Monday, 16 June 2014

The Songs Of Life

At approximately 4:00 p.m. yesterday, I declared a truce with the day, donned my pyjamas, pink house coat and fuzzy red socks.  By 8:30 I was in bed...done, done, done....with the day, the week, the month.  The middle of the night found me seeking relief for inner ear issues that have been visiting me and my sleep was regretfully disrupted, again.  The end of the school year can't come soon enough; I'm hardly even pretending to make the effort to have the makings of school lunches in the house.  Can't we just not make school lunches anymore? But a quick look at the calendar shows no evening obligations until Friday and that is one sweet piece of relief for this chicken!

We've celebrated a lot since my last post!  Mother's Day, Ben's birthday, our anniversary and Father's Day!  We've gone from celebrating well to just barely remembering to acknowledge the day.  Mother's Day was a fun afternoon with family hosted here for good food and good visiting.

Ben's birthday....well!  Ben loves birthdays!

This guy is 13! 
Rides the line of being 'all grown up' (my words)
...never too old to play.....
He is ALL IN with the World Cup
and cheers for Mr. Messi
and the Argentina team
Sports, sports, sports
....and more sports.....

One guest gave Ben some of his favorite homemade cookies as part of his gift.
There was a sudden assumption among the group that Ben should share.
Ben did not share this assumption
and took off out the front door, running across the field -
ten friends in hot pursuit.
He arrived back home, cookies safely clasped in his hands.

Seems it pays to be fit.  And fast.

Our anniversary came and we actually got to go away.  We haven't been able to really celebrate our anniversary for years as Dean has a huge gig that is always scheduled on that June weekend and the gig is understandably top priority.  But this year, the gig was behind us and we exited reality for the comforts of Elk Ridge overnight.  We are not great at going all out for our anniversary but this year we both managed to at least buy each other a card.  We were pretty proud of ourselves.  We're actually fairly good with cards - there have been two years where we have gone shopping for anniversary cards for each other at random stores and arrived home with the exact same card that the other one bought.  Too cool.  Well, this year, we picked unique cards but when it came time to exchange them, Dean said "um, I haven't actually signed this" to which I replied "I haven't signed mine either" and we shrugged, laughed, exchanged unsigned cards and enjoyed the comfort of being married 18 years which has brought mutual understanding that, sometimes, actually obtaining a card is a pretty big victory when life all around is demanding ++.  Signing is secondary, right?  ;)

And Father's Day....well, we didn't do very well celebrating Father's Day.  Dean finally reminded me that I still had 2 blu-rays stashed for him for his Father's Day gift, which he bought for himself many weeks ago.  I handed them over in the London Drugs bag that they were handed to me in and sighed a sorrowful sign that I hadn't done better than that.  The grim reality of busy lives.

Way back in May, Dean and I were invited to chaperone the Senior Band Trip to Regina for 3 days.  We had chaperoned this group for last year's trip to Banff and were delighted to join them again this year.  It's a great way to get a peek into school life, relationships and we enjoy a delightful and warm  relationship with the teacher.  We did all the touristy things that Regina offers and managed to so some band-related things while we were at it!

We toured the RCMP Depot and museum.
Dean and I were quick to discover that there were red serges that could be donned!
We quickly dressed in the hats and coats and hid around a corner, waiting for our students to come by so we could surprise them.  SCARE them, even!
Much to our disappointment, only a couple of students walked by us.

We got kind of hot.

And then....there has been our little dip into becoming the Dynna Three, or the Dynna Trio, aka 'Dean, Maureen and Andrew Pretending That They Are Jazz Musicians'.  To be fair, Dean IS a jazz musician.  Andrew is uninterested in being a jazz musician but will play the gig to please his parents.  Maureen would like  to be a jazz musician but recognises that she doesn't have the head for it.  Yet.
However, it's been really fun to be part of a couple of very special evenings, providing ambiance and perhaps surprising a few people here and there with the pleasant sounds that do come as a result of our combined efforts.

Kin Enterprises Gala held last Saturday

National General Conference Welcome Reception
Western Development Museum, Saskatoon
Talk about a cool venue!

And, proving who the REAL musician of the family is, here is Mr. Dean Dynna, (the one with the red shirt and long hair) bass player, house band for WHACK BAM THUDD:

"Sir Duke" was way too much fun to hear!  Wish I could have played something so that I could have been part of it!  Triangle, anyone?

Amazing night of music.  Might, just might, have left with a wee bit of ringing in my ears - it was a 3 hour drum concert.  Ahem.  So fun!

Speaking of fun things, I sit on the board of Kin Enterprises (the local sheltered workshop employing people with challenges).  Many of you would not know that I spent many, many of my professional years working with people with intellectual disabilities before I resumed my nurse work.  I <heart> these people.  The work isn't easy but these friends have a way of bringing life into perspective.  Kin celebrates 50 years of business this year and our final event was a Gala on Saturday night (where we did the jazzy thing).  It was a remarkable evening of memories and comedy and we will remember the celebration for a long time!

Here are a few members of the Board, with comedians Jamie Hutchinson on the far right
Brent Butt, Corner Gas fame, third from the right.

I didn't really get to MEET him, per se.
I kind of, um, talked AT him.
He nodded, politely, at my unnecessary explanation of some program detail and then I smiled and fled.
I can be painfully shy meeting celebrities.


So, yeah, there have been lots of busy, busy events.  Very happy events, celebrations, accomplishments. 

My mind keeps straying back to the May long weekend when we hauled the camper out to an empty campground and plopped ourselves in the middle of nature for the duration of the weekend.  We had too much food, plenty of movies, lots of books and more internet-free time than any of us had had for a long time.

You gotta know that did my soul some good.

I sat in my chair by the fire for hours and hours Saturday morning.  For being a person who enjoys being busy and involved, this solitude was amazing.

The birds sang.

Their pitch was perfect.

And I wondered why it is that we worry about all of the details of the music so much when we want to express ourselves.  The notes, the lyrics, the pitch, the phrasing....all seems important when we want to 'sing our heart' and yet God created the birds to 'sing their heart' too and they open their beaks and let the music out and....

It.  Is.  Perfect. 
There is this song inside of them that needs to come out. 

NEEDS to come out. 

I can relate. 

I sat awhile longer and began to recognise that there were bird songs coming from all around me - in front of me, behind me, to my left, to my right  - each singing a unique song.

I was completely overwhelmed.

I almost wanted to yell "STOP!  I want to concentrate on your song!"

But nature does what nature does and they don't sing in competition. 

They just sing.

And so, when my memory bank has been overloaded for the past 6 weeks with school band concerts, band trips, jazz gigs, and WHACK BAM THUDDs, "happy birthday to you's" and the songs of life....

.....I think I'll just focus on the sources of the music.....
The friends that came to the birthday party because of their friendship.
The comradery of the band students mashed together on a big yellow school bus with no air conditioning on a hot day in May.

The music made between mother, father and son.
The marriage of 18 years.
The house band that just loves to play,
even for a beginner drum student that can't quite keep a steady beat.
And the amazing people of Kin Enterprises who dance with abandon to joyful songs inside their souls and while we can't always hear the music, we know it's deep inside them.  Watch them, and you'll just know....they just have to sing.
Friends, when life brings you music, please play with abandon!  For yourself.  For me.  I'll cheer extra loud!  Sing your song!