Looking Forward

Holy Lost in Space Batman! It has been far too long since I last posted on the blog.  To say things have been a little crazy would be a gross understatement.

Since the last post, we have sold my mom’s house, she has moved in with us, she’s been in the hospital for a short but informative stay, I’ve progressed with the men’s ministry at our church, added a youth small group to the mix and bought a banjo that I am momentarily teaching myself to play. All this added to the grand scheme of things that is a home with two tweener kids, a dog who has a paper fetish and the normal crazy of job and general life. Days are going by at warp speed and I feel like I’m just barely hanging on by my finger nails with my face plastered back like one of those astronaut trainees in the G-load centrifuge at NASA.

We’re really close on this house thing for my mom. I’ve been the point man on this along the way, keeping my sister and middle brother in the loop and making sure they get to weigh in on ideas, decisions, etc.  The funniest part to me is, even though I know I am the youngest child, a mere 49 years of age, I still laugh at the reaction/encouragement I get from my sister and brother, both or whom are much older than me.  They thank me and tell me what a great job I’m doing with mom and the issues at hand in a manner that makes me feel like, if not sound like, I’m 14 years old. It’s not offensive nor intended to be so.  Just very humorous to me. It seems they know so little about me and where I’ve been and what I’ve experience with in my life that to see me perform what I think is just mundane seems to them to be beyond the scope of expected reason. I know I will forever be the “little brother” and shouldn’t expect perceptions to change any time soon.

Then there is the banjo. Oh how glorious this is to me. If you have read any of my posts you know I have a passion for camping, hiking and all things hammock related.  In a way of speaking, I’ve reached the limit of what I will do with these things.  That is not to say I am bored with them. Not at all. However, I have achieved a level of equilibrium let’s say.   I have the right gear and the right skill sets for the activities I will participate in and while still open to learning new ideas, I haven’t seen anything that blows my kilt up in this area and am happy where I’m at in the field.  I’m still active and doing, just content in the processes at present.

That being said, I came across some Christian music and noted, to my surprise, the appearance of banjo in the music. This was intriguing to me so further investigation was warranted.  I began to find more and more music that had banjo in the sets and began thinking how other music that I love would lend itself to banjo interpretations.  J.S. Bach for one such example is very much a candidate and sounds awesome done on banjo.

From there the research began in earnest into banjos, types, playing styles, brands, starters to the most beautiful and expensive ladies I have ever seen.  You should know that I’ve played guitar for years. Nothing professional but well enough to hold my own in a jam session and could play in front of people without the flop sweats.

Now I have her. A brand new Recording King R36 Mahogany banjo and she is a beauty. I’ve only had her about two weeks but I’m learning the basic rolls and a few chords to start. I still need to finish out a few bits of the kit like a cradle strap and a good hard case. Once that is done, the search for a competent banjo teacher will be in order. I want to make certain that I don’t develop any bad habits with regard to technique in the early stages.  Hammocks were great to do by myself and if I made a mistake, generally, the only person I hurt was me. Banjo is a much more public matter. People will have to endure to some level the horror stories I create on this thing so out of compassion and consideration for the general public and my immediate family, I owe it to everyone to learn correctly, and quickly.  I know the curve will be steep and long. Don’t even care. I’m hoping to be able to hang with the praise band at church for the most part and please myself and family with the selections I can learn. This will likely, at my age, be the last musical adventure I will take.  This is something I can do as I age and will fit my persona well.  A little laid back, a little bit of a show off and one who love to praise God in as many forms and fashions as possible.

I can’t wait for the weather to begin cooling down so I can get back out in the hammock.  For those of my hammock friends who read my blog, rest easy. The banjo will not be showing up at group hangs anytime in the near future. In a year or two, however, all bets are off.  Looking forward to making another trip to that campsite on the Nantahala River and playing banjo hidden in the trees for everyone passing by in their rafts.  Yea, I’m a little sick like that.

Lot’s to look forward to in the coming months.  Life is life and life is good regardless of the circumstances. I’ll keep posting and maybe soon….you’ll hear banjo music.

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