During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sing, Sing a Song

(I've just got to include a meme here, borrowed from

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending an evening of music performed by many of my neighbors.  The evening was sponsored by our local church and  included participants and audience composed of  members from seven different local congregations, and families and friends of course.  It was a wonderful evening of music, mostly vocal, but also included piano, violin, guitar, organ and even the xylophone.  From Rogers and Hammerstein to Bach to Phantom of the Opera . . . most of the numbers were fun, popular and upbeat, and all who were there came away feeling uplifted and happy.  Of course it didn't hurt that there were cookies and socializing afterwards.  Sometimes I think I don't get enough of that kind of interaction with my neighbors.  But the best part by far was the music.

I believe that we all need music in our lives.  It feeds our souls.  It inspires.  It comforts.  It expresses thoughts and feelings that often cannot be expressed by mere words.  I was blessed to have a musical mother who sang to me and filled our home with music.  We were give the opportunities to learn to play the piano and other instruments.  My mother was and is an accomplished violinist and was concert mistress of her university orchestra.  It has been a few years since she was able to play much, but I know it is a talent she will possess forever.  She took piano lessons as an adult and sang with the church choir for most of her adult life.

We have tried to provide our own children with similar opportunities.  I have taught the very basics of the piano to each of them, some have been able to continue with private lessons on different instruments, and we have encouraged them to participate whenever possible in school and church musical groups and programs.  My DH is also a great lover of music and has exposed our family to many different genres of music through his collection of vinyl and CDs, now stored digitally.  Years ago we enjoyed season tickets to the symphony, and would even take the one of the children in turn with us to certain concerts.   We have loved the treat of satelite radio that came with our new vehicle for the past several months.  We have tried to sing as a family whenever possible, sometimes with more success than others.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, I need to make a more concerted effort to not only listen to good music on a regular basis, but also to practice, perform and/or create music on a regular basis. I highly encourage and challenge each of you to do the same. Sit down at a piano, pull out a guitar, (or trumpet or clarinet or violin, or even a recorder) and if nothing else, sing at the top of your lungs while driving or in the shower.  Yep,  Sing, Sing a Song!!

* * * * * *

The final number in the concert tonight was "Distant Land (A Prayer for Freedom)"  by John Rutter.   It so much expresses my feelings about our world lately:

You really should read the lyrics!

Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/distant-land-a-prayer-for-freedom-for-chorus-lyrics-john-rutter.html#ZHOSs7QjOii7WA1d.99

John Rutter - Distant Land Lyrics

Monday, August 11, 2014

31 Years With My Honey

Today is the 31st anniversary of the day DH and I were married.  In honor of the occasion I pulled out my old wedding album and scanned a few of my favorite photos which have never before been exposed to the world wide web.  This is us posing by a famous old olive tree next to the Salt Lake Temple, a very popular setting for wedding photos back in the day.  If I remember correctly, the tree was damaged by the famous Salt Lake Tornado a decade or so ago and is no longer there.  This is one of my favorites of our wedding photos.  

And here is a meme that has been floating around on facebook for the past few weeks.  It just fits perfectly in this post, because my DH is one of my greatest blessings, and I enjoy the gift of his love and service to me every single day. 

This is another of my favorite wedding day photos.  I loved my wedding bouquet, especially the orchids and the pink baby roses.  If I tried to save it, I no longer know where it is.  After  seven or so moves in the past 31 years and six children, mementos  like the bouquet just didn't make the cut.  Notice also the beautiful shiny wedding rings.   Of those we only have my wedding band remaining.  DH's wedding band is probably somewhere on a New Jersey baseball field, and my diamond is also somewhere in New Jersey.  We pulled off a fireplace mantle in search of it before one of our moves, but could not find it.  We've talked about getting replacement rings someday . . . .but . . . so far have made other gift choices instead.

Yes, we did have a finely decorated car to send us off properly on our honeymoon . . . but I don't think the decorations made it all the way.  Just say'n.  :)

And here are two of my favorite photos from the honeymoon to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Yup.  I love this guy!  He doesn't often chew bubble gum, but I still love traveling with him and will go with him just about anywhere he wants to take me.  Happy Anniversary  DH!


For your further reading enjoyment, here is the very first blog post I ever wrote:

And another post about our 26th wedding anniversary trip, a gift from our children:

And another post about my wonderful DH:

Monday, August 4, 2014


I Love Summer.  I always have and I always will.  I'm not apologetic about it.  It is by far my favorite season, and closely followed by Spring.

 Yes, there have been years long ago where the days of freedom and play grew old and I looked forward to the new clothes and school supplies and returning to the structure of the classroom and learning and reuniting with friends.  But the best times for me are when the skies are blue, the sun is hot, and the plants (yes, even the weeds, sigh,) are growing strong.

This summer has been different from any other for me.  The children are all adults, and most are working out of state.  We have had no major road trips, vacations, or reunions.  I miss the days of taking a passel of kids to the lake or the pool or the park and the library.  I even miss the days of trying to sneak in some work and keeping all of the chores and laundry done while trying to keep kids busy, productive, entertained and happy.  This year there have been small, quiet get-togethers with smaller than usual extended family groups for the July holidays, and my father's 90th Birthday back in May.  I have worked full time all summer long for the first time in my life (unless you count the summer where I worked and lived at a family camp . . . that was almost more enjoyment than work if you want to know the truth).  I have spent most of my time at work or in the classroom (last minute decision to take an evening class) and the weeds have run rampant in the garden between the infrequent rain showers and the almost daily watering (moving the hose from spot to spot in the yard in the gathering dusk.  No automatic sprinklers here!  :).  The garden is rather pitiful, but we have had a bountiful crop of strawberries, cherries and blackberries (and not nearly enough time to do them justice)  a few peas, and some promise of peppers and tomatoes and carrots and hopefully some squash and corn and beans.

But  . . . I STILL LOVE SUMMER!  I enjoy every possible moment of my lunch hour out in the heat and the sunshine.  I love trying to tackle the weeds and the sprinklers and the lawn mower.  I love driving in the middle of the day with the windows down, the very warm breeze blowing through my hair, the fluffy white clouds on the horizon contrasting with the deep blue of the sky.  I avoid air conditioning whenever possible, and only tolerate it on the muggiest days or to appease those around me who find no comfort in the heat.    I try not to notice that summer is slowly creeping to an end, because, I LOVE SUMMER and want it to stay around for a long long while.