Wednesday, June 08, 2011


When I first met Charles he had, among other appealing attributes, a nice repertoire of old time jazzy, ragtime piano music.  Alexander's Ragtime Band, The Dark Town Strutter's Ball, You Made me Love You, Five foot two - and he played Nola, with great dexterity and liveliness.  Probably it sounded like this video, as he learned many of the pieces he played from his cousin's  Player Piano.

We learned  to play a few duets and entertained the children with them, - mostly Sousa Marches.  Charles was into marches, having played the tuba in the school band, and then in the Penticton City Band after we were married.

After a while, when he was leading a very busy life, and his fingers lost some of their dexterity, he drifted away from the piano, and it is difficult to coax him to sit and let his fingers remember the tunes we once so enjoyed listening to.

Just lately I came across the sheet music for 'Nola' which  Felix Arndt composed for his wife in 1915.

 In the early years, when we both played, I had tinkled out the tune, but never really learned it properly so that my fingers respond to the melody, and this morning as I stumbled through it I caught him as he passed the piano and asked for a demonstration, but he was off to do important things, and so I sighed and swung into the Peacherine Rag.

But one of these days.....

Our oldest son has inherited his father's strong, rhythmic left hand and I do admire it in both of them.

Felix Arndt's lyrics to Nola

I realize within your eyes for me there lies a paradise
What other bliss is like a kiss from pretty lips I idolize\You are so sweet and you are so neat
A girl like you I'd never meet
Just to behold you is a treat that's hard to beat.

Nothing I do can show how true I am to you, my only one
Cuddle up near and let me hear a word to cheer your lonely one
Your winning style my heart beguiles
For one sweet smile I'd walk a mile
Let me enfold you in my arms awhile.

When You're near the birds sing in the trees pretty harmonies
All the world is humming a melody
When away from you I may be straying
Then my heart keeps saying
You're the heart of me, part of me, all of me
Nola, heed and listen while I plead, you're the one I need
Life for me is nothing but  misery
Nola, Nola, hear your lonesome lovesick sweetheart calling Nola

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Texture Tuesday

Pierrot and Columbine
using Kim Klassen's Serendipity

The first peony in the garden and an excerpt from Mary Oliver's touching poem "Peonies"

The link to Texture Tuesday on my sidebar will take you to many beautiful textured photos.

Monday, June 06, 2011

ABC Wednesday

The letter this week is U - more Unavailable than Ubiquitous

Nevertheless, U stands for UNDER THE SEA

Enjoy - and for more interesting U's swim along over to ABC Wednesday and investigate all sorts of interesting interpretations of the letter U.  With thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her Upstanding assistants.

Three straight days of brilliant sunshine, blue skies, light breezes and the garden is out there rejoicing.  I hear the gladsome cries as I step out on to the deck, and it takes but the least little push for me to give up whatever I was planning to do and go and join the celebration.

I have been spending a lot of time in this electric, but strangely peaceful garden.
Mostly bent over, but when I do straighten up, one hand on a
potentially aching back, there is always a smile on my face.

What beauty natures creates as she goes about this pregnant job
of sustaining the species!

The first roses on the pink climber have opened
on the tips of the wandering branches.

and the clematis  are leaping up the trellis

two days ago there were no iris in bloom
and suddenly they are all vying for their place in the sun

the evening sun finds its way through the trees
and illuminates the last of the allium
and the blossoms on the tree peony

I sigh with pleasure and go in to scrub my hands that mark me for what I am -

a happy gardener!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

June 5th, 2011

It is Ashley's birthday today (second to youngest granddaughter).

She is now twenty-two and a few days ago we received a most wonderful and welcome invitation to a wedding celebration, when she and Chris will be married in the fall.   It is to be a Scottish wedding!

Last October our own Katie and Will were married at the Grist Mill, with piper and kilts and tartan and heather. Beautiful wedding, and these two lovely Scottish celebrations remind me of my sister's wedding day, sixty years ago.

I have written about this wedding before in my recollection blog, but I have a number of reasons for wanting to re-post.  Mainly because it is such a pleasure to remember that particular day, and also because for medical reasons I am trying to keep life flowing along simply and my stress levels low. And  because I want it to be part of Daybyday so that when Blog2Print and I make a deal it will be included in the book that results.

So please bear with me if you think vaguely that you might have seen it before.

A Romantic Wedding

The date and the gladioli blooming in the garden, brought to mind my sister's wedding in August, 1951, - a fond recollection and a reminder of what weddings were in that time and space.

The invitation arrived and plans were made to travel.  A neighbour drove us to Vancouver, - me and three small children. One a crawler and the other two to be part of the wedding party.  We board the train and started our journey in a spacious compartment.  (Fares were not then what they are now!!!)  An exciting trip for the children, and somewhat exciting for me, too....

We arrived!

The Wedding Day arrived!

The tartan ribbon and the heather from Scotland that marked the guest pews arrived!

On the day of the wedding, courtesy of a kind postman who made a special delivery when they missed the regular post.  The bride tucked a bit of heather into her bouquet, and the groom into his cap.

The apartment is electric with last minute excitement and preparations.  My sister seems calm on the outside, but on the way to the wedding she sings in the car  "And the horse told me" from the Bing Crosby film, Riding High.

The owner told Clarence the clocker
The Clocker told jockey McGee
The jockey,of course
Passed it on to the horse
And the horse told me.

Did the Groom observe tradition and not see the bride on their wedding day before she came up the aisle?  I can't remember...  The Groom is a Piper, and he heads the young Pipe Band, all of whom will be in attendance at this romantic Scottish wedding.  He rustles up a small kilt for my son (5) to wear as he bears the ring!

The Bride, with her gorgeous bouquet of Gladioli.

We all set off for the church, except for the dear little 'crawler' who slept peacefully through all the festivities at home with a sitter, dreaming the dreams of the innocent.

Our father is at the Lynch Gate to escort the Bride into the church.

The other bridesmaids were good sports about helping with the smaller members of the wedding party and somehow we all got up the aisle, although the flower girl (2 1/4) abandoned her place at the steps to the altar to go and sit on Grandma's knee!

The Rector, the Rev. Nainby, officiated.  The organist played beautifully.

It came time to sign the register

And then the grand Recessional, and the Bride and Groom left the church under a pathway of crossed Pipes, and to the lilt of a Scottish wedding tune in their honour.

A lovely reception, - pictures of the wedding party and the parents, who probably sighed in relief that all had gone well and that our parents in particular would soon have peace and quiet!  Our mother was operating from a wheel chair, and she did it with grace and her usual serene fortitude.

And the beautiful Bride and the handsome Groom

The years go by.  Times change.  But the memory of a lovely traditional wedding stays with you always.  All the excitement, all the love - it lives forever.

As I hope it will for these two beloved granddaughters.