About Me

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Davison, MI, United States
I am a middle child,born to middleclass parents.Two older brothers,one younger sister.I am married,and have 3 children, Elizabeth who is married and has 3 little boys. She is lucky enough to be able to stay home with them. Her husband, Alan is a Dr. of Physical Therapy. Jonathan who is single and has just finished college and is still trying to figure out life. Katherine, who had a brain tumor and died at the age of 11, 18 years ago.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My First Love Affair Part 1

This is one of my memories told in my own rambling way.  It isn't the end of the story, but it is the beginning. I hope you enjoy it.

We had a piano.  It was one of those giant old upright pianos. It started out living in our dining room before my dad built cabinets along the south wall of the room for china and all manner of other stuff.  I don't remember it not being in our house so, it probably was there before I was.  At some point my mother told my dad to paint it.  So he did.  He used a couple of colors (or several, I am not sure).  Anyways, the piano turned out looking like a beige faux marble art project.  And it was clear that he was in a hurry because there were drips that hadn't been smoothed out, spots that were thicker than other areas and it just didn't look good.  Of course, by the time he had painted it, the piano no longer lived in the  dining room.  It had been relegated to the "back room". You will just have to trust me that I will tell you about the "back room" at another time.  The main thing that you need to know is that it was not even close to being in tune, ivory was missing off several of the keys and it was in a cold room.

You know, this whole experience didn't start out well, at all. I was informed that I was going to start taking piano lessons by my mother.  She was always signing us (my sister and I up for self-improvement classes, so I was not surprised by her announcement. I was to begin my lessons with Mrs. Rasmussen, a lady from our church. I would be leaving 30 minutes early, in order to get to my lesson on time.  I was a walker not a bus child and I would be walking to her house. No mom sitting at the curb with a warm car to drive me.  I would be walking approximately eight and a half blocks to her house.  I was in second grade at E. E. Irwin Elementary School and Mrs. Smith was my teacher.  She also attended our church. I don't recall what day of the week it was, but for this purpose, I am going to call it Tuesday.

There were a few problems to overcome with this situation. #1- I still couldn't tell time and my mother and teacher didn't know it.  Second grade was when they taught us how to tell time.  We got a paper plate, paper to cut out numbers and two arrows. A paper brad was used to punch a hole through the middle of the paper plate. I knew how to use scissors with great skill. Glue was no problem.  My projects always looked very nice.(Perfect. There's that word again).

However, right as we started to learn how to use these amazing clocks, I became sick with an appendicitis attack and missed what seemed to me to be weeks of school recovering from surgery.  By the time I returned to school, Mrs. Smith was no longer teaching the class how to tell time.  They all seemed to know how. I didn't and I didn't tell anyone because I thought I would get into trouble. So, when I was told I was to leave school half an hour early, it became problematic.  Especially, since last recess took place part way through that half an hour.  And because I was leaving early, I didn't get to go out for that last recess of the day.  Now, if recess had been half an hour before I left, I would have just left when the class came in from outside.  However, they left for recess fifteen minutes later.  I would sit at my desk , doing some work that they would get later on and keep looking up at the clock.  I had no idea. Sometimes I would figure when the little hand was on eight I could leave, but I was always leaving early or late, never on time.

So, that first day, carrying  my little leatherette satchel, I walked to Mrs. Rasmussen's house, walking over to Monroe Street, down the hill, past my house, all the way to Washington Street. As I walked by the house with the white picket fence, there was a pussy willow bush all "kittened" out. I took a moment and picked one pussy willow "kitten". I turned the corner on Washington Street and there was her little brick house.  I didn't know her. I had never been introduced to her. I only remember my mother hauling me up to the choir loft after church one Sunday and she spoke with Mrs. Rasmussen about lessons.  I stood there paying no attention at all.  I was given no instructions by my mother other than to go to the house with the music case.  So, I went to the front door and knocked.  Mrs. Rasmussen answered the door, told me I was not to knock on the front door but to go around to the side door and come in and wait until she called me.  She took my satchel and looked in it. The only thing in it was $3 and some old raggedy music. She asked me about my music. I told her that I didn't know anything about  it.  She told I was to have come with appropriate music and the music I had was unacceptable. She also told me that I had arrived too late for my lesson.  She already had her next student waiting.  She also would be charging for a missed lesson and so I gave the $3 that my mother had given me. 

I turned around as she shut the door and started for home. Of course, I started crying and was sobbing by the time I got home. My mother already gone to work and the babysitter was a teenage girl that didn't do much.  I do not remember when the phone call was made, but I do know one took place and the next week when I went, there was music waiting for me.  So I came home with a beginner piano hymn book, and exercise book called A Dozen A Day, and a John W. Thompson music book. She showed me where middle C was. She also spent a lot of time dealing with my posture and hand position.

Needless to say, this doesn't sound like a love affair, but I assure you it is and will become clear in my next post.

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