As strange as it might sound, this was a fun date we will always remember! Now, before you start thinking my husband is weird, let me say he would be the last person on the planet to EVER suggest visiting the cemetery to celebrate my birthday! THIS WAS MY IDEA! So maybe I’m the creepy one! Let me explain...
Next, per instructions, we explored the cemetery, reading the markers and talking about the things that stood out to us. It was very humbling to see so many WWII veterans, some of whose spouses are still living. Of course it was sad to see the markers of children who had died way too young. We watched an Asian family putting incense on their family members’ graves.
Another suggestion from the date book was to talk about what we might want our own epitaphs to say. This is where we had a lot of laughs. I’ve certainly never laughed out loud in a cemetery before because the only time I have ever visited one is for a burial. It is a different experience to visit when you are not so emotionally raw. I must say, it helped take away the mystery and yucky feeling I’ve always had about cemeteries. I almost didn’t want to leave because I was enjoying walking and being outside on such a beautiful day and soaking in the fresh air. But then, Robby broke my lingering mood when he gave his answer to the last date question, “Was the date eerie or comforting?” He said all he could think about the whole time was the hundreds of dead skeletons just lying in their caskets! Ok well... let’s just say he was a really good sport!
In all seriousness, I just turned 61 and it’s very strange to be at the age where more and more close friends and relatives are beginning to have major health issues, so it does make me think about how I want to finish the race. Every day is a gift from God and I want to live fully engaged while at the same time keeping an eternal perspective, for I know this earth is not my final home.
I will leave you with Molly Skagg's beautiful new version of Johnny Cash's song "Ain't No Grave"
Do you ever feel you need a vacation from your vacation? We can so easily get exhausted during the Christmas holidays! Every year we say the same thing don’t we…”I’m not doing this to myself next year, I’m going to simplify and make Christmas less stressful”.
Then…out of nowhere… messages like these that I received in response to
"A Shepherd’s Wonder", remind me of why I do what I do.
“You’re my angel today…I have been very ill and discouraged. I just watched this several times. It was so uplifting”
“ I can’t stop crying watching this! Thank you so much for sharing your talent”
“…very soothing in my time of pain”
It always means the world to receive these messages. The true prayer of my heart is that people feel touched by God’s presence through my music, whatever their need or circumstance.
As I look forward to 2019, I am feeling the need for REST. Not rest from work, or new projects, but rest from my own striving. I can hear the words of Mother Teresa saying “We must let Him do it! We are but His hands and feet; we must let Him do the work!”
My verse for 2019 is Hebrews 4:11
“ Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest”.
In keeping with this theme for 2019, here is my new single of Lance Allen’s beautiful song “Rest Your Way Home”.
Listen on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube. Also available on Google Play, Deezer and other outlets. Sheet music available at www.marlowecarruth.com
How do you find your place of rest? Leave a comment!
This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for the many amazing women who have influenced my life, both past and present. If you know me or follow my blogs, then you know I have no memory of my beautiful and talented mother. In some ways though, I feel I got to know her through her wonderful friends. All my life, and even still to this day, I love when people talk about her. Knowing they were close to her makes me feel close to her.
Janice’s service and accomplishments create a list a mile long. Many know her as the lady that crash landed a plane after her husband died at the helm and lived to write a book about it, Won't Somebody Help Me!
It was also in her home that I grew to love music. I loved to listen to her late husband, Edmund, play jazz tunes on their Steinway piano, the first Steinway I ever played! All of her children played different musical instruments. Janice would host community talent shows and musicales in her home. I think my first public performance was at one of those talent shows when my sister and I played the fun duet, Heart and Soul!
I could write my own book about the many ways Janice and so many other women have patiently and kindly poured into my life both physically and spiritually! I am blessed with mothers too numerous to count!
As a piano teacher, I have been asked this question many times. The short answer is sooner than later!
If your piano gets normal use in your home, every six months is a good rule of thumb...once a year at the very least. I usually schedule my tunings right after the season changes. Since pianos are "breathing" instruments, they are affected by changes in temperature and moisture. Therefore, I usually wait until the heat comes on in the fall and the air conditioning comes on in the spring. With that said, ANYTIME is better than no time!!!!! The longer you go without tuning, the harder it is for the piano to hold its tune.
WHO SHOULD I GET TO TUNE MY PIANO?
1. Make sure your technician is a Registered Piano Technician
2. Ask your local piano stores, piano teachers, and friends for recommendations.
The best source is a happy customer.
3. A good technician gets booked up in advance so don't wait until right before that Christmas party!
SHOULD I GET MY PIANO TUNED EVEN IF IT IS NEVER PLAYED?
I'll leave this one for the experts because I don't think you'll take my word for it! Here is what a local technician has to say on that subject!
Why Does My Piano Need Tuning?
We all go through times in life when we feel we’ve been tackled out of nowhere, or we trip and fall, or have to take a knee, or even get benched! It’s the cheerleaders in our life that help us get up again and give us the strength to keep going.
I have been incredibly blessed throughout my life to have cheerleaders support me during the darkest times…times when I questioned God, life, and myself. It is amazing how just a single encouraging word or phrase from someone who believes in you can release confidence in your heart to keep going.
Since I try to keep these blogs related to my musical journey, I will share one particular cheerleader moment that relates to music.
I studied and performed classical music all of my growing up years. After college, I was somewhat burned out from all the practicing and performance pressure so for the next couple of decades I spent more time singing and playing worship music with my husband and raising a family. At some point, I began thinking I wasn’t capable of learning any serious music any more. Then came my cheerleader, Dr. Margaret Evans, pianist and teacher extraordinaire.
Several years ago, we were having lunch together and I was pouring out my heart to her about how I felt I couldn’t play anymore. Margaret’s words changed the course of my musical journey! She said “Marlowe, it’s all still there. You just have to start! Start by playing music that is easy and not too long, just to build your confidence and you will see... it will all come back to you.” You know, she was right! Getting back to playing music has led to a church accompanist position, composing music, releasing my first recording, and even performing at the Grand Ole Opry. All of this would have never happened without Margaret's encouragement!!!
If you feel you don’t have a cheerleader in your life, start by BEING ONE for someone else. Let someone know you believe in them and give them a very achievable goal…that is, if they ask for help. If we are willing to listen, cheerleaders are out there waiting to be asked to be on our team!
I would love to hear about one of those "cheerleader" moments in your life!
Welcome to my Blog! I would love to hear from you!