FUN volunteering

Who knew that a large piece of nylon fabric (i.e. – a former military parachute) could be SO much fun for kids and adults alike?? I volunteered at the You Who concert at the Crystal Ballroom today, to benefit the Children’s Cancer Association. Here is a description of the event:

What:  It’s time for another You Who Concert! This is a really fun variety show specifically for kids in the Portland area. Proceeds from this event go directly to CCA’s MyMusicRx Program. This event is always a ton of fun!

Indeed it was. A ton of fun and a super workout lifting and lowering the parachute for 2 hours. 🙂 There was also face painting, a crafts area, balloon hats, some super cool monster tricycles and music. I was in my element. Hooray for the Music Program at the Children’s Hospitals in town.

Watch the whole video below. It is SO good!!

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October craziness

Where did October go? Every post of mine lately seems to mention how busy things are and that hasn’t changed.

October 5th, I “ran” (jogged/walked) the Portland Half Marathon. I achieved the $1,ooo minimum fundraising goal, through the generosity of family and friends, for the Children’s Cancer Association. But the bigger victory is that it was my comeback from the “bad years”. It’s just up, up and away from here on out.

After only 3 short days of recovery, I hopped aboard the Amtrak to my first ever hostel stint (where I chatted it up in my PJ’s with 20 year olds in the lobby over breakfast) in Seattle for the Harp Conference. It was wonderful. But before I even had time to thoroughly digest those amazing experiences, Teresa came here for 70 hours of pure non-stop action and fun. She was on set, filming, but it’s amazing how much we crammed in to such a short space.

The day after Teresa left, things got seriously busy as Pete and I spent 10 days in sunny, genteel Alabama, taking care of my mom, post-surgery, and doing all kinds of errands and chores for both Mom and Dad. I can truly say that we have never worked so hard in our lives, other than, perhaps, when we prepared to move from California to Oregon a gazillion years ago when we were in our 20s. Last night, post Alabama flight, I slept 13 hours.

It’s high time to get back to yoga and harp and watching the hummingbirds at the outdoor feeders. I’m “plum finished” with this whirlwind existence. It’s all been good and worthwhile but – let’s – slow- down.

 

Giddiness before the starting line pukiness

Giddiness before the starting line pukiness at 6 friggin am with my way oversized shirt I received the day before the event

Leap of Faith

 

I was singing in the rain, now I’m wheezing in the breeze….

Hey Y’all!

It’s been a whirlwind of activity since I last posted anything. I fit about 2 week’s worth of hoop-de-do into a 5 day visit in Alabama with family and friends. The sunshine was incredible. Seeing friends, whom I have known for many decades, was divine. Hanging with family was super. And of course, I love the ever polite and warm southern folk. If I could blend Portland and the south, that would be Hippie and Grits Utopia!

Now for the LEAP OF FAITH – dun dun dun (ominous background music). That leap entails the moment after jumping from the airplane but a moment before the parachute opens. I just signed up to run the Portland Half Marathon on October 5th, 5 days after I turn fifty mumble mumble mumble – early 50s in any event – as a fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Association. The last sports event I did was a Half Ironman swim in 2007. Time to dust off the inner athlete and connect with the “wow, free food at the finish line” warrior. I need to raise at least $1,000 and be able to run a gazillion miles. Piece of tofu, low sugar cake, right? 🙂

 

 

Good Day

Yesterday, I got a bit of sunburn on my face. In Oregon!!! In October!!! The weather here has been glorious. Sure wish it could always be like that. I can live just fine without rain.

I also played music at one of the Children’s Hospitals and had great interactions with the staff. One PT knew that I was playing an alto flute. A nurse asked if I was a professional player. The facilities man said my playing was very soothing. I have to chuckle at the undeserved last 2 comments because I was “jamming” – essentially playing glorified scales while watching the happenings around me.

One thing I am proud of is that I can play through anything – patients doing PT exercises right in front of me, facilities people moving equipment up close, children screaming and crying down the hallway (ok, that’s a bit tough but I figure I can help them the most with soothing music) and loud noises such as alarms or espresso machines (from the hospital lobby snack bar).

BUT – I finally met my match!! A very cute, bald from chemo, sweet little boy was completely mesmerized with my flute. He walked up and stuck his finger in the end of the flute while I was playing. He then proceeded to mash keys and pry the flute out of my hand and attempt to play it. There is something about these kids that I just hand over my $2,000 flute and think nothing of it. I finally blew air through the mouthpiece and let him mash keys. And throughout this whole time, neither of us said a word. I’m not even sure he spoke English – or spoke at all. But it was as if we had had a meaningful, heartfelt conversation.

Ahhh – I always receive so much more than what I give at the hospital.

Alto flute with curved head piece.

Alto flute with curved head piece.

 

Alto flute with, what I believe to be, saxophone keys

Alto flute with, what I believe to be, saxophone keys

Perspective

Today, I played music at the children’s hospital where I am on the floor – unit, technically speaking – with the sick kids. I love when I am tuning up and some bystanders say they like the sound. Easy audience! I hadn’t even played anything yet; so sweet. The ad-lib numbers on the alto flute and therapy harp went well. Had some boo boos and one really bad song on the concert flute along the way.  Oh well. The most interesting thing was struggling to get notes out of my alto flute because I was sliding off of it from sweating. Wheeeee.

Some of the kids I play for are literally fighting for their lives because of cancer. I couldn’t believe, while driving home and listening to the radio, that a blurb came on about “how to survive a bad haircut”. Survive? Seriously??

Once home, I opened a letter from our sponsored child in Guatemala.

Ahhh. Fabulous day.

(If I could get paid to crochet and play therapeutic music, that would be the ultimate!!)

Reverie Therapy Harp. LOVE it!!!

Reverie Therapy Harp. LOVE it!!!

Hardware galore - and a wooden imposter!

Hardware galore – and a wooden imposter!