Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bat Land

I was relaxing on the deck with John this evening after grilling a nice steak. We were just letting our food settle and watching the occasional car go by on our road when we heard a familiar chirping in the air. I looked up and saw to two little brown bats dancing through the dusk air above our heads! Soon after, a third swooped around the deck off into the darkening yard hunting for insects. All three were chirping as they flew by.

I was happy. I had not seen them yet this spring and was wondering if they would be returning to our yard. Our street heads up and down a hill with houses and large trees on either side. At the bottom of the hill is Fawn Lake. At the top, where we are, is our large yard which serves as the bats "turn around" area. They go up and down the hill and then do figure eights in our yard ... or as I have called it, Bat Land.

I am sure there are more than three, but that is all I saw this evening. I am just happy they are back.

Bats unfortunately have a bad undeserved reputation. There are a lot falsehoods out there on them. I encourage you to look them up and see instead what marvelous creatures they are. They are natural pest repellants and eat many more times their size in insects each night! Here is a good website for bat info:

When John and I used to live on the Perkiomen Creek in Schwenksville, PA, we had a long concrete dock, about 3 feets wide, go 30 feet out into the creek. It was about 1/3 of the way out. On steamy spring and summer evenings, we would wander out onto the dock and stand still at the very end of it. Soon, swarms of bats would be swirling around us, feeding on thousands of mosquitos and other insects! The bats never flew into us, nor each other as far as we could see. Their sonar was far superior to let that happen. I had my close friend David come over one evening and showed him the bat spectable. We stood their just in awe of it all.

Anyway, I'm so pleased to have the bats back, eating as many mosquitos as they want each night!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Piano Lesson from my Mother

Most of you know that I took classical piano lessons for 10 years. My mom had taken lessons and played when she was growing up and she wanted one of her children to take it up. Sheryl played the flute and Adam played the clarinet. The responsibility of playing the piano was handed down to me. It was something my mother wanted and I really liked it so I gladly obliged. I was no prodigy by any means, but I did well at the piano. It was something that came naturally to me. I never performed before an audience other than close friends and family, and that was good enough for me. I had no desire to play on stage.

When I was in my preteen years, I was taking lessons every week with Mrs. Sellen, the wife of our school's music teacher. I was a typical kid and hated practicing. I practiced just enough that Mrs. Sellen would advance me to other more difficult pieces for the next week..

One specific memory which has haunted me throughout these years involved Mom and the piano. Please indulge me while a share it for the first time.

Mom still played the piano from time to time, mostly when I was not around and at school. I came upon her playing one day, trying to relax. She was playing one of her favorites, "Fur Elise" by Beethoven.

Mom was playing and making mistakes. She was getting visibly frustrated with herself. She finally got through the song and noticed me watching. I said that I can play it and proceeded to take over the piano and play the song from heart.

She grew quiet, watched me play, and gave me a forced smile. Mom got up and left the room abruptly. I continued playing, not even realizing until years later that she had become so upset, albeit quietly. I didn't realize that my actions had hurt her. For some reason, I did not forget that afternoon and it always lingered in the back of my mind.

I was playing the piano the other evening and kept stumbing over a Sonatina by Clementi, a rather simple but lovely piece of music. I was forgetting keys, and my fingers kept tripping up over each other. I grew frustrated and realized that I don't play as well as I used to when I was a kid. Then it hit me, I felt the same frustration that my mother did some 30 years ago but I didn't have a naive child next to me pointing it out. I felt regret and remorse on how I had behaved as a young boy. I didn't realize that I had inadvertantly hurt her.

Wow, Mom, three decades later and even after you have passed, you are still teaching me lessons of life. Now I know why that memory haunted me all those years. Some lessons cannot be learned until years later.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Took a Break

Good day my fellow readers! These past couple weeks have been absolutely horrible for me. I really do not wish to go into detail at this point but just to say that I appreciate the notes of concern I received from several of you wondering what was up.

I had become depressed and the only thing I wanted to do when I got home was sleep. Facebook didn't interest me, writing stopped. All side projects at home stopped. I have really been a sad mess.

You think you have everything under control and then an aspect of your life seems to blow up in your face. Well luckily, I am getting through it and taking steps to better myself ... long term. Life is too short to spend it unhappy. I am making changes to move on from that which stresses me out.

Sorry for the cryptic overtones, I just don't want to jinx anything which may or may not happen. LOL.

I also think alot of it has to do with the period of the year. Mom passed on April 10, 2009 and the following month through Mother's Day is just too damn difficult, every year.

In other better news, my hummingbird couple came back for the 3rd year in a row! So happy about that. I made sure their feeders were filled and within a day, I saw them feasting on sweet sugar nectar. And also, the red-crested pileated woodpecker is back! I have wrote about him before. He is HUGE! The size of a chicken. I have heard him in the woods behind the house and spotted him twice.

It is just amazing that these birds migrate thousands of miles each winter and make their way back to my yard, their home.

The little things of life are sometimes the best.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Music Awakens the Spirit

I have blogged about my love of music before and how it stirs our memories and emotions:

It was about how music brings you back to that certain time, or memory. For instance, I hear a certain song that my mother listened to and I am instantly taken back to my memories of Mom putting on the album on the record player in the dining room. Smelling the smells of my house from the 70's, the food, my Mother's perfume, my Dad's cigars. Feelings of happiness and contentment accompany my memories. Music does that to you. It awakens your spirit and allows you to relive those past times.

Music has also been seen as a type of therapy. A number of websites and studies foster the belief that it enhances healing and promotes well being. One only has to experience the feel good emotions that a certain song can give you.

A good friend of mine, Dawn, posted this video on Facebook and I had to repost it on my blog and share it with you all. The premise is that elderly man sits in day in and day out in an assisted living facility, just passing the time. He is not a vegetable by any means, but just doesn’t have any spirit. It seems as if he is just waiting to die. The people in this video did a study to see the effects of introducing music and the outcome is extraordinary. Just see if this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye.

After watching this video, I look at music therapy with a new found respect. It has awakened something in this elderly man. He became "alive" again.

Thanks Dawn for turning me on to this. :)