When I was 10 years old, I started playing the flute and piano. Oh, how I hated to practice, but after a few years, I came to enjoy it a bit more. I played my flute (and piano) through college and into my adult life. I played in a community orchestra for years. I loved how each piece came together and how each instrument did its part to create something beautiful (though some rehearsals sounded like a train wreck). FHA was supportive, taking care of the kids while I rehearsed and he faithfully came to my concerts. Eventually, life got so busy and my interests expanded and I no longer played in the orchestra. I would still play, but not in a group.

When FHA died, music disappeared from my life. I didn’t listen to music, I only played the piano to fulfill a responsibility. I was so empty. Slowly, I began listening to music again and began to play the piano. My flute sat in the dark basement, unplayed.

As I charted my new life, I reflected on the things that have given me joy. I realized how much I missed playing in an ensemble. I decided I wanted to do that again and set out to find a group whose rehearsal schedule fit into my very busy life.

I am happy to say I finally found a group and I started playing with them last night. I am by far the oldest in the local community ed band, but I don’ t care. I loved hearing the tubas and other instruments and the gentle nature of the conductor gave me confidence. I was a few minutes late because I could not remember where I put my flute. I finally found it and it was so happy to be used after two years. I am thrilled to know I still had chops and could play. My brain is excited to be stretched in the way music stretches it. And I am happy to have music completely back in my life again.

PS-I will share the gourd story later.