Some of the best gifts are those we don’t “unwrap!”

It seems that sleeping past 4 o’clock has become something of a rarity these days. This morning  I “slept in” and awoke at 4:30! I watched several Ted Talks and then tried to sleep a bit more… nope… that wasn’t going to happen this morning! 

Wow! Then I realized that it is Christmas Eve morning ….I began to reflect…..thinking of the Christmas gifts I’ve yet to wrap, I thought back on some of MY favorite “gifts.”

*  When I was a young girl, my father used to paint a large winter/ Christmas scene on the very large mirror in our living room above the fireplace mantel. It took days to paint, but I remember watching every day as his picture took shape. Lol, I remember the days it took my mother to clean the paint off the mirror after the holidays. Rolls and rolls of paper towels and a bottle of windex! That memory of those pictures ….. a priceless gift!

*  I remember the huge bulbs of many colors that outlined the front door and the large plastic candles that stood on either side of the door.

* I remember the home made egg nog in the white milk glass punch bowl with the large block of ice cream floating atop. 

* I remember the smells coming from the kitchen and the family all sitting around the dinner table.

* I remember hearing … and reading… ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

* I remember the look of excitement and wonder in the eyes of my children on Christmas morning.

* I remember the December that my son returned from deployment and was reunited with his wife and daughter.

There are more gifts to remember but too many to write here. This morning I leave you with this thought as we all get ready to celebrate the holiday. 

No matter what holiday we celebrate, remember some of the best gifts are those we don’t need to unwrap! What was YOUR favorite gift?

I look forward to the gift of family tomorrow.

What is YOUR story? Where are YOU now? What Chapter are YOU on?

79639-20160221As I continue to seek out what retirement and aging means to me, I realize that many are thinking about the same thing but many are not! No longer does retirement mean to sit idly by while we “wait out” the last chapter.  The bigger question becomes (and it will be different for each one of us), “What do I want to do with the last chapter?” I am beginning to realize that many people don’t know where to begin. Perhaps here is a place where those of us who have started on this journey to realization can share with others. What are YOU doing since you retired? What does retired actually mean? I RETIRED from one thing but now I am moving on to another. Perhaps the word “retired” is more in line with the word “income.” My “income” has certainly changed but I am still a vibrant individual, full of ideas and desires….and better yet…I still dream!

My followers are still few as I am new at this blogging thing. Perhaps everyone can invite just one person to follow along. For those followers that are not yet
“retired,” perhaps you will learn from our thoughts. Or better yet, perhaps you can share you current stories for in the end, they will shape your retirement to a large extent. Remember, this blog is not just about retirement…it is about  our JOURNEY.

This is a place for us to share “journey stories” and bits of wisdom in the hopes that we can learn from each other–young and old. The stories change from day to day, from year to year. It is said, that with age comes wisdom. I say, with age ( I am 61) we are more determined to seek wisdom and learn about the journey we call life! For me, I seek the answers in song. It  speaks to my heart and, comforts my soul and says what words alone cannot.  If music is truly the universal language then we can spread the power of healing through song. We are all on a journey and this is the account of my journey. Our paths may be different but our journeys are the same…to seek the truth and purpose of our existence..

Holiday “spirits”

With the holiday season upon us, I find myself reflecting on years gone by. Memories of my children when they were “little” and I was “younger!” It’s funny how we look upon those years as precious moments to be held on to. Yet, when we ARE “younger” those very SAME years are looked upon as demanding, trying, taxing, difficult, hard fraught, traumatic, pressured tense and frustrating. What is it that makes those feeling change to pleasure, merriment, joyfulness, delight, bliss, pleasure, contentment etc. as we “look back upon them? When we DO look back  upon them with all those wonderful synonyms for happiness….we often get sad? It would seem to me that this is a quandary! As I age, this becomes more and more of a “practical dilemma!”

Please share your thoughts with me……img_5932-2

 

 

 

Tears on My Pillow is released December 14, 2016!

tears-on-my-pillowTears on My Pillow (Be Strong, Just Believe)   This link will take you to cdbaby where you can listen to a bit of my song and purchase it if you’d like to.

I can’t tell you all how excited, thankful, grateful and humbled I am by this whole experience! The support I have received from family and friends has been unbelievable. Everyone has wrapped their arms around me and encouraged me to “go on” when I found every reason not to! Too tired, too depressed over the new RA diagnosis, too old, too many wrinkles! I could go on and on. I always understood the healing power of music and the feeling that I had ever time I was in the SMS studio with my amazing producer, Michael Schrimpf, I felt 30 years younger, felt empowered, felt strong, felt healthy!

To everyone that reads this I say this! NEVER give up! Be strong, believe! Just be strong! Just believe!

Getting ready for my first release!

 

So on November 30, 2016, I flew back to Nashville to re-record the vocal to my first single. Titled has been changed and instrumental tracks brought out a bit more. I am feeling pretty good about this first project. Of course there is always things to change…and learn.

Learn more about how you can hear “Tears on My Pillow” on my Song Page with this blog site.

Grandmother of 7 Releases First Country Single

 

It is said, that with age comes wisdom. I say, that with age, we are more determined to seek wisdom and learn about the journey we are supposed to be on.  Music has always been an important part of my life. My career was based on it. Singing and performing has always been my way of finding comfort and expression. Of course, life’s responsibilities took precedent over the years but now with my children grown and my full-time career behind me, I turn once again to singing and performing. Never underestimate the power of song! It speaks to the heart and comforts the soul. We are all on a journey! Our paths may be different but our journey is the same…to seek the truth and purpose of our existence.

With a blink of an eye, my children have grown! I now have 7 grandchildren, with an 8th on the way. Like many who are newly retired, I have struggled with my new identity. Who am I now, that I am no longer in the workplace? What is my purpose? What do I still have to give?

I have always looked upon my singing as a gift from God and I always knew that I was meant to share it. In my younger days, I sang in church. My spirit prayed and rejoiced in song.

I received a degree from Westminster Choir College and went on to teach music education hoping to share my love for music and instill it in others. As time went by, I had children of my own and my music became more of a necessity to pay the bills. Times were sometimes difficult, but as the lyrics go from my first release, “Tears on My Pillow”… Life has it’s struggles, that we all have to  bear. Life has its ups and downs, at times it isn’t fair. But we go on. Be strong, Believe! Just be strong, Just Believe!

 

Release date December 14,2016

 

Tears on My Pillow (Be Strong, Just Believe)

Memorial Day 2016

After much deliberation I decided to go to Nashville and record my first song. I almost talked myself out of doing it figuring that at age 61, I just shouldn’t be doing “stuff” like this! Then I thought, at 61, I SHOULD be doing this! If not now, when? I had recently been diagnosed with both Barrett’s Syndrome and RA and will admit that I was  feeling very low and defeated (that’s putting it mildly). I turned my sadness into song and it helped me get through some of the rough times. So, on Memorial Day weekend, 2016, I flew to Nashville to meet with the man, who would later become my producer, about the prospects of doing my first recording. I flew back and thought long and hard. I had always taught my children to follow their hearts and their dreams and now it was time to follow mine. In September, 2016, I packed up my car and drove myself to Nashville!  The musicians that worked with me and my producer, Michael Schrimpf, were the most gracious, humble and kind people I’ve met in a long time. The entire experience was life changing. On the 16 hour ride home I felt as though I were sitting in a cloud. I felt well. Something I hadn’t felt in many months. Tomorrow ( November 30) I return to the studio to put the finishing touches on my very first recording! I will certainly make it available on this blog site when the time comes.

The Journey….

I recently retired from “arts education” and moved into a new home in a country like setting with lots of land around me. The new place surely speaks to my soul. I have spent many hours walking local trails and paying attention to my inner voice. In doing so, I have also found that my heart song has been renewed as has the desire to compose songs that speak to the “journey’s of life.” I don’t own my home and don’t have much monetary things to leave to my children and grandchildren but what I have is my heart song.

I lost my father at age 16,  lived in 21 different addresses, gone through more relationships than I care to speak to and raised three children pretty much on my own. I have lived hard and cried a lot. I have also loved hard and laughed hard.

In the past 6 months, I have tried to quiet my soul and to look to the beauty around me. I have tried to learn from the energies of nature for they to0 have a message if we only take the time to listen…really listen.

From the time we are born, we quickly learn to be governed by time..schedules….deadlines Time, not enough of it! Time, too much of it! I have come to realize that “time” as we have been conditioned to think about it traps us. It busies our mind to the point of distraction. We no longer have the “time” to listen to the lessons that nature can teach us.

I have made a conscious effort to walk in the woods more and more, to free myself of “time” as we know it. I have been amazed what comes to me, although I am not yet sure how to describe it all. This blog and my recent You Tube channel are a result of these “journey walks.”

I would love for you all to share some thoughts with me about your life’s journey! Let’s start some sharing!