Thursday, December 27, 2012

Saraswati


I found her in an Indian shop at Estes Park a number of years ago on the way home from a Woodstock Old Students Association conference. Hand carved wood statues have always attracted me, and she was sort of in a back corner when I spotted her.

Several things drew my attention. Looking closely at the work showed some skill had gone into her creation. There were exquisitely carved details. She was a musician playing an Indian instrument resembling a guitar. She stood about 8 inches tall and would work well with the few others in my collection. Her name was Saraswati, according to the paper that came with her,and was the Hindu goddess of music, science, and knowledge to name a few of her attributes. In the Hindu mythology she  was present and necessary at the Creation.

Wikipedia has a large and interesting article about her. As an American musician who lived his childhood in India reading about Saraswati was fascinating. In articles about the mind and intelligence the inference is often that musical study and performance enhance mental abilities.In Genesis a musician is named early on with others who had important skills. Recently a newspaper article related the finding of a bone flute that appeared to be 30,000 years old.So music has apparently been associated with our humanity prominently for quite some time.

During this season of merriment and music she reminds me of the mystical emergence of music in the human mind and its importance for our health and happiness.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dolce Vita

Chicken fingers with honey mustard dip.


When we first moved to Richmond our daughter’s family introduced us to the Dolce Vita  restaurant. We were impressed by the staff’s efficiency and friendliness and their swift attention to our dining needs.
Now it is five years later and we have visited a number of restaurants near us, but this is the one we return to again and again. What initially attracted us to them still prevails.
Dolce Vita is a family place with the emphasis on family. It has a real Italian ambiance without being overpowering. There is a variety of entree’s from which to select. A family may dine here without breaking the bank.

Lib and I were there for a light supper. I had chicken fingers with a honey mustard dip, she had a sampler platter of calamari, onion rings, and cheese stuffed ravioli.  Delicious garlic rolls complimented the meal.  

We went early before the main dinner crowd had arrived so we had a relaxing meal together.. 

Where they cook it....

 

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Kingdom for a Quilt....


For some time now Lib and I had discussed buying a new quilt for our bed. The one there now had been there for quite some time and was beginning to look a little frayed and timeworn. I knew sort of the design I was looking for (for most of our marriage Lib has picked furniture patterns and other household items based on her aesthetics as we have irreconcilable differences there. Now I get to pick and she is slowly coming around to my artistic values. Sometimes there are just either/or choices and one or the other has to acquiece.)

It’s been quite an adventure. First I went online and showed her the sort of patterns I was interested in. They are strong, big, colorful and usually geometric. I like patterns that are bold and in your face so to speak. These were  what I was interested in. Quilts with similar patterns are available online for about $800-$2000. They are really works of art and way beyond what we could afford. The two on the left were types that appealed to me

Last week we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and perused the choices they had. Not quite as dramatic but similar in a more subdued way and for around $200. We had heard of a Mennonite Quilt Auction in Harrisonburg this past Saturday so thought we might make a trip there to see and appraise quilts, the Fall leaves on the mountains, and perhaps visit Lib’s shut in sister.

 We were on the road by 7:00 am and arrived at the Rockingham County Fair Grounds near Harrisonburg where the auction was held. This is no small affair. Money from the auction goes to support Mennonite charities and there are literally hundreds of  quilts from which to choose. We registered, received a bidding number and entered a very large auditorium like room. There must have been at least  800 or more interested people gathered there. At 9:30 the action began.
Suffice it to say the event is well organized. Between the large and beautiful quilts up for bid there were art items, furniture ,and knick knacks. One bidder paid $80 for a large hot cup of fresh Brunswick stew! It was entertaining, but we realized that unless we were prepared to
pay a reasonable king's ransom, we were not going to leave with one of the really beautiful ones. They were bid very close to the prices seen online.We left the auction at noon and went to the Dayton Farmer's Market for lunch and some more looking around. Next we spent some time with Lib's shut in sister and her husband in Bridgewater. The last picture is from the overlook on Afton Mountain on the return trip home. Leaves were still green. A good day all in all.

At the auction


Lib looking over goodies at Farmer's Market

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Come Back....

I am so proud of my wife Lib! Around this time in December she had a major back operation to correct several severe problems that were making her life miserable One of the hopes she expressed to her surgeon was to be able to do her normal homemaking work, including the entertaining of family. They told her that they felt a 75% recovery was definitely possible. Tonight she proved that even more was possible.

Several weeks ago she began planning this evenings dinner. It was to be a celebratory dinner, marking Jeff and Cathy's 19th anniversary and the beginning of Devin's going to middle school. She also invited Jimmie and Sharon, Cathy's in-laws, to enhance the celebration.

Lib's goal was to pretty much do it all herself. This morning she peeled the apples and baked the apple pie.
                                                           
Lib mixing the poppy seed chicken recipe.
Our dining area ...
Chicken recipe into the oven.

Lib and Bill after the dinner...

I sort of tidied up the premises. This afternoon she cooked the chicken, prepared  the poppy seed chicken,  set the table, fixed the peas, and did the other things to make our families feel welcome and comfortable.
It was a fun evening!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Communication changes in my lifetime


Most of us feel the need to be connected. Without our connections to others we feel isolated, alone, and sometimes depressed. I believe there is a healthy need that expresses itself in normal activites and perhaps a pathological state where the slightest separation creates panic or grave discomfort. 

Electricity has permitted us to be connected in ways unpredictable just over a century ago. The early phone system permitted women, isolated in their homes, to have community conversations on the “party line”. About the same time radio in all its manisfestatons began to bring the outer world into the family living room and instaantly wherever there was a transmitter there was sharing of local news. 

Newer phone systems abolished the “party line”, but women were working outside the home during the World war II years and there was less isolation. During the early 50's, television by its sitcoms and other programs gave us the illusion of being connected while slowly leaching out conversational skills. For some “What will we talk about...?” was a palpable fear. For those who made the effort in the early years, computers and what soon became possible with them, soon replaced the jaundiced and repetitively boring world of television. Communication with friends and family by email replaced the laborious handwritten letter. Often, the email was a little more carefully phrased then something blurted out suddenly by phone. Many of us chose to communicate this way as it became more widespread.. Libraries were utilized less as access to great knowledge resources became cheaply and instantly available. 

The smartphone has added a new layer to communication as it a phone married to a computer. 
Texting is wildly popular as it still gives the thoughtful a way to communicate carefully before pushing the “send” button. Siri (the phone program that allows you to replace finger strokes with voice recognition) makes that process still faster..but one is advised to think carefully before speaking. 

As a retiree, I have more discretionary time. My computer and iPhone allow me almost instantaneous connection with those who are important to me. FaceBook lets me be in tune with family and friends.Twitter gives me quick information on what is happening “out there”. Applications on the iPhone fill in the gaps....I search and add those I need, and since most of them are free, I delete those that no longer fill a useful function. I could live comfortably without TV. Being without my iPhone would really feel frustrating. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Walking.....

When we first moved to Brandermill from Roanoke I could scarcely walk a hundred feet. That's how much the pain of arthritis had debilitated me. While driving around the neighborhood area I became aware that there were really fine macadamized trails around being used recreationally be walkers and bicyclers. It was easy to be envious.

Then hip operations a year and a half ago made it possible to consider the possibility of exploring those trails. Looking back at my blogs I see where I walked around the circles in my immediate vicinity up to mile this past February. These were estimates using the car odometer. A few months later an iPod walking app revealed that it wasn't quite a mile.

This summer my grandson and I began our first forays onto the trails. It wasn't long before we were regularly walking a mile and a half. One morning we broke the two mile barrier and did so again yesterday. I'm so grateful for this accomplishment.

The trails run through wooded sections of our development and often parallel to the main highway we use to go for groceries. The planners laced the whole large area of our development with these trails and what a delight it is to explore them.

 We have met other walkers who seem to be regulars...taking care of their health one of the cheapest and most delightful ways. I look forward to seeing the changes that Fall will bring.


The trails cross over Brandermill Parkway several places and this morning as we approached the road a car saw us and stopped to
let us us cross. This is the second or third time I've noticed this

consideration for walkers. It is, after all, a neighborhood where
people wave to total strangers who drive our area.

We took these pictures several weeks ago during our morning walk. I feel so very privileged to be a part of his growing up years.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Day in Roanoke...

Lib and I spent a delightful day in Roanoke, Virginia yesterday. It was our home for most of our lives and we have many good memories from there.

We left Brandermill about 7:15 in our trusty old 16 year old car a Toyota from the year 1995. It is reliable, gas efficient, and very comfortable for our old bones. Our route took us through Amelia, Appomattox, Lynchburg, Bedford, and into Roanoke. It was one of our hot, typical summer days and the car's AC was  taxed to the limit keeping us comfortable.

Lib first transacted some necessary banking at MemberOne credit union that she couldn't do from . Next we decided to visit our former church, Oak Grove Church of the Brethren. We were hoping to see Ed our pastor, and  Carol director of music and other church functions. Neither was in, but we met a young man who was the son of  a bell choir ringer we knew. He knew us before we recognized him Had an enjoyable  chat with him before going to our next place.

We ate lunch at a nearby restaurant that specializes in pork entrees. Thought we might have seen someone we recognized from our former lives in the area, but to no avail.

From Google maps of our former domicile it appeared that the new owner had added a carport. Thought we'd check it out, but when we arrived there was no such appendage to the house. Must have been some sort of temporary structure (tent maybe) that was there when the satellite flew over.

We next visited Tanglewood Mall for some cologne that we can't seem to find in our Richmond stores. The sales lady knew Lib from the days Lib had been a sales associate at Belk. They visited briefly catching up on store personnel Lib had known. The mall was nearly deserted, but since it was the noon hour that was to be expected.

Next we visited with Ruth Stafford. She is an incredibly inspiring woman; a great grandmother who sort of functions as an adopted mother. We keep in touch by phone and regular mail, but it had been since November that we had actually seen her. Then she was in an assisted living situation recovering from a fractured arm. In the meantime Lib had the big back surgery, so there was much to compare and talk about.
Ruth and "HT" (her husband now deceased) were responsible for nurturing us through the early years of our
square dancing experience. It was one of the best investments in time for us, introducing us to an activity that was healthy in numerous ways. We also met a whole new set of long term friends that expanded our social circles considerably. For about seven years we danced, attended square dance conventions, ate meals together and bonded as The Grand Squares.

We went out to a local cafeteria for supper and there met a former viola student of mine, Cathy and her friend, Bo. Cathy and I have sort of kept up with each other as both belong to FaceBook. It was such an unexpected surprise to to encounter her there! What a delight to catch up, albeit briefly, with her.

We took Ruth home and then headed for Brandermill. All the way home we saw where rain had fallen, and it continued to thunder and lightning in the distance but little evidence at our own home. A very nice day!!
.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Father- William G. Kinzie -A Tribute

My grandfather,  Letcher Kinzie, and my father, William G. Kinzie 


Most memories of my father are happy ones. The earliest go back to the time we lived in Umalla, India.  Our father was a Church of the Brethren missionary and after a year or so of language training at Anklesvar began his work at Umalla which was about 25-30 miles inland from the west coast of India not far from the Narbada river in the Raj Pipla kingdom of  Gujarat. It was probably the year 1940.

After supper when evening became night the family would gather in the living room of our brick bungalow. The floors were bare concrete and would become cool to the touch..My father would take out his violin and play. One of the tunes he enjoyed was ‘The Old Refrain”by Fritz Kreisler . I was about three years old and  would get a coat hanger, place it under my chin in imitation, and pretend that I, too, was playing the violin. Music was something we both enjoyed.

Several years later when there were now three brothers in our family, he began the practice of singing hymns at our breakfast table and memorizing Bible verses, some of the Psalms, and even larger important Scripture sections. It was a great way to start the day! Around this same time he began to read a story from Hulbert’s Bible stories each evening as we sat around him on the front porch after supper. In this way we painlessly began to learn the main stories of our Bible based faith.

Almost every morning before lunch he and I and sometimes my brother John would walk the few miles to the local post office. It was a time of story telling of his life in America as a young farm boy or whatever was on his mind. We learned of his unfortunate encounters with chewing tobacco and adventures dealing with recalcitrant cows or threatening bulls. There were observations about people who worked for his family in their home; helping his mother, and tales involving the processing of hay and other farm chores. He would also regale us with stories of coon hunting after a hard day of manual labor. There was family pride at being able to attend college and learning beyond high school.

His father was a rather strict disciplinarian. Paul’s exortation to church leaders was that they should be able to rule over their families if they were to guide churches. Grandfather Kinzie was a church preacher at Green Hill Church of the Brethren which he helped organize so it was incumbent on him to be able to rule his family. That lesson was well learned by my father. If we deliberately broke a clear instruction not to do something we got spanked. Boys will be boys and the inevitable followed.Slowly we learned not to do dumb stuff. Was he a stern father? Not most of the time...we knew he was approachable and that he loved us.

Part of the year for several months we migrated to Landour, Mussoorie in the foothills of the Himalyas
for formal schooling and family vacation from the summer heat. Landour’s 7000 foot altitude was a welcome respite from the scorching heat of India’s summer plains. When I was near eight years old,  we hiked down to the village from where our milk came. We started in the morning and made it back before supper. Again, it was a morning to share all sorts of observations about living as we walked down and back. It was during this time in my life that I became dimly aware of World War II and its impact on all of us. My father also purchased my first real half size violin and began teaching me to play.

Our father relished travelling and seeing new places. The Kinzie homeplace had mountains in front (Fort Lewis mountain...part of the Blue Ridge) and Twelve O’clock Knob behind. He felt hemmed in and yearned to know what was beyond. The Brethren emphasis on service and his curiosity of what lay beyond merged to create our family’s time in India. We travelled by train, buggies, tongas (ox pulled buggies), horse, motorcycle, bicycles and foot. Since we spent two terms in India I experienced much that country had to offer all related to my father’s itch to see what was “on the other side of the mountain”. A part of me will always feel at home where there are Indian influences.

Our parents were lovers in every sense of the word and were sometimes teased about it by the older missionaries.They were openly affectionate toward each other and modelled for all to see how a good marriage worked. Our mother always met him at the door when he returned from being away with a hug and a kiss. Yes, they had their spats, but were generally out of sight of the children. Sometimes they could even joke about what they had disagreed about. I never experienced the unease that children have when they know or see their parents fight.The years I spent with them there was always the  feeling of safety and comfort.  My father respected women and in the stories he related there was no condescension toward them.

As I was the first born much of my father’s interest remained focused on me, or so it seemed. He taught me to read using phonics because I wasn’t learning from the “look-see” Dick and Jane readers. He cared more for my musical advancement through the violin than my academic growth.
In one way it seems I have lived the alternate life he would have enjoyed: life as a musician/music teacher. I tried for several years being a young pastor and preacher, and it just wasn’t to be.

 He taught me to drive and let me be his chauffer. Beside driving etiquette and attitude we had increasingly deeper conversations about the purpose of life as we travelled to Harrisonburg, Virginia from Mathias, West Virginia for groceries and weekly violin lessons for me at now James Madison University. The car trips were where we shared who we were with each other. I was a young “know it all” liberal as the young should be, he was the conservative who had been around the block. I’m so thankful he encouraged me to think  with him from my perspective and then he would present his side..

Our father studied people, places, and events. He enjoyed debating a topic and encouraged conversation.  On the mission field and in America, there were interesting people who were in our homes for a meal or a short visit. They weren’t always family, but their ideas were stimulating and thought provoking. To this day it is almost impossible for my male siblings to get together without falling  into sometimes intense discussions about almost anything.

He often proclaimed, “ Our Lord will provide”. He had lived long enough to understand in some mysterious way that things worked out in the end for them that were faithful. In my second year away from home I married...an action many of my adult friends cautioned against...we were too young and it wouldn’t last. My father accepted our decision and we have lived and loved these 56 years. He died about six months later of a heart condition that had dogged him for numerous years. Through time I have come to better understand the complex, adventurous,  and wise person my father was. I hope others may recognize in me some of those traits, but perhaps not with his intensity.

It feels strange to know that I will soon be 25 years older than my father when he died. He never knew his grandchildren; they were way off in the future. He did see television, but certain scientific understandings were beyond his ken and he was an educated man. He would be amazed and interested in the advances made by medicine and science. These would surely change his world view, for even on the mission field he was open enough to be able to engage with people of different persuasions and conversion was something that happened because they saw a reflection of God’s love in his actions toward them rather than the current Brethren dogmas of salvation.

Our sister, the youngest sibling and only female has changed her FaceBook picture to that of our father in honor of Father’s day. She only knew him for six very short years. That picture was motivation for me to honor a man who had a powerful influence on providing the direction my own life would take.So, Mary Inge, thank you for reminding me of our loving father and moving  me to remember him this way.

Our family: William & Pauline Garst Kinzie  both deceased.
                   sons: William Kinzie (Bill)--  -author of blog-retired music teacher and violinist
                             John Kinzie - chemist, biologist, and teacher
                             Alexander Kinzie - business man -deceased
                             Michael (Mike) Kinzie - professional musician (fiddle), bandsman "Supergrit"
                             Mary Inge- beloved sister -school teacher. .
Dad, I salute you this Father’s Day!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Milestone to Celebrate


About to celebrate a milestone in my life; our granddaughter graduates from high
school  on Sunday. It just seems a short while ago that she was just two hands
full of squirming life.

Lib and I moved here five years  ago believing that we probably wouldn't be
around for an extended number of years. Arthritis in my hips and scoliosis in
her back were turning us into pitiful old invalids. Then something wonderful
happened.. We were persuaded to take advantage of modern medical practice and
God and fine surgeons gave us a new  lease on life!!

 We had purchased a comfortable  one story home in Brandermill near Midlothian, Virginia.  Brandermill was one of the first " planned" communities in Virginia and is a lovely place to live. Some of it is lakeside property...the Smith Creek reservoir from which Chesterfield County gets its water is just a short distance from our house . A few of our neighbors live right on the lake. This morning I went for a therapy walk of some 1.7 miles and enjoyed the panorama that only a walk may provide.Two years ago I could scarcely walk across the room!! This morning was my longest one to date since my new hip replacements.

The homes are laid out on lanes and loops.  There are large oak, pine, and pear trees.  There is a definite forest feel throughout Brandermill.   A deep blue sky and the sounds of many happy birds in the trees made for a feeling of contentment.. Now and then a neighbor and I would cross paths as we did our walking routines. I felt exuberantly alive and joyous this morning. We have a good   blend of young families and retirees. Even though we don't avail ourselves of it, there is community pool within hearing distance. During the warm summer months it is a busy place indeed.

Part of the joy of living in Brandermill are our neighbors...the ones who aredear to us and known by name... and those who we wave to as we drive or walk past. Nancy Berger who lives on the loop at the lake is our community rep and organizes an annual "meet your neighbor " function that convenes on our front car port.Our direct next door neighbors are Dr. Roger and Rene’ Bourguignon What wonderful friends they have become.

The seasons here are varied and stimulating. Spring flowers and trees revel in their new finery. Summer is warm to hot...with occasional thunder storms and lightning. Fall is just glorious and winter snows are
an anticipated possibility though not guaranteed.
                                                                                                                                                                 
Entrance sign to our neighborood
Living room

Looking out the back window
View from kitchen window (front of house)

Fall  afternoon

Our place snow decorated


Sunday, April 15, 2012

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME!!

I believe in karma! At least it appears to occur in portions of my life! When I was in my young teens I played softball, but nor baseball. My father who had invested a great deal of personal time in my violin instruction feared I might break a finger. I also played a little basketball. My sports tended to the more solitary type such as cross country, some pole vaulting, and hiking.

My grandson is making up for my lack thereof. He is 11 going on 12 and is one of the pitchers on the various teams he plays for. From the time we moved to Richmond five years ago, to the present moment we have attended many of his games. And I am slowly learning some of the
nuances of the game.

Yesterday his team won smashingly (I think that is a cricket term (cricket is European baseball and is played by many more people than baseball}). His grandmother and I were elated even though he didn’t pitch. (Turns out he was being held in reserve for today’s game). Today was sort of the reverse of yesterday. He pitched well...but the other team had a line of great hitters. In the first inng they got 6 or 7 runs..an advantage that Devin’s team was never able to overcome. They were able to slow down the accumilation of aditional runs, but the score was still something like 4-9 in the other team’s favor.

It was pleasant both afternoons, but this time it was warmer and windy. Several times the wind
stirred up an unpleasant amound of dust and threw it in our faces. Guess that is supposed to be one of the pleasures of attending a ball game. Makes one feel as if he has participated in a measurable way. As I said at the begining...I believe in karma. Karma is visitng baseball on me to make up for all the glorious years for which I was deprived.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Woodstock School

It was a magical place for me 60+ years ago...and still is. In the foothills of the Himalayas near rhe towns of Landour/Mussoorie is Woodstock School, an experience that tends to continually beckon. How fortunate are those who can return, not as students nor teachers, but as assistants to staff.

What must it be like to return year after year to a special place and time in one’s own past, especially with a mate. To be able to take up the strand of that magical time and watch its continued tendrils as they move out into the present and near future. How fortunate to have health and financial resources that allow a couple to still climb the mountainside paths, to inhale the Spring time breath of a Himalayan morning, or to ride a motor bike down to Dehra Dun.

I wonder what it must be like to walk down “the ramp” from Parker Hall to the complex of biuildings that used to be the lower school, lady faculty living areas, and the administrative suite.
To remember how it used to be and how improvements over time have altered it.

It must be exciting to be there for a few months each year, watching the new Woodstock grow and prosper. To use the skills one has a couple to promote and assist that growth. And to be rewarded in turn by being able to to return to a treasured place/experience.

It would seem to be somewhat like a time warp, to walk with one’s mate through the Landour bazaar, eating lunch at a favorite spot, and remebering together what it was like in a previous
life. How wonderful to be able to live as it were in two times at once! This is what I miss most,
to be able to share this in a meaningful way with my wife. She wasn’t there so its impossible for her to relate to that experience. It is a door that only I can open and revisit.

I met Dan and Anne Lind many years ago when they first returned from India and Woodstock. He was the new strings teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia and I had been in Roanoke for perhaps 10 or more years. What a joy and coincidence to discover we had been at
Woodstock; I as a student and then he much later as faculty. We have kept in touch through
Anne’s blogs.

So on this quite cool Virginia morning I visit Anne’s blog...it’s on my small list of links, or
an art teacher’s blog “Where in the World?” also on my list of links and for a few moments
my memory and I revisit a beloved place.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Return to Normalcy....

The day we anticipated has come and gone. Yesterday Lib and I went to Charlottesville, Virginia for a significant post operation consultation. She is on schedule and has been released to do pretty much whatever she feels like as long as it doesn’t hurt. She also received a 6 week prescription for some strengthening physical therapy. With the water aerobics she will recommence next week that ought to really augment her feeling better.

I have returned to some activities good for me, too. I’m playing once more in the Richmond Philharmonic...we’ll be performing Tchaikowsky’s great 5th symphony, Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, and a fluffy Rossini Overture. With my quartet we’re working on Brahm’s Opus. 60 piano quartet.I’m also getting in some violin lessons with my grandson, Devin. He’s holding his own and plays at a higher level, I believe, than I did at the same age level. We have the same problems, my father could not consistently teach me for various reasons, but I believe Devin is getting a bigger dose and we don’t have the long times of being away from the instrument.

Last year I put out a rather significant cash outlay to have our lawn mowed. Now I can do it on my own and have several times already. Today will be another ....and though it will be tiring, I should be able to get most of it done as the weather is crisply cool. No...I don’t have a riding mower as we did in Roanoke, it’s an electric push mower, that makes me walk a lot which is just what the doctor ordered. Last month I bought a small electric chain saw and trimmed our crepe myrtles back to the nub.I would not have even considered doing something like that this time last year.

Lib and I attended a Curry Club gathering in Charlottesville almost a month ago. Reconnected with a Woodstock alumnus that was in the Madison University orchestra with me in the early 60's. We discovered that both of us had attended Woodstock and someone alerted the local newspaper and an article was written about us. She reminded me of that article and our time in the orchestra. What a coincidence!!

Later this month Lib and I will return to the Roanoke area to Camp Bethel for “Sounds of the Mountain”. If you search my blog you will find some information about that. It will be fun to see old friends and some of my kin at this happening.

Check out my links, “Anne Linde” , and “Where in the World”. These are  tickets to my abiding interest in Woodstock School and the Himalayas. As a retiree with more time than money, the Web and YouTube provide  cheap ways to revisit here. I go there several times a week and am usually amply rewarded.

Our grandson is out of school this week, so we will have even larger blocks of unencumbered time to do whatever interests us. Have recently acquired an iPhone....the kind that talks to you. Interesting, interesting, where technology is moving!!

Thanks to my readers for being so patient. Blessings! Bill

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Walked a Mile!

Dear Readers,

       I apologize for not keeping up with my blog,,,,but since Lib’s big back operation in December we’ve been home bound and nothing worth writing about has occurred and this one won’t be long either.

       This past Monday I was able to participate in a string quartet with some of my favorite musician friends Francis ( cello), Dave (viola), and Larry (violin). It has been several months since we’ve been able to get together and it was great to read through some favorite Mozart quartets! As Lib becomes stronger and is able to stay home unattended, hope to do more of this.

      Yesterday I walked a mile with a cane! I’ve not been able to do that for 6 + years due to arthritis in my hips and a bad back. Had a laminectopy on my back those many years ago, but never walked more than a half mile. Then last year I had the hips replaced and there was no pain in walking, just needed to build up strength and endurance. I was walking about a half mile before Christmas and had t Lib not  had her operation, I might have reached the mile goal sooner. Now we’re both better thanks to the skills of the surgeons and  God’s grace!

     It’s too late to play in the upcoming RPO concert, but I hope to be able to do the Pops concert in June.

     It’s been a strange winter here in Brandermill...one of the mildest yet. Haven’t seen any snow and except for a wintery cold snap in December, it’s been like Spring most of the time. Now watch us have a late winter and some significant snow!