Saturday, September 29, 2007

Well, there are piano recitals, and then there are Piano Recitals Par Excellence... (click to enlarge)

Today Husband and I answered an invitation to a Piano Recital presented by the students of Donna Fishwick's Piano Studio when we attended an absolutely splendid musical afternoon in Osoyoos.

Donna is the daughter of our dear friend who is approaching his 100th birthday in December, and in his honour she filled a shiney wine coloured coach with twenty students and their families and brought them from Vancouver to the Osoyoos United Church to perform for him.

What a wonderful birthday gift..... we are filled right to the brim with the most marvelous piano music. This is a group of students who are dedicated and inspired, and no doubt supported all the way by their parents. They have visited Europe three times on concert tours, and besides spectacular piano solos they play two piano duets and have a DVD entitled Forty Flying Fingers.

Most amazing performances, - four fourteen year old boys, with the most relaxed and bequiling smiles, playing the "Poet and Peasant" Overture, and then Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, stirring two pianos with such spirit that they sounded like a full orchestra.

And a young boy, just turned twelve, leaving us in wonderment at the dexterity and vitality with which he played "The Juggler" by Toch.

Another quartet played Schubert's Marche Militaire, and Husband bemusedly remembered playing this same piece at a Piano Recital, but somewhat lacking the same aplomb.

I noted the wrist positions and the arm and finger movements, and recalled how Donna had taught our two oldest children when she first began her career, and the various touch techniques she recommended for practising.

These were wonderfully appealing young people, - disciplined, at ease, happy and enormously talented.

When the Recital closed with the Grande Galop de Concert by the same quartet who opened the program, presentations were made to Sterling, our friend, and everyone enjoyed birthday cake and conversation.

Tonight I delight in remembering thirty beautiful piano renditions, twenty young people for whom music is so obviously an important part of their life, and a dedicated teacher who inspires and guides them with such easy grace.

A simply stupendous afternoon, - wish you could have all been there.

Friday, September 28, 2007

September is fading fast, - this morning the Valley is socked in and the Autumn rains are with us.

But the cheery faces of the sunflower still linger...and the melodies of Bach are always soothing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ahh, this Moon stays very much with us.

Riding the clouds before midnight,

and still lingering in the western sky at six a.m., when Caspar and I go walking with an eye out for wild critters who might be browsing by the moon's bright light.

At the same time, the rising sun illuminates the eastern clouds with Monet shades, sweet roses, tender blues and for emphasis the lovely slatey colours.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Boys and Toys

A question from the Valley...

Answer me this - how many grown up boys do you know of who have reached the age of 83 and still have a backyard full of dirt to play in and a tractor to move it around from one place to another?????

Here is Husband, doing a wheely on the old and faithful Tractor.

And pushing that dirt all up hill to fill in around the garage and tamp it down.

This is a part time job, - he only works mornings in case you were thinking of hiring the Man and his Machine.

A fine job, - well done. I'd recommend him to anyone. He's a Keeper........

Last night, in the twilight, as the pink of the setting sun slowly faded from the sky
a pale porcelain moon rose in the East, over the Cawston hills.

Later in the evening, as dusk deepened and the night grew dark, a halo gathered around the moon, and whereas before it had appeared elegant and ethereal, it became a dramatic beacon that bathed the valley in light the whole night long. Husband and Daughter attest to that - both being up at three a.m. - I slept on......

I thought it was terribly romantic, but alas, we are at the age where romance touches us lightly with memory, and then passes on to more mundane evening affairs.

Things carry on much as usual under the light of the silvery moon.....

Nevertheless it adds a certain sweetness to the evening.

Monday, September 24, 2007

As I am slowly coming back to consciousness after my precious afternoon nap the ringing of the phone brings me suddenly to my feet. Wrong number, but I am awake now.

I go to the door, and am seduced outside by the stillness and beauty of the autumn afternoon.

It is quiet, - the faint sound of traffic does not disturb my reverie as I sit on the step in the soft September sunlight and lazily survey the garden.

With pleasure I observe the little birds enjoying afternoon refreshment at the sunflower seed bar stretched along the outside fence. The wings of the honey bees and wasps make gentle whisperings as they whirl around the autumn buds of Mum and Aster.

In the distance I hear the faint conversation of apple pickers. The breeze stirs my hair and the leaves of the hollyhock as it wafts the sound of voices through the trees, but I cannot catch the form of the words.

I gaze across the valley at our original home here, - the farm where we spent our youthful married years, and where our children roamed the hills and creekbeds, the water fall and the small caves that are found along the side of the canyon above the house. I note the rills that mark the Cawston Basin hills, and reminisce about the cloud burst that fifty years ago sifted them down to bedrock so that they shone in the sunlight.

I see the barn, standing out in the clear September air, high on the hill. I think about the nightime hours we spent amongst the quiet warmth of contented sheep, - our attention focused on the ewe(s) who had chosen that particular time to lamb, and the memories are happy.

The sounds of Husband stirring from sleep in the house, anxious to be about his afternoon tasks, give me pause to think of putting on the kettle for tea.

As I leave my stoop I see a large hawk crossing the valley, up, up against the blue, blue sky, into the hills that form the northern slope of the valley. A small quail, perched on a fence post as a look-out for a troop of quail that are skittering across the meadow, sounds the alarm

Off to make tea, and to look for my bell ringing gloves that have hidden themselves away since the last time they were used in May.

The Season changes, and although I woke this morning in a blue Monday Morning funk, my spirit now is soothed and I close my eyes momentarily to give thanks.