Let me tell you a story!

Hold your applause! May 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sisterhurl @ 2:28 am

I’m going to a ballet recital this weekend and I’m looking forward to it because this will be my first stress-free recital!  Ever!

As a young piano player, I practiced for months to prepare for recitals and worried about making a mistake. I didn’t totally stress out, but performing in front of strangers was not something I truly enjoyed. I’m more of a closet pianist.

When my older son, Martin, took piano lessons he participated in recitals for a few years and I could not enjoy the events until after he finished playing.  He always performed perfectly…no mistakes, and no nervousness, but until it was all a done deal I was on pins and needles. Once my suit-clad tickler of the ivories stood up to take his bow, I was able to breathe and clap in true exultation!

The same was true when I sat in the bleachers for four years of high school football with my younger son, Miles.  My husband was on cloud nine the entire time, with the exception of a few outrages over calls from officials.  He was the bell of the ball, literally flitting around like a social butterfly, making friends and talking sports with the other parents.  I enjoyed the games and  cheering for the team, but it was like one long recital and I couldn’t relax until four years later!

I’m learning to breathe a little easier these days.   I’m working on my second novel despite the ill-favored odds of ever being published. I’ll be my own one-woman act if I have to and then I’ll applaud for myself.  A good friend has recently offered to give me accordion lessons, and I hope someday to be brave enough to perform with her, if you can consider a patio concert for friends who’ve had a few cocktails a performance! It takes more than punch and cookies these days to gather a crowd for Polka, and fortunately, my friend’s talent extends beyond that genre.

Until then, I will enjoy watching other people’s children perform. I’ll be wondering if the parents in the audience are able to enjoy the show as much as I am, and I’ll be wishing I could turn back the hands of time and erase all of the anxiety that went along with the performances in my life. I will watch one beautiful three-year-old ballerina in particular and I know I will be inspired to keep following my dreams.

I may not be ready to take a bow, but at least I’m not quite ready to bow out!


A Google Down Memory Lane May 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sisterhurl @ 2:05 am

I spent a nice day with my mother and sister last Sunday.  We did the usual things like eating lunch, chatting, and watching “I Love Lucy” reruns. Sometimes we do errands, little household chores or yard work, but today the weather was hot and extremely windy so we sort of lazed around the house.  We also did a little cyber sleuthing of sorts, and it was quite the highlight of the day!  My mother is not into computers.  That’s an understatement.  She practically loathes them and thinks that my sisters and I are addicted to them.  I’m sure she’s right about that to some degree, but I always counter with the fact that I spend less time on the computer than she spends watching television.  I don’t actually say that to her, of course, but I do tell my sisters my thoughts on the matter.

As for the cyber sleuthing, I started off showing her that we could Google Earth her house.  She was amazed that her house was visible online! Next, we moved on to several of my old places of residence, and those of my sister, Janet.  Then, we took the ultimate Google trip and ended up on the street where my mother grew up: Downing Street, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida! My mother wasn’t creeped out by it at all!  In fact she loved seeing how the neighborhood had improved a little in the 30 years since my grandmother died.  We spun a 360 and looked at all of the nearby houses, then took a few turns and ended up on Canal Street where the grocery store still stood.  It is no longer Sorrell’s, and no longer a grocery store, but the building is there, complete with its’ upper level apartment.  We could see some of the pretty palm trees that line that downtown street, as well as some railroad tracks. I won’t go into all of the nitty gritty details, but each of those landmarks holds strong memories and meanings for us. For my 87-year-old mother it was a delightful virtual reality trip that seemed to make the internet an okay place for a while.

On the drive home I thought about how much fun we’d had peeking at New Smyrna, and reminiscing about the days when my grandmother and all of her friends lived there.  It makes you think about silly things like sidewalks, shrubs, houses that needed painting, porches that got screened in.  It almost made me wonder if the old neighborhood misses my family. I’m sure that some essence of our being still resides there with the brick and mortar.  Fashions change, people die, and buildings crumble or get swept away in storms, but that intangible essence of life must hang in the air on some level.  If not, then it’s just too sad to think about. I know that the joy on my mother’s face was tangible that afternoon.  And to think, it was all possible by way of the cyber highway! Viva la Google!