So for now, I enjoy the grief-free journey when it comes to my mom. This Mother's Day, inspiration to honor her rather than mourn and miss her struck me. I find the irony amusing, and that I'm actually following through with it joyously nuts!
Many years ago, my mom fell in love with the sound of the dulcimer and decided she'd wanted to learn out to play one. So dad had a co-worker make a dulcimer as a birthday gift for my mom. Included were playing instructions, as well as an audio tape to help the student learn how to play it. I believe my mom actually “fiddled” (yes, pun fully intended here!) with the dulcimer a handful of times, but according to dad, she never learned how to play it. Over the last several years, the dulcimer has sat up in a closet of my brother's old room collecting dust.
Upon clearing out the clutter of my mom's things, my dad and I discussed what to do with the dulcimer. I called local musician and string instrument teacher, Randy Lanham, to ask if he was interested in buying it for teaching, or if he knew anyone who was interested in owning one. Unfortunately, he didn't, suggesting a music shop. Dad decided we'd hang onto it and sell it in the estate auction when it's time for him to move out of the house. So once again, it sat in the closet on the shelf collecting a new layer of dust.
Then last weekend, I stumbled across a newspaper magazine insert in Sunday's newspaper featuring the summer schedule of activities at Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes (LBL). While casually perusing it, I noticed a class being offered: Beginning Mountain Dulcimer, Saturday, May 12 at The Homeplace at LBL. The class caught my attention. I've never been interested in the dulcimer, and I've never played a string instrument in my life, unless you count a piano because well, it has strings attached to the keys. I suddenly felt mom's encouragement to take the class. Why not? the familiar voice reasoned. I felt as if she wanted to live vicariously through me. So, I decided then and there, why not? I'll do it. I took the magazine insert to work with me the next day so I could make the call for more information.
Monday came and I started to think, this is crazy! Maybe they expect people with a little experience in this class; can someone really learn that easily? So I called. No, previous experience is not required. Yes, all the basics, including explaining the strings on it will be covered. Yes, you will be able to play several tunes on your dulcimer before the end of the 5-6 hour class. Well, hmm, okay then, sign me up! And so they did.
Tomorrow, early Saturday morning, off I shall go to LBL to learn how to play a dulcimer. A couple of people inform it it is suppose to be easy to learn, which is optimistic news for me! I have no expectations around the outcome of my ability to play, much less play well. I see this opportunity to spend the day with my mom via the dulcimer, an instrument which she loved. I have no doubt she will be around watching and enjoying the sweet music it and all the other beginners make.
Stay tuned (again, pun so totally intended) to hear the rest of the story! Um, and maybe a song!