A Tough Week for All…

It’s truly amazing how caught we can be in the webs we weave.  Life throws us curve ball after curve ball.  We swing at some.  We stand frozen and watch some whip by us.  Sometimes we hit the ball out of the park.  Sometimes we ground out.  And sometimes, we just flat out miss all together.  This game of life varies from person to person in detail, but the rules remain in tact for all:  Play your best, play hard, but play fair.  When we fail to follow those rules, the outcome is not favorable, or at least temporarily. Continue reading

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Doc and Lauren

Doc and Lauren

Doc Severinsen visits with my lovely daughter Lauren at the National Trumpet Competition. If you missed the blog about this, go back to the one titled “Noooo…Not this, Not Now”!

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The Unique Beat of a Different Drummer

This morning, I’m sitting with my dogs, my eyes burning from a lack of sleep combined with the pollen squeezing through my window screens.  Outside, the garbage trucks disrupt the peace of the morning’s birdsong.  Brakes and beeps signal giant, awkward mechanical invasion.  Glass breaking as it’s crushed into tiny pieces in the bellies of the trucks.  Not very attractive on this crystal clear spring morning, but a necessary weekly disposal.  Every few minutes, the jingle of the tiny bell hanging from my cat’s collar moves from left to right, and then back again, as she decides to bolt to a new location to gain an advantage in her ongoing bird watch.  Instincts are hard at work as the cats dash and the dogs nap in the sunshine flooding my home. Animal bellies full with breakfasts.  All feel safe, and I am calmed by their presence, content that they trust the home I’ve provided for them. Continue reading

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In a Word…

I could say one word to my siblings and my father, and they would immediately smile.  Based in childhood memories, the single utterance would bring about an immediate flood of reminiscence from decades long ago, all centered around a dear family member who never sat at the table or attended school:  our golden retriever, Buffy. Continue reading

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“Momma, I have to go potty!” – The words every mother is used to hearing from their toddler at least ten times a day.  So why was it any different for this mom today?  Because my beautiful daughter spoke them at the exact time that Doc Severinsen was playing two octave arpeggios on my custom Shires trumpet at the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, VA. Continue reading

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Two nights ago, I found myself staring down at the lifeless body of a 70-year old man. The sight was sobering. As another neighbor and I tried to revive him, I was reminded of this post. The paramedics eventually arrived, and the man was brought back after nearly 25 minutes of tireless work. The event shook me. Life is precious, friends. And you never know what each sunrise will bring or take.

Liesl Whitaker

Last night, I spent quite a while in my living room with my headphones on, an act I usually reserve to tune out of my present surroundings in order to be overcome with the distraction and emotion of music. Earlier, I had no need to tune out as I spent the evening actively working in my house. The rain spilled across my roof and down my windows as I scurried about, cleaning carpets, doing laundry and wiping down countertops. General busy work. But I kept coming back to the rain, it’s sound, soothing, yet reminding me of something. I continued with my household diligence, the rain relentlessly droning in the back of my mind. And then I realized what it was.

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On the Road with Diva

On this cool, overcast morning in Providence, RI, I find myself staring at the screen, the letters making their way slowly into some sort of order as my mind spills with an overabundance of thought. Where do I begin? This trip began three days ago, and I feel a bit numb from the superfluous amounts of information presently scrambling my brain. Of course with me, the thoughts are not without emotion attached, and so the sorting takes a little longer!

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Working Together

Sometimes when we work together as a group, coming to a decision together can be lengthy and difficult at best.  Keeping our wits about us and our emotions in check is a huge challenge.  I believe this to be especially true for those working in creative fields such as the arts.  So why is it that difficulties arise?  Why aren’t we free to just say what’s on our minds?  We have no problems telling the ones we love just how we feel, and we have so much more invested in those relationships, generally speaking. Continue reading

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Back in New York

Rising at 2:30am is something no one likes to do, especially when they lack sleep on any given day. But yesterday, I was excited to do just that. I was going to travel from my home in Maryland, along the Northeast Corridor, to the northern suburbs of New York City. Awaiting me was the opportunity to play with some wonderful colleagues from the life I led before signing on Uncle Sam’s dotted line, nearly 13 years ago. I rose, assembled a pan of lasagna for a good NYC friend as promised, then hopped in the shower while it baked. After taking the dog out in the dark, unseasonably warm and gusty final January morning, I gathered my belongings (including the lasagna), and loaded up the vehicle. At 4:10am, I woke my son to remind him to leap out of bed when his school alarm went off in two short hours, hugged and kissed him goodbye, then set off into the darkness.

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Looking Ahead

Now that the Inaugural has come and gone, it’s time to get back to work preparing for our upcoming Spring tour with the Jazz Ambassadors.  The time spent as participants in the Inauguration was truly memorable, and I’m incredibly blessed to have been a part of history for the third time in my nearly 13 year career in the US Army.  I love my job! Continue reading

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