snowstorm.
I love to shovel!
I rush outside before my husband has the chance 
to run the snowblower.  
If I don't make it outside before him,
I instruct him to leave me some snow to shovel.

I believe my dogs feel the same as I feel.
They have a spring in their step in the winter
and are able to walk farther and faster.

I also love to run in the winter.  Like the dogs,
I am able to run farther and faster in the cold.

There are so many other gifts the winter sends my way.

Nothing beats soaking in a hot bath,
or a steamy cup of hot cocoa,

or hiking in the woods without worrying about
mosquitos or ticks.

Of course,  I love wearing winter clothing too,
especially bright colors!  
And if you're having a bad hair day,  
just throw on a hat!

Then there are those days when the thermometer 
creeps above 60 degrees
you get to shed your jacket, hat, and gloves!

My husband hates the winter and loves the summer.  
I just don't get it, but I accept it.
I think maybe it's a biological thing. 
He always needs more blankets on the bed than I do.
He can sit on the beach without going in the water to cool down.

As so many of my generation are making plans 
to relocate to warmer climates,
I would not choose to go that route. 

Two years ago,  we were on vacation in Hawaii for two weeks 
at the end of January.  While we were gone, the Northeast 
was hit with one snowstorm after another.  
I remember feeling sad that I was missing out!

We got well over a foot of snow yesterday!  

I'm feeling great!

There's nothing like a good Nor'easter to bring a smile to my face!