Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music memories

This year, at the college, I was asked to teach one section of the Orientation class that all incoming freshmen are required to take. I said yes, even though I'm not a fan of orientation classes. Personally, I think they are a huge waste of a students time and money; however, since I wanted to be more visible to students, I agreed to behave myself and teach a section. Yesterday and today, we had filled the days with activities for the kids to do.

Today, we had a lot of different speakers to listen to. Some, I enjoyed, some I did not. One of my favorite sessions today utilized Music as a way to reach the kids who are a different generation than most of the college staff.

The speaker shared that most of us can hear a song and it will trigger a memory, like a first year of college, or a party or a first kiss. She had gone around to various college staff and had asked them what song reminded them of their first year of college--or of something that happened during that first year of college. She then had the kids guess which song went with each staff person. Most of the music was from the early 80's through the early 1990's. Two were from the 1960's. Every song on today's list was classic rock.

Which made me think about what song would remind me of my first year of college. My song wasn't classic rock...my song was classic country. Alabama's Feels so Right. Or maybe George Strait's Amarillo by Morning. Both songs were from the same year and time. Both were among my favorites.

But I also reflected on different songs, or singers that I've listened to over the years and that I like. We always had music on at some time or other at our house. Mom and Dad had a pretty extensive album collection. Steve and I used to play their records all the time. Our favorites were Jimmy Dean, Johnny Horton, Roger Miller and Tex Ritter. All sang story songs. Mom also had a lot of folk song albums from the folk music trend of the 1960's. So I also listened to Peter, Paul and Mary and Steve and I both liked the New Christy Minstrals.

My Mom's little sister, Sandy, is 10 years older than I am. So when she babysat us, we'd listen to her music. And, after she got married, many of her albums were left at Grandma's. I listened to them all the time...the Beatles, the Monkees, Three Dog Night.

But as I got into high school, I primarily listened to Country. NOT the twangy stuff, like Hank Williams...I have never developed a taste for Hank; in fact, one of my least favorite songs is Hey Good-lookin'. I'd rather listen to chalk screeching across a chalkboard than listen to that song. Some songs, I liked until they were tied to bad memories. Like the song You'll never walk alone. I liked that song until it was sung at my cousins funeral. Now, when I hear it...it reminds me of that day and the fact that I had to attend the funeral alone.

One of the albums that we wore out in high school was the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. On 8-track. And the Oak Ridge Boys Elvira. That song reminds me of my Senior Trip, as we sang it to one of our sponsors, Eldora. (yes, we changed the name as we sang.) That song also reminds me of staying with Sandy and her family. Royce was 2 and he loved that song. Sandy finally had enough and forbade us from playing it. But, I did listen to some rock...Queen, and some Kiss, and even the Carpenters and Barry Manilow and Disco...

In college, I still listened to Country, but I also began to listen to more rock with my friends. I'm still primarily a Country fan, but I have listened to some of the music my kids like. Andy listens to a lot of Christian Rock mixed in with his Country music while Miss Kat likes a little bit of everything, but she favors Rock, some Rap, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. I've corrupted them a little, because I've taught them to appreciate some of those folk songs and some older country (like Garth Brooks...yep, guys, he's old news.)

So, I guess it's true, that music does have strong ties with our memories. It was really fun to think about what songs are tied to my memories today. So, now I ask you...what songs and singers are special to you?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

End of summer changes...for the kids

Summer is rapidly winding down, but it's not slowing down.

Immediately upon our return from vacation, Andy decided it was time for him to spread his wings and fly the coop. He moved into an apartment in Ford with a friend of his. The boys scavenged furniture and dishes from their Mothers and set up house. So far...3 weeks in, they are doing OK.

It's a little odd without Andy being home, but I think it will be OK. He wants to learn how to live on his own and that's what all we parents want, right? It's our job to raise our kids and them let them go learn about life on their own...it was so much easier when I was the kid wanting to go out on my own...

But, we're surviving. My grocery bill had already gone down but my chore list has gone up. Miss Kat has taken over care of the barn cats and I am now the full time caretaker of the chickens. No more questionable eggs have shown up in the fridge, so I must be doing OK!

Yesterday, Andy and I went to Garden City to see an Orthopedic Surgeon. Andy's been struggling with his knee for 2 years. We've seen one Dr, but he didn't do much except tell us he thought it was simply a symptom of Andy growing so fast. But, now, it looks like surgery might be in Andy's future. Which means he probably shouldn't have moved out on his own and signed a lease when he might not be able to work for 6 weeks or more. But, I might be getting ahead of myself with worrying because we won't know for sure what's going on for 2 more weeks.

I will say that I didn't enjoy my day sitting in the Dr's office, and waiting for x-rays and MRI's to be run. The highlight was seeing Andy run around in short shorts (mid thigh) while wearing cowboy boots. While Miss Kat looks cute in her Fat Babies boots with her short shorts and long legs...Andy just doesn't have quite the same look with his shorter, hairier legs...

Gosh, it just dawned on me that I should have gotten a picture!

Since Andy has moved out, Miss Kat is planning on relocating to his room. she has grand schemes...I mean plans. And, those plans change often. We've gone from a red and black room to a teal and silver room to a multi-colored room. We've gone from a city theme to a sports theme to a zebra theme.

We ordered a bedspread/duvet cover Saturday night after looking in every store in Wichita for the perfect bedding. It arrived last night, and had Miss Kat in tears. It just wasn't what she had pictured...and of course, it's my fault, because we didn't order the one she loved 2 weeks ago and it is now unavailable.

But, last night, we settled on one...I hope. Zebra. Black and White. With teal or aqua sheets and accent pillows. And, she's thinking about making herself a small accent quilt. I think she wants to paint the room teal or aqua with one wall metallic silver. We'll see what she winds up with because she is after all, a teenager.

I've decided that she hates me. This quilt thing...you all know that I don't like to quilt. And somehow...I think I'm going to wind up "helping" a great deal with this project. (Aunt Cindy, wanna come to Kansas for a month or so and quilt with Miss Kat???)

Miss Kat is also practicing her driving. She had hopes of getting her farm permit before school so she could drive herself to and from school. But, she's not ready yet. We've driven a few times, but she still doesn't turn corners well and she doesn't keep her speed consistent going up and down hill. She also tends to hug the side of the road which makes me nervous when we don't have shoulders. She is better at stopping, because I haven't hit the dash in a week now. Progress...it's progress, but progress comes at a price; I have more gray hair from all this driving instruction. School starts in 2 weeks. She's not going to have her permit by then. Maybe she'll be ready by Christmas...

Nope, summer might be winding down, but it certainly isn't slowing down at our house.