Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Greetings

I haven't been able to convince myself to send out holiday greeting cards this year. So I thought I'd take this chance to wish everyone a wonderful season of celebration this year.

Our year progressed in the typical manner with mostly small, nearly imperceptible moments of change and a few noteworthy milestones to give all the rest context.

The children (can you still use that term even when they are 18 and 20?)continue down their respective paths. The eldest is enjoying her new employment with the local bookstore. It is a natural fit for a bibliophile!

The younger is halfway through (nearly) his senior year and in the process of thinking about where to go from here. I believe, at some point, cardinal and gold are in our future as ISU has some of the best engineering options in the region.

Most of you know that I changed jobs (again). I'm now working as a Literacy Para at the largest elementary school in town. That means I get to work with small groups of students on reading and writing. I have all ages from kindergarten through fourth grade. I LOVE my job (even lunchroom duty with 2nd grade)!!

Doug continues with the Dept. of Correctional Services. Hard to fathom he's been there 18 years now! Hopefully the legislature will continue to fund his position. I happen to believe he's a genius and without him....they'd be sunk!

2011 did bring with it the passing of my grandmother and Doug's father. While it's never easy to say goodbye, I personally take solace in the fact that they will be having some truly awesome festivities with all the people they'd had to say goodbye to in the past. One day, we'll be right there too.

If you fancy some other highlights from the year, simply scroll down and read through some old posts. (There are some great photos of Niagra Falls and London, Ontario!)

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Something To Think About . . .


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Wishing you all moments of beauty and joy this holiday season!