Bill and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in February 2020. During the first eighteen years of our marriage, we moved to various locations because Bill was in the US Air Force.
I grew up in a small town, and the music I grew up with was country western and pop with a small amount of church music. Bill grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and was exposed to a variety of music. He sang in choirs from the time he was old enough to join one. His beautiful tenor voice, love of all music, and career moves introduced me to more than classical music. We enjoyed Latin music in Texas. In South Carolina, Ohio, and England Bill sang in barbershop choruses and quartets which gave us amazing memories and friendships. We attended British and American barbershop singing conventions, contests, and concerts, and we visited Holland where his British chorus performed with the Utrecht chorus. While living in England for four years, British brass bands and bagpipes became favorites too. We enjoyed the local folk music wherever we lived or visited.
Our family has Bill’s musical talent. Our daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren sing, play an instrument, or both. We’ve enjoyed many school and church musical events and look forward to more when the great grandchildren (3 so far) are older.
There are a few compositions that sound like noise more than music to me, but I enjoy most music. It has given me so much pleasure. Another pleasure and joy in the past 3 years has been watching my great grandchildren move to music and “dancing” with them. Seeing their spirit of joy as they move to music and just being with them is uplifting.
In one of those “God incidents” of life, I happened to view on PBS some pilgrims to Rome in a personal audience with Pope Francis. In answer to a question from one of the pilgrims, the Pope expressed regret that people often place more emphasis on adjectives (nationality, gender, income) instead of nouns (person, human, man, woman) and select or discard people based on those adjectives. Focusing on the noun—person, human—seems Christ-like to me. I enjoy music whatever its description (classical, pop, country western, sacred). I want to ignore the adjectives we all have and focus on individuals as people God created and loves, as people Jesus died for. Of course, I don’t always succeed; there are some I like or love more than others, but with God’s help I will keep trying.
A bit of personal information: I retired in 2016 after 32 years as a church secretary. I am an avid knitter. I like to knit prayer shawls, hats & mittens, crochet blankets and sew dresses and boy’s shorts for various church and children’s ministries. I also volunteer at our local emergency relief organization and food pantry.
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”