One thing I noticed about this time of year is how a week ago, I was staring at the beautiful treasure at The Chicago Botanic Garden and now I see people tossing out their trees. Life keeps rolling on. But I digress.
I was pretty quiet in 2015 and it was for a good reason because I was making many positive changes – the most impressive being that I am now employed at a place I love and have wanted to work for years. I really enjoy my job and delight in my 1 mile and 1/2 jaunt to work! Not only do I get to wear purple – it is encouraged! My quality of life in the last year has increased beyond my wildest expectations.
One of my favorite distractions has been learning how to play the guitar at my weekly guitar lesson down the street. It is quite the joy to be able to leave at 1:57 for a 2:00 lesson. Over the past year, I have almost lost my prized purple pick more than a few times to which my teacher, Dan, can confirm. Something happens when I leave my lesson and I think I am putting the pick in my pocket and I can never find it; but then I get home and it somehow finds it way on the floor of my walk-in closet. While there are many more purple picks that can be purchased to replace that one, I have to have THAT one. One week, my pick didn’t reappear before my next lesson and I showed up, dejected. I walked in to see my smiling teacher holding my purple pick! You would think he had given me a million dollars; it was a relief to be reunited with my pick!
We have worked on many songs and although I have been partial to Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline, I am exploring other artists now because I like to do mash-ups of various songs and improvise some melody mixed in within the chords. Per Dan’s observation, a break-through moment was working on “Always On My Mind“. It just flows for me, and I can easily connect with the song and not think when I play it. It gives me peace.
When I went to visit my brother and his family for Thanksgiving, I noticed a whirling circular object floating on the floor. It was the robot-like vacuum cleaner Roomba. While I had heard of it, I never thought I could afford one. Sure enough, it was on sale at Costco so I bought it as soon as I got home. My world has changed with Roomba! I guess you are supposed to name it, but I haven’t gotten around to it and I digress, once again. Read the rest of this entry
The Month of Lauren had some amazing moments and I thank everyone who thought of me on the big day. I am very lucky! The month also had two notable losses.
One of them was the untimely demise of a 53-year-old former colleague of mine. He was always very supportive of me, good-natured and funny. I haven’t seen him in four years but it seems like yesterday. “I’m on Team Lauren,” he would say as he greeted me with a big smile and exuded positivity.
The other loss was my guitar teacher’s 82-year-old mom who was in the hospital for quite a few weeks before dying a few days after Mother’s Day. I had never met her but opted to show support by attending her memorial and get a mental snapshot of the person who had brought this encouraging and witty wordsmith, my guitar teacher, into the world.
Dear Voracious Readers,
There has been a ridiculous lapse in correspondence for which I profusely apologize. My passion for writing has not dissipated, I assure you.
As you may recall, during a session of many “gone wrong” eyeglass fittings for a reunion back in 2011, the opinionated optician told me to get a hobby.
So, I did.
The doting aunt that I am discovered that my niece and nephew were taking up the guitar. Last summer, my mom and I strolled into her neighborhood guitar store and she directed me to a plastic guitar which even I knew was a bit beneath me. The “Guitar Guy” guided me to an adult guitar.
My mom suggested that “I sleep on it”. Of course she meant the idea of owning a guitar versus sleeping on an actual guitar, and I was all in. I bought the bag, the Mel Bay first-grade class book, some picks, and even a humidifier. I declared to “Guitar Guy” that I would be playing Elvis because “I have a thing for the King.”
I signed up for guitar lessons and by Thanksgiving I was teaching my nephew how to play “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” My sister-in-law gushed over the improvement in my nephew’s playing while I was there. We carried our bonding over to the tennis court and I cherish our one-on-one time – after all, he is only 6.
As I left the store one night, “Guitar Guy” looked at me and shook his head. Apparently, I was carrying the coveted guitar bag….upside down. He said, “You are going to snap your neck!” I gushed at this kindness and realized he was referring to my guitar’s neck, versus my well-being but I digress. As time would move on, “Guitar Guy” graduated to becoming my guitar’s life coach as he cares for everything ranging from aligning my guitar’s neck to attempting to explain proper pick holding technique, how to string it, but I digress, once again.
Fast forward to the beginning of the year and my teacher flew the coop, for understandable reasons. Given that I had just moved down the street from the guitar place, I was committed to taking lessons there. I had a five-week deviation with another teacher and it just wasn’t a good fit for either of us, so I switched teachers.
Today was my second lesson with Read the rest of this entry